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Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant

Program Duration: 86 weeks

Rehabilitation Therapy Assistants, or RTAs, work with occupational therapists and physiotherapists in a clinical setting to aid in the recovery of patients.


To launch a career in this health field, you need to graduate from a post-secondary rehabilitation assistant program like the Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant diploma program at CDI College. It will prepare you with the knowledge and skills employers are looking for.


Rehabilitation Assistant Program in BC

RTAs have a keen understanding of the human body, with training in many areas, including anatomy, biochemistry, functional movement, human development, orthopaedics, and physiology.


In the Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant program, you’ll gain an understanding of your role in the rehabilitation process, including training in gerontology, therapeutic exercise, client care, communications and records management, and program facilitation.


Hands-on Rehab Assistant Training

In addition to your in-class training, you’ll also get an opportunity to gain on-the-job experience in a work experience placement, working alongside an occupational therapist or physiotherapist.


Motivate others to achieve their goals and promote healthy lifestyles to your future patients. Apply to become an RTA today by filling out the form to your right.



This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.



Program Courses

SSS4 - Student Success Strategies
This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success.
ITC4 - Introduction to Computers
This course is a broad-based introduction to using a personal computer. It teaches the fundamentals of an operating system and the most popular application software including word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. You will also learn about the Internet, Web browsers, electronic mail and antivirus software. The course is based on the Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft office 2013 and a variety of popular software programs for the Internet-related and security-related applications
IRH4 - Introduction to Rehabilitation
This course introduces students to the field of rehabilitation. It addresses the diversity of the roles and relationships of health professionals within the field of rehabilitation and within the healthcare system. Students will address issues including professionalism; the roles and responsibilities of the rehabilitation assistant, physiotherapy assistant, and occupational therapy assistant; models of healthcare; and professional ethics. The course will discuss the Canadian Health Care system, professional conduct, professional boundaries, as well as the importance of confidentiality between the client and the practitioners.
PSB4 - Pre-Science Basics
This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of chemistry, equations, medical terminology, and human physiology in order to prepare students for the more advanced course of study in this diploma program. Study skills for learning the sciences are also discussed in order to facilitate the student’s learning process.
ANP4 - Anatomy and Physiology
This component of the program is designed to introduce students to the structures and functions of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems as well as on surface anatomy. This course will provide the foundation for the study of Human Disorders, the biomechanics of human motion, and therapeutic interventions for disabling conditions.
HUD4 - Human Development
This course traces human development from conception to death. Topics include the interaction of heredity and environment, age group characteristics, physiological, and psychological problems that appear throughout the lifespan. A focus is placed on the appreciation of how human development relates to the disciplines of physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
FMV4 - Functional Movement
Students are provided with an understanding of normal human motion. The course addresses topics that include joint mobility, muscle tone, range of motion, normal gait, and normal posture. Students are also introduced to skills including palpation and observation skills as well as limb and patient handling. This provides an emphasis on both theoretical and practical skills.
HDO4 - Human Disorders
Human Disorders introduces students to a variety of disabling conditions based on broad diagnostic categories. This course addresses both physical and psycho-social conditions specific to the pediatric, adult, and geriatric population. They are addressed within the framework of impairment, disability, and handicap. The course provides a brief review of the body systems and disorders related to each of these systems.
CP14 - Clinical Physiotherapy I - Orthopaedics
The goal of this course is to develop the student's knowledge and skill in therapeutic activities in physical therapy. Topics include therapeutic techniques for orthopedic conditions. An emphasis will be placed on practical skills as well as the indications, contraindications, and precautions for a variety of interventions.
CM14 - Communications I - Client Care
This course equips the student with the skills needed to deal effectively with clients and colleagues in the healthcare setting. It addresses topics including verbal and non-verbal communication, effective listening, and cultural differences in communication. A variety of learning strategies are employed including group discussion, role playing, group exercises and individual assignments.
CP24 - Clinical Physiotherapy II - Therapeutic Exercise
The goal of this course is to develop the student's knowledge and skill in therapeutic activities in physical therapy. Topics include therapeutic exercise techniques for a variety of conditions. An emphasis will be placed on practical skills as well as the indications, contraindications, and precautions for a variety of interventions. As part of this course, students will also gain an overview of the area of therapeutic recreation and the role that the physiotherapy assistant and occupational therapy assistant can occupy in this sector.
