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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

What exactly IS occupational therapy?

Posted Thursday, July 10, 2008, at 10:35 AM

Hello again readers! Before I delve into the healthy living aspect of this blog, I thought I'd take a moment to introduce my future profession. Yes, I am aware that occupational therapy (OT) has recently received more exposure in McCook (YAY!) due to the addition of the wonderful rehabilitation facility, however, how many people actually know WHAT it is occupational therapists do?

To best explain the many aspects of OT, I have copied an article from the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, occupational therapists help patients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. They work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling condition, across all age ranges! Occupational therapists use treatments to develop and recover the daily living and work skills of their patients. The therapist helps clients not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also to compensate for permanent loss of function. The goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.

Occupational therapists help clients to perform all types of activities, from using a computer to caring for daily needs such as dressing, cooking, and eating. Physical exercises may be used to increase strength and dexterity, while other activities may be chosen to improve visual acuity or the ability to discern patterns. For example, a client with short-term memory loss might be encouraged to make lists to aid recall, and a person with coordination problems might be assigned exercises to improve hand-eye coordination. Occupational therapists also use computer programs to help clients improve decision-making, abstract-reasoning, problem-solving, and perceptual skills, as well as memory, sequencing, and coordination--all of which are important for independent living. (U.S. Department of Labor)

Patients with permanent disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy, often need special instruction to master certain daily tasks. For these individuals, therapists demonstrate the use of adaptive equipment, including wheelchairs, orthoses, eating aids, and dressing aids. They also design or build special equipment needed at home or at work, including computer-aided adaptive equipment. They teach clients how to use the equipment to improve communication and control various situations in their environment. (U.S. Department of Labor)

Some occupational therapists treat individuals whose ability to function in a work environment has been impaired. These practitioners might arrange employment, evaluate the work space, plan work activities, and assess the client's progress. Therapists also may collaborate with the client and the employer to modify the work environment so that the client can successfully complete the work. (U.S. Department of Labor)

I would be happy to answer any questions, or visit the following websites for more information!

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos078.htm

www.aota.org



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Healthy Living - Sara's Secrets
Sara Mashek
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