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Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant

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Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant

The Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant diploma program prepares students to work in today's interdisciplinary health-care systems. This program will provide students with a strong occupational and physical therapy assistant background, and incorporate essential assistant-level skills in speech language therapy and therapeutic recreation. Equipped with skills in these four rehabilitation disciplines, students will be prepared to meet industry demand and work in various general therapy, rehabilitation, as well as discipline-specific positions.

Shannon Whitlow - Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant

NorQuest was a great experience and I’m very proud of what I was able to accomplish. And I’m looking forward to accomplishing more in the future!

What to expect from the program

If you enjoy helping people and want a career assisting patients to overcome injuries or impairments, this diploma program could be for you.

The program delivers theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills using a balance of discipline-specific and interdisciplinary courses.

Program graduates will be prepared to:

  • communicate and collaborate as a valuable member of a client-centred interdisciplinary health-care team
  • assist with effective physical therapy and occupational therapy practice by providing safe and competent care across client populations
  • support other rehabilitation disciplines, including therapeutic recreation and speech-language pathology
  • demonstrate effective professionalism, leadership, and reflective practice skills

There are two main ways to complete the program:​

In person

2 years

Attend face-to-face classes at our Edmonton campus with instructors and classmates. Due to the more demanding course load, this in-person option is best suited for students who can commit to full-time studies each term. All courses must be taken in the preplanned order. For options to complete the program part-time in person over 3-4 years, consult with the program area for a customized learning plan.


3 – 4 years (there is no option to complete online over 2 years)

Learn online from the comfort of your home. While online options are available for lecture material, students must attend labs and practicums in person. The online option is best suited for students who do not live in Edmonton, and/or need more flexibility in their schedules.

Online courses include a mix of “online real time” with live online classes with scheduled times and “online anytime” where you study and complete your assignments on your own schedule. Courses have a fixed start date and end dates as well as assignment deadlines. Real-time instructor support is available on request. Labs must be completed by coming to the Edmonton campus approximately five times for a total of 21 days.

For further details about the online stream, please review our ITA student handbook p. 44

Graduate with experience

NorQuest College believes in the importance of on-the-job experience that provides an enriched learning opportunity.

You’ll graduate this program after completing five practicums with a minimum of 150 hours in each discipline.

Your practicum may be in your community or close by. Your schedule may include day, evening, or weekend shifts. You will work full-time during the practicum and provide your own transportation to the facility.

Career opportunities

Graduating interdisciplinary therapy assistants will have the ability to work within both the public and private health-care systems as multi-skilled professionals. The key role of therapy assistants is to provide direct and indirect client care which focuses on recovering function through rehabilitation under the supervision of a therapist.

The therapy assistant also plays a key role in collaborating and communicating with all stakeholders to optimize services, and in continually maintaining and enhancing their level of competency. Settings can include private clinics, hospitals, continuing care centres, rehabilitation centres, clinics, and home care.

Employers advertise for therapy assistants frequently using the following terms:

  • therapy assistants
  • rehabilitation assistants
  • physical therapy assistants
  • occupational therapy assistants
  • health care assistants
  • therapy aides

For more information on related careers see:

What to expect as a therapy assistant

Applicants should assess their ability to fulfill the demands of the therapy assistant occupation.

As a therapy assistant, you must be able to:

  • work shifts and weekends
  • be on your feet for extended periods of time
  • use your knees, back, and arms to assist clients
  • lift 30 pounds
  • touch and provide care for clients of all ages, cultures, and genders
  • manage time and resources in a busy work setting
  • communicate and collaborate effectively in a team
  • enjoy working with people

Related programs

Therapeutic Recreation

Learn how to deliver client-centered care in a variety of Therapeutic Recreation settings during this two-year diploma. You will explore the impact of recreation and leisure on individual wellness and how to enhance...program

Upcoming events

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Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant

Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant Info Session and Tour

July 25, 2024
11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Edmonton - CELT 4-207

Join a student recruiter and a program expert to learn everything you need to know about NorQuest’s Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant program.

Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant

Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant Webinar

August 13, 2024
12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.


Are you looking for more information about the Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant program? If so, join a NorQuest College student recruiter and program expert in a live webinar!

Have a question about the Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant program?