What do Occupational Therapists?
Occupational Therapy (OT) helps people to live more productive and enjoyable. It is a way of helping individuals to do desired activities and become more independent.
Occupational therapy is a profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable handicapped people of all ages to participate in the activities of everyday life.
Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate in daily activities or by modifying the environment to better support the participation.
Occupational therapists have a broad education that equips them with skills and knowledge to work collaboratively with individuals or groups of people who have an impairment of body structure or function due to a health condition, and who experience barriers to participation.
Occupational therapy provides skills for the job of living. It increases body awareness, improves attention, and develops hand functions for success during play activities, school tasks, and daily living. Through occupational therapy, children develop their sense of self as they interact with family, friends, and others to learn and play. Occupational therapy can promote self-confidence and independence through the development of the fallowing skills:
Sensory processing skills
Hand dexterity / fine motor skills
Visual - spatial skills
Age appropriate skills of daily living
Visual - motor skills
Occupational therapists work in a vast array of settings, as fallow:
• Orthopedics (in and outpatient clinics- rheumatology, amputee)
• Long-term care
• Hand therapy (fine motor , tendon injures)
• Cardiac rehabilitation
• Burn centres
• Rehabilitation centers (Stroke (CVA), spinal cord injuries, etc.)
• General hospitals (ranging from inpatient, sub acute rehabilitation, to outpatient clinics)
• Pediatrics (Children’s hospital: neurodevelopmental issues, neonatal intensive care ).
There is a current shift within the profession towards community based practice. Essentially this vision encourages practitioners to expand into previously uncharted territory. Thus, they move away from hospitals and rehabilitation clinics and begin working with atypical populations such as the homeless or at risk populations. This change in vision is meant to expand the capabilities and impact of the profession. As the fundamental ideologies of occupational therapy are promoting independence, the profession is beginning to realize that there are many populations that would benefit from occupational therapy services. Occupational Therapists can continue the rehabilitation process in client’s homes and other places; they can assist clients with returning to previous life roles and activities.
Examples of community-based practice settings:
Health promotion and lifestyle change
Day centers(psychotic and mood disorders)
Schools (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism, etc)
Implementing gradual return to work programs which include workplace and work station assessments
Industrial therapy (work hardening, work conditioning, job demand analysis)
Stroke rehabilitation (CVA)
Traumatic brain injury
Spinal cord injury
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Mental health clinics
Psychiatric rehabilitation programs (adaptive skills for psychoses patients)
Child especial training schools and centers (mental retarded child, Down syndrome)
Early intervention for psychosis services
Child development centers (pervasive developmental disorders)
The clinic of OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY:
There are two sections for OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY practices in this faculty that their clients are separated by the given treatments.
In section one, sensory integrating techniques, coordination exercises and different techniques for improving of physical abilities of children and adults are used.
Section two, is a suitable room with required instruments for special training of child and adult in activity daily livings and initial concepts. In this part, the clients learn how to use their limited abilities in daily activities and improve the communications.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY department goals are:
1-Improving knowledge of health and disability.
2-Improving client’s quality of life.
3-Suitable area for occupational therapy practitioner and students training.
4-Providing of reference clinics for occupational therapy researches.
5-Improving quality of therapeutic services in related occupational therapy of Tabriz Universities.