HGTC Launches Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) is proud to announce the launch of the new Occupational Therapy Assistant program major. The approval process for the new program began in the fall of 2020. The HGTC Area Commission, the governing board of the College, approved the program proposal in February 2021 with a projected implementation date of August 2022. There are currently 18 students enrolled in the first class that began August 22 on the Grand Strand Campus in the Speir Healthcare Education Center.
“HGTC is proud to offer the new Associate in Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant program. The HGTC Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Development conducted a local survey of businesses in Horry and Georgetown counties. The results indicated there was a positive trend in new jobs with nearly 200 new positions available since 2019,” said Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore, HGTC President.
Occupational therapy is a healthcare field which specializes in helping people regain, develop, or master everyday skills necessary to live independent, productive, and meaningful lives related to decreased normal functions resulting from injury, pain, disease, or birth defects. Occupational therapy assistants work under the direction of an occupational therapist in the care and treatment of virtually every patient population, from the elderly to pediatrics.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program provides students with hands on technical experience, as well as didactic instruction of occupational therapy interventions for common diagnoses throughout the lifespan. Fieldwork rotations give the students exposure to patient care and experience in performing occupational therapy interventions to prepare them for this crucial part of the healthcare team.
“Student interest has been driven by the numerous healthcare related programs currently offered at the College. Many of the students currently enrolled in the Associate in Science healthcare path are interested in becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant,” said Gina Brown, HGTC Professor and Director of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program.