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...
... middle of paper ...
...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.
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
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