Occupational therapy helps patients recover from injuries, trauma, and neurological or musculoskeletal disorders to regain the skills needed to resume the highest level of function for daily living and tasks. Occupational therapy helps people participate in the things they want and need to do every day, such as dressing, bathing, and getting around. At a first OT appointment, a therapist and the patient will set goals and create a plan to achieve those goals.
Caring for Patients
Occupational therapists (OTs) are licensed health care professionals typically with a master’s degree in occupational therapy. They offer specialized assessment and treatment in hand and upper extremity conditions such as arthritis, fractures, upper extremity traumas, tendon and nerve injuries, and recovery from surgical procedures.
Patients in need of hand therapy may be seen by a certified hand therapist. This is a licensed and registered occupational therapist with advanced training in hand therapy.
Occupational therapist assistants are part of a patient’s care team and help assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures.
Occupational therapy interventions include:
- Custom splinting, constructed by hand therapists and used to help a painful joint rest, increase stability, and provide pain-free functional use.
- Edema control
- Soft tissue/scar management
- Physical agent modalities
- Therapeutic activities
The OTs provide care for conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and brain injuries, including concussions. The neurological team focuses on self-care and homemaking re-training, custom splinting, cognitive and neuro-muscular re-education so patients may function safely at home and in the community.