What Makes a Good Occupational Therapist? Exploring The Best Traits

What makes a good occupational therapist? Let’s explore some of their best traits

Occupational therapy is vital for the improvement of the quality of life for people of all ages. They do this through the therapeutic use of daily activities like personal hygiene tasks that utilize fine motor skills. Good occupational therapy can be life-changing for many individuals. So what makes a good occupational therapist? Let’s explore some of the core traits of a good occupational therapist. 

The Traits of a Good Occupational Therapist

Here’s what you can expect a good occupational therapist to bring to your professional relationship:

Great Communication Skills

Occupational therapists need to have outstanding communication skills. They are constantly communicating with clients, their families, and other healthcare professionals. Therefore, occupational therapists should be able to articulate themselves clearly and effectively via all avenues and a wide cross-section of audiences. 

Furthermore, occupational therapists should be good listeners as they will need to listen to clients’ concerns, symptoms, and treatment goals. They should be able to communicate complex medical terms, home exercise programs, procedures, and symptoms. These concepts must be explained clearly so that everyone can easily understand regardless of their age, diagnosis, or cognitive ability. 

Patience! A Lot of Patience!

Every occupational therapist has experienced unpleasant or demanding clients at one time or another. However, they have to maintain a pleasant and professional demeanor throughout it all. A great occupational therapist knows that their clients are undergoing a variety of challenges from their disabilities and so may get rude, frustrated, impatient, or angry. 

A professional and experienced occupational therapist is willing to listen to their clients and is very patient. They should exhibit empathy, smile, and even try to inject well-placed, tactful humor in their interactions with clients. 

Also, while some clients may quickly achieve their treatment goals, some may take years to make similar progress. A good occupational therapist never gives up on a client and is willing to get creative with each client’s treatment plan to help them move a bit faster and closer to their treatment goals. 

Exceptional Organizational Skills

Occupational therapists need to be good managers. They need to manage many things such as their schedules, clients’ goals, and appointments, as well as collaborative meetings with other professionals.

Also, they need to gather information about clients and closely document the same in a clear, concise, and timely fashion. In some instances, they may also need to keep track of insurance authorization expirations and reevaluation deadlines. 

Regardless of the specific tasks included in their job descriptions, a good occupational therapist needs to be organized and thorough. This will ensure that their clients get the best quality of healthcare.

Innovative Problem-Solving Skills

A good occupational therapist is solution-oriented

Every successful occupational therapist knows that creative problem-solving is one of their important skills. Each client is unique: they have distinct goals, different problems, different fears, and varying motivations. This calls for special strategies to ensure that each client attains their treatment goals as fast as their circumstances allow. 

Furthermore, treatment sessions often require on-the-spot adaptations based on the available equipment or the client’s ability or mood. The best and most experienced occupational therapists are always thinking about how to ensure that each session encourages their clients to achieve their maximum potential. 

Willingness to Try New Medical Interventions

A good occupational therapist is always searching for the latest interventions to help their clients experience better recovery outcomes faster. One of these medical interventions is concerning spinal cord injuries: functional electrical stimulation.

What is Functional Electrical Stimulation?

A spinal cord injury can disrupt communications between the brain and the body. This leads to the person losing control over their neuromuscular systems which may be intact. 

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) works by applying small electrical pulses to paralyzed muscles in the central and peripheral nervous system. This is done to restore or improve their function. 

Does Functional Electrical Stimulation for Spinal Cord Recovery Help?

FES is often used for exercise, as there are several FES bikes on the market (like MyoCycle). As a person uses the FES bike, the muscles regenerate and become stronger.

FES can also assist with other critical functions such as breathing, grasping, transferring, standing, and walking. It can also lead to improved bladder and bowel function. Some research also indicates that FES may reduce the frequency of pressure sores and urinary tract infections.

Medical findings indicate that FES not only provides functional restoration, but it has also fended off several medical complications that tend to follow a spinal cord injury. 

How Do I Find a Rehabilitation Program for a Spinal Cord Injury?

We have seen that it is not only a matter of qualifications but having a set of desirable character traits as to what makes a good occupational therapist. Are you wondering where you can find an effective rehabilitation program for spinal cord injury? Then you can contact us: Moving With Hope

We are based in Shelton, CT and we provide excellent therapy interventions at an affordable cost. Our expert team consists of occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language therapists, and many other roles. We also collaborate with your medical team to design and perform an extensive treatment plan that will maximize your chances of recovery. Contact us so that we can help you to start moving with hope and confidence.

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