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Occupational Therapy

explanatory Essay
1591 words
1591 words
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An occupational therapist is a trained and licensed health care professional who can make a complete evaluation of the impact of disease on the activities of the patient at home and in work situations. Hobbies and recreational activities are considered when an assessment is made. The most generally accepted definition of occupational therapy is that it is an activity, physical or mental, that aids in a patient’s recovery from disease or injury.
The Occupational therapist takes a history from the patient by conducting a thorough interview. Questions are asked about hygiene, eating, dressing, getting in and out of bed, driving, cleaning, working and the patients sex life. A physical examination is conducted extensively concentrating on range of motion. Observations of deformities are noted because they may hinder the performance of the patient. The therapist assesses the need for splints or supports which might benefit the patient and helps design specific assistive devices.
“It is the job of the occupational therapist to innovate plans to overcome the imposed limitations while helping the patient reduce strain and prevent further damage by teaching techniques that conserve energy” (Sasser 75). There are numerous ways to make daily living easier. The most crucial part of therapy is assessing the patient’s environment. All the people, cultural conditions and physical objects that are around them, create their environment. The behavior and development of people is a direct result of the interaction between them and their surroundings. A patient’s behavior is greatly effected when they are mismatched with their environment. “A persons environment match is present when the persons level of competence matches the demands of the environment” (Cole 75). Full participation by the patient is required to make it practicable. The importance of occupational therapy is to help the patient use what they have to the fullest. Therapists know that in this particular field there will not be a dramatic improvement, but there will be a better quality of life lived by the patient.
In today’s world, it is extremely important to keep accurate records on all aspects of care giving. According to Sladyk, “Documentation is one of the most important duties an occupational therapist can have aside from treating the patient” (1...

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...ing, organizing, analyzing, generating, integrating and evaluating. It is essential that as occupational therapy students we become self-determining, independent thinkers. Technical writing skills will be used throughout our career. Mastering technical writing will come with practice and will prove to be one of the most instrumental elements we have learned in our curriculum.

Works Cited
Aquaviva, J.D. Effective Documentation for Occupational Therapy. Bethesda, MD: American
Occupational Therapy Association, 1992.

Early, M.B. Mental Health Concepts and Techniques for the Occupational Therapist Assistant.
2nd ed. New York, NY: Raven Press, 1993.

Markell, Mike. Technical Communication: Situations and Strategies. 5th ed. Boston, MA:
Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1998.

Okeema, Kathleen. Cognition and Perception in Occupational Therapy. Gaithsburg, MD:
Aspen Publishing, 1993.

Reed, K.L. Quick Reference to Occupational Therapy. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen
Publications, 1991.

Sasser, Martha. The Practice of Occupational Therapy. 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-
Year Book, Inc, 1998.

Sladyk, Karen. OT Student Primer: A Guide to College Success. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK
Incorporated, 1997.

In this essay, the author

  • Defines occupational therapy as an activity, physical or mental, that aids in a patient’s recovery from disease or injury.
  • Explains that the occupational therapist takes a history from the patient and conducts an extensive interview. the therapist assesses the need for splints or supports.
  • Explains the importance of occupational therapy to help the patient use what they have to the fullest.
  • Explains that it is important to keep accurate records on all aspects of care. as occupational therapy students, it's imperative that they develop these skills and become proficient in the art of technical writing.
  • Explains that documentation is the means by which we communicate our treatment to other health professionals and third party payers.
  • Explains the three major reasons to be honest as a communicator in order to implement the guidelines for excellent technical communication.
  • Explains that a treatment plan is the first formal piece of documentation an occupational therapy student is likely to write. the cota implements the plan and delivers treatment.
  • Explains that each facility has established its own method for documenting a treatment plan. some facilities have developed critical pathways that dictate the treatment plans, reducing the paperwork.
  • Explains that inaccuracy is paramount in all medical records. documentation that is understandable is legible, easy to read, and void of jargon.
  • Explains occupational therapists must follow their code of ethics which places the patient in the highest standard of quality care.
  • Explains that technical writing skills such as creating progress reports and developing status reports are needed in building a strong occupational therapy treatment plan.
  • Explains that a progress report communicates to supervisors and/or organizations the current status of patient. the tone should be objective, neither defensive nor casual.
  • Explains that the first step in writing therapy treatment plan is to establish a list of problems and show behavioral evidence that these are problems affecting their daily life.
  • Explains that lists can be useful in structuring a treatment plan for patients. functional activities promote repetition and maintain interest.
  • Explains critical thinking and technical writing skills are essential to becoming a competent occupational therapy practitioner.
  • Cites aquaviva, j.d., early, m.b. and markell, mike. technical communication: situations and strategies.
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