CM24 - Communications II - Client Record Management
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the communication and administrative responsibilities of the assistant as it relates to client record management. An emphasis will be placed on medical charting and maintaining clinical records. Students will acquire a basic understanding of medical terminology to allow continuity of care.
GER4 - Introduction to Gerontology
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a biopsychosocial perspective on aging. Individual and group treatments focusing on medications, mobility, fall prevention, vision impairments, and communications impairments. The course will focus on working with elders who have conditions and diseases of the aged and aging, dysphasia, cerebrovascular accidents, osteoporosis, Parkinson's disease, orthopaedic conditions, cardiovascular conditions, pulmonary conditions, oncological conditions, and cognitive impairment/dementia and related conditions.
CP34 - Clinical Physiotherapy III - Neurological
The goal of this course is to develop the student's knowledge and skill in therapeutic activities in physical therapy. Topics include therapeutic techniques for neurological conditions. An emphasis will be placed on practical skills as well as the indications, contraindications, and precautions for a variety of interventions.
TRF4 - Therapeutic Recreation Program Facilitation
This course will explore the importance of using recreation and leisure activity as therapy and the role of the rehabilitation assistant in the implementation and facilitation of therapeutic recreation services. Students will develop the ability to implement a variety of individual and group techniques, utilize a variety of assistive devices and techniques, apply therapeutic recreation content and services, and apply activity and task analysis in the delivery of therapeutic service. Students will examine the potential benefits in a variety of recreational activities.
PHY4 - Physical Agents
Students are exposed to the theory and application of therapeutic modalities used in physiotherapy. An emphasis is placed on indications, contraindications, and special safety considerations in the application of a variety of modalities. In addition, students will be provided with the practical skills required to safely and effectively apply these modalities to a patient.
RBP4 - Rehabilitation Processes/CPR and First Aid
Students are provided with the knowledge and practical skills required for basic patient care management. This course provides an overview of patient positioning and draping, wheelchairs, lifts and transfers. The knowledge from the previous Anatomy and Physiology, Human Development, and Human Disorders courses is applied to assist in the determination of the purpose, benefit, functional sequence and safety precautions of movement and positioning procedures. Students are also provided with insight into accessibility issues for our patient population. First Aid – CPR training is normally scheduled during this module as well.
CCS4 - Clinical Case Studies
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with the opportunity to integrate and consolidate the theory and practice of managing complex patient situations. The student will use critical thinking skills to appropriately implement components of a treatment plan as prescribed by and under the supervision of a physiotherapist. An understanding of the roles of other health care professionals in a patient’s care and their interaction with these services will be explored. The course will focus on the more complex patients who require physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and other disciplines of the healthcare team. This course will be a combination of small group tutorials and problem solving sessions along with a self-directed study component. The students will have the opportunity to practice their problem solving skills in complex patient situations.
OT14 - OTA Therapeutic Techniques - Physical Disabilities
This course introduces students to the philosophy and principles of the practice of occupational therapy and provides the opportunity to learn about the scope of service of the OT and OTA. A variety of physical disabilities will be explored and students will be familiarized with intervention strategies and therapeutic activities.
OT24 - OTA Therapeutic Techniques - Psychiatry
The objective of this course is to introduce students to the field of occupational therapy in psychiatry, familiarizing them with the theory and therapeutic techniques applied by the occupational therapist working in psychiatry.
OT34 - OTA Therapeutic Techniques - Pediatrics
This course will cover the fundamentals of pediatrics that an occupational therapy assistant needs to be familiar with. Pediatric health conditions, the occupational therapy process, pediatric assistive devices, and the scope of practice will be covered.
RHPE - Clinical Placement
This mandatory Clinical Placement provides students with an opportunity to develop and practice basic competency level skills in observation and treatment techniques under the supervision of either physiotherapist or occupational therapist. Based on the student’s area of interest, the clinical placement can be completed in any of these speciality settings. The practicum is also an opportunity for learning new skills specific to the chosen setting.
CES4 - Career & Employment Strategies

This course looks at the planning, preparation, execution, and follow-up stages of an interview: how people find jobs; employer expectations; presenting an enthusiastic attitude; focusing on the right job; transferable skills; the job interview; effective resume preparation; cover and thank you letters; effective telemarketing; tapping the hidden job market; handling objections; job search management; self-confidence and self-esteem building; mock interviews (video-taped); and individual counselling and coaching.

Start Training to Become a Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant

Start training at CDI College for a rewarding career as a rehabilitation therapy assistant. No waitlists - register now! 

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