Occupational Therapy: Teamwork

Occupational Therapy: Teamwork

“T” is for teamwork!

Teamwork is essential for best occupational therapy practice. OTs commonly work with physical therapists, speech therapists, social workers, nurses, and family members/friends for optimal treatment! Each member of a client’s team has an important role in their return to function, potential discharge, or development; therefore, teamwork is a requirement! With this in mind, it is also important that each member of the team communicates adequately and everyone is on the same page when working with a client. Like they say, teamwork makes the dreamwork.

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Occupational Therapy Month: Sock Aid

Occupational Therapy Month: Sock Aid

“S” is for “sock aid”, also known as “sock donner”.

A sock aid is an adaptive device used to help individuals put on socks! The sock aid is beneficial for individuals with arthritis who have limited range of motion to bend down and put on socks. Additionally, it can be beneficial for individuals with poor motor planning who may experience difficulty knowing how to put on their socks.

How it works: you put the sock over top the end piece so that there is an opening for your foot. Slip your foot inside and pull the strings/straps. The sock stays on the foot and the end piece is ready again to put on the second sock!

Here is a picture of my friends practicing with the sock aid!

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Occupational Therapy Month: Research

Occupational Therapy Month: Research

“R” is for research…..dreaded research.

As the health care field constantly changes, research becomes more and more important. OTs are responsible to stay up-to-date with the latest topics and evidence-based practice approaches for interventions. Additionally, research becomes important when working with a diagnosis you’ve never heard of to ensure clinical competence and adequate application of clinical reasoning.

As the semester unwinds, our first research experience is coming to a close. My group completed a literature review on the effectiveness of augmentative and alternative communication for promoting functional language development in children with autism. Research is tedious and can be monotonous at times but its implications for OT practice are imperative so it’s just something that I need to come to accept.

Also, I will be completing a research project next semester with my graduate assistantship supervisor (more on that once I know exactly what we will be doing).

All in all, research isn’t the best part of this field, but it comes with the territory. As our world continues to change, as technology becomes more advanced, and as new medical diagnoses are discovered and better understood, research becomes essential for continued competence in the health care field.

Occupational Therapy Month: Quality of Life

Occupational Therapy Month: Quality of Life

“Q” is for quality of life!

Occupational therapists strive to enhance quality of life for all clients. Quality of life involves being able to do what a person wants and needs to do – the essence of OT! What makes everyone’s quality of life different depends on what the person finds meaningful. We, as OTs, try to amplify quality of life as much as possible!

Additionally, it is important for OTs, as health care professionals, to maintain quality of life through occupational balance and self-care. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of education and job responsibilities. Quality of life may be hindered when self-care isn’t prioritized. Being able to find occupational balance in doing things that one finds enjoyable is equally as important as trying to augment someone else’s quality of life.

Occupational Therapy Month: Proprioception

Occupational Therapy Month: Proprioception

Letter “p” is for proprioception!

Proprioception is one’s awareness of one’s body in space. Proprioception is actually one of our eight senses… yes, there are eight. This is knowing how far to stay away from a wall so you’re not rubbing against it. This is knowing how how much strength to use when picking up a glass of water so that it doesn’t slip out of our hands. This is knowing how much pressure to use on a pencil when writing so the lead isn’t too light nor too dark.

Individuals with poor proprioception are often seen as clumsy – bumping into things, tripping frequently, and stomping while walking, among others. Proprioception can be improved with deep pressure (i.e. hand squeezes, being covered up in pillows, or being rolled on by someone else laying on top of a stability ball (true fact), etc). These are the “crash and burn” kids we may come into contact. These are the kids that crave proprioceptive input.

We learned about proprioceptive input during our sensory lab earlier this semester. Here is a picture of my friend, Erica, providing deep pressure with the stability ball and then me rolling through the steam roller!

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Occupational Therapy Month: Occupations

Occupational Therapy Month: Occupations

“O” is for occupations!

As implied by the name, occupational therapists work with individuals on fulfilling their meaningful and necessary occupations. Occupations are what you engage in every day, by need or by choice. These include activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), rest & sleep, education, work, leisure, play, and social participation. Within each or these occupations lies specifics which are listed below for your viewing pleasure. Occupations are what OTs address. OTs work to promote independence within an individual’s necessary and meaningful occupations.

Occupations:

ADLs – feeding, eating, toileting, bathing, dressing, functional mobility, sex, personal hygiene

IADLs – care of others, care of pets, health maintenance/management, home maintenance/management, money management, meal preparation, safety

Rest & sleep – participation in rest & sleep

Education – formal & informal participation, education exploration

Work – seeking employment interests, work participation

Play