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. 

Note: first semester of TAD for first-year students will be online. After the holiday break, the department anticipates lectures will be online and labs will be in person with social distancing and PPE.

Program spotlight

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

Courses

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.

Instructors

Siri Marken

Chair - Therapist Assistant
Office: Health Building 124G
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.

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

Darrell Skinner

Therapist Assistant
Office: Health Building 124A
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4464
Therapist Assistance Program - Darrell Skinner

I have a broad clinical background in physiotherapy and teach in the Therapist Assistant Program. In addition to teaching, I am active in clinical practice and applied research projects. My research focus is on tendonitis, prevention strategies of musculoskeletal injury, and evidence based practice. When not working, I enjoy all outdoor activities and can usually be found in the mountains.

Credentials:
MScPT, BScPT, CAFCI, University of Alberta

Google Scholar profile

Dr. Brett Wade

Therapist Assistant
Office: Health Building 124F
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4206

I am a father of six children. I am passionate about meditation, yoga, the geomagnetic field, teaching, and wood-fired pizzas. I enjoy enjoy driving Westfalias, Russian authors, and helping students find passion in learning. I proudly teach in the Therapist Assistant program at Okanagan College.

Credentials:
PhD, Health Sciences, Rutgers

Brian Hall

Therapist Assistant
Office: Health Building 124G
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.

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

Christina Nelson

Therapist Assistant
Office: Health Building 124G
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.

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

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