Occupational therapy helps to alleviate pain, injury, illness, or a disability that stops you from completing your daily activities like personal care, household chores, or participate in social activities. Who is an occupational therapist? This is the healthcare professional who will evaluate your case, design your treatment plan (with the input of your medical team), and implement your treatment. However, we’re sure you have many more questions, so let’s get started!
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy focuses on teaching you how to adapt to living with a disability. It will help you to perform a variety of tasks in different spheres of life (for example home, school, or work). You may need to use tools or assistive devices to help you complete these tasks.
Your health professional (called an occupational therapist) will evaluate your case and design a custom treatment plan for you. This plan will help you adjust your range of motion so that you can take care of yourself, and get tasks completed in your daily life such as:
- Eat unassisted
- Bathe and get dressed
- Do your laundry or clean up around your home
- Enjoy leisure activities on your own
- Complete office work
Who is an Occupational Therapist?
An occupational therapist has graduate training in the field of occupational therapy. These health professionals must be licensed and pass a national exam before they can be certified to practice in the field.
Some occupational therapists undergo further training to specialize in certain treatments such as hand therapy, treating individuals with low vision, or working with children or older adults.
You may also encounter occupational therapy assistants who help with some aspects of your treatment. However, they do not assess you or create your treatment plan. An occupational assistant must possess an associate’s degree in the field.
Your occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant will collaborate with your doctor, physical therapist, psychologist, and other health professionals to give you the best healthcare.
What Happens During a Typical Occupational Therapy Session?
An occupational therapist often works with people of all ages, from premature babies to young children, adults, and senior citizens.
Occupational therapists are concerned about how you do any activity or task and how to help you perform them easier and with less discomfort. So for your first appointment, you should expect that your occupational therapist will:
- Evaluate your case to determine your baseline status. They will consider the tissues to be treated to improve your range of motion, strength, and balance.
- Discuss your case and set appropriate goals that are function-based. This will serve to guide further treatment sessions.
- Address any concerns you may have about your case and/or treatment plan.
During your subsequent visits, your occupational therapist will use a variety of treatment techniques. These will include modalities, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and patient education. These are all geared to help you achieve the functional goals that were set during your first visit.
How Many Visits Will You Need?
An occupational therapy session usually takes 6 to 8 visits. During those visits, your therapy team will teach you about the various tools and procedures that will help you get better and become more independent. Your occupational therapist will:
- Prescribe and train you to effectively use assistive devices (like rollators and wheelchairs).
- Improve hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity.
- Teach you new methods to do tasks such as grooming yourself, and working on your computer.
- Organize your medications and household tools.
- Help older adults prevent falls in their homes or public spaces.
- Treat stroke patients to build muscle strength, improve balance, memory, and speech problems, and make changes to their homes to prevent falls.
Why Would You Need to See an Occupational Therapist?
Anyone who struggles to do any type of task may need to see an occupational therapist. If you have any of these health conditions, then you can ask your doctor if occupational therapy could prove beneficial for you:
- Arthritis and chronic pain
- Brain injury
- Joint replacement
- Spinal cord injury
- Low vision
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Poor balance
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cerebral palsy
- Mental health or behavioral issues
Get the Best Occupational Therapists at Moving With Hope!
Who is an occupational therapist? Someone who is fully trained and qualified to help with many issues so you can get back to independent functioning in all aspects of your life.
Do you need affordable occupational therapy? We invite you to contact Moving With Hope to get the best occupational therapists who will give you the customized support that you need. So contact us today to find out how we can help you feel and move much better.