Department of Therapist Assistant

Student practises supporting a patient using a mobility aid

Experienced instructors integrate the theory, knowledge and clinical skills required to graduate entry-level Therapist Assistants, as well as develop collaborative relationships that are responsive to the community’s needs.

Meet an Instructor

"I enjoy being a part of the college atmosphere, where students are gaining skills and knowledge in a wide variety of areas & disciplines. Facilitating students to problem solve in the lab environment and gain new practical skills is very rewarding."

Program spotlight

In this accredited program, students will gain the skills required to work as an assistant to Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Recreation Therapists, where you’ll assist in implementing rehabilitation programs for clients to maintain and enhance functional abilities, independence and quality of life. 


Therapist Assistant courses teach students how to set up body movement programs, explain treatment techniques and implement therapeutic leisure activities. 

Career options

Therapist Assistants work in a variety of settings from hospital practice to home and community care, long-term care and private practice where supervision from Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and/or Recreation Therapists is provided.

Check the Student, Graduate and Cop-op Employment department job board for employment opportunities.


Siri Marken

Chair - Therapist Assistant
Office: HS Building 305
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4527

I worked as an Occupational Therapist in a multitude of clinical settings across Canada, and taught at Queen's, University of Toronto, and McGill, before accepting the position as instructor in the Therapist Assistant program at OC. I was living in Montreal at the time and had never been to Kelowna, so it was a leap of blind faith locating here with my children! I have never looked back. I have fallen in love with the Okanagan and all it has to offer in each season, and it has been an absolute privilege to be part of OC as it has evolved and grown.

MEd, Special Populations, McGill
BScOT, Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta

Dr. Brett Wade

Therapist Assistant
Office: HS Building 305
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4206
Photo of Dr. Brett Wade

I have been teaching at Okanagan College in the Therapist Assistant program since 2002. I currently teach Gross Anatomy and Kinesiology, Modalities, and Physiotherapist Assistant Courses (PTA I and PTA II). I have been practicing as a Physiotherapist since 1995. I have a B. Sc.PT from UBC, a master's degree from Andrews University, and a PhD from Rutgers University. My doctoral dissertation examined for correlations with multiple sclerosis and the geomagnetic field.

My main areas of clinical practice are in the areas of sports and orthopedic injuries, spinal manipulation, chronic pain, and concussions. I have practiced throughout North America and previously owned a private practice physiotherapy clinic and a yoga studio in Kelowna. In addition to teaching at the college full-time, I continue to see patients several times a week at a local private practice. My personal interests are in running, cycling, triathlons, and yoga.

PhD, Health Sciences, Rutgers

Brian Hall

Therapist Assistant
Office: HS Building 305
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4451
Brian Hall, Therapist Assistant Instructor

Practicing in public and private healthcare settings since 2006 I've had the privilege of working in an interdisciplinary team environment.  My clinical experience across the physical, cognitive and mental health domains was regularly bolstered by supervising students from a range of programs which ultimately drew me to education.  My goals are to provide high quality educational opportunities through blended delivery methods and to continue to enhance my skills, knowledge and practice through scholarly activities.

M.Sc., Occupational Therapy, Queen's University
BA, Comparative Religion, Literature and the Arts, UBC
Assistive Technology Professional, RESNA

Christina Nelson

Therapy Assistant - On Leave
Office: HS Building 305
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4406
Christina Nelson Therapist Assistant Diploma Instructor

I am thrilled to be able to share my passions for Occupational Therapy, Education and Recreation, as an instructor and practicum coordinator with the Therapist Assistant Diploma program here at Okanagan College. I have worked in acute, outpatient, and private practice settings as an OT, and I have experience teaching in the public school setting as well as teaching yoga to students of all ages. I am passionate about bringing the benefits of yoga to clients, and have worked to incorporate yoga into Occupational Therapy practices. I have a strong belief in the healing value of recreation and leisure, and it is a great joy to share this with our students.

MSc in Occupational Therapy, from the University of Alberta
BEd, Secondary Route, from the University of Albert
Certified Yoga Instructor
COTBC Certified Occupational Therapist

DeAnna MacArthur

Therapist Assistant
Office: HS Building 305
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4464
DeAnna MacArthur

After working as a clinical physiotherapist for 14 years, and a part-time instructor for six, I am excited to bring my experience of the profession, and passion for teaching, to the Therapist Assistant program at Okanagan College. Working in both public and private clinical settings, with many age groups and populations, has instilled in me a passion to teach and empower my clients to recognize their own value and potential. Since teaching, I have strived to do the same for my students. I hope to continue learning new ways to engage students and keep them excited about working in the world of recreation and rehabilitation! I also have a huge passion for all things music and theatre, and in my other life and I am an entertainer, so I always strive to allow that part of me to shine!

MSc. Physiotherapy, McMaster University
BSc. (Hons.) Psychology, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Provincial Instructors Diploma, Vancouver Career College


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