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Occupational therapy is based on the premise that that people should live life being able to do the things they want and need to do. Occupational Therapists specialize in restoring a person’s ability to participate in the “job of life” – enjoying what you do every day.
Occupational therapists work with a variety of injured or disabled patients across the lifespan using many therapeutic techniques to enable them to engage in activities that they find meaningful. This may mean restoring their ability to interact with their environment by focusing on fine motor coordination and dexterity activities. It may mean providing adaptive equipment to a patient who has suffered a stroke so that they may dress themselves independently. It may mean helping the orthopedic patient regain essential hand and upper extremity strength. They are also specialists in upper extremity splinting for protection, mobilization and functional purposes.
Occupational therapists formulate individualized plans of care after completing a thorough evaluation. For each patient they customize interventions, or programs, that ultimately will enable them to return to their maximum level of function depending on their disability. Common OT interventions may include:
Occupational therapists treat patients in a variety of settings that may include: inpatient, sub-acute or out-patient hospital based programs, private practice, psychiatry, skilled nursing, school based therapy and physician owned clinics.
Here are 8 things to know about OT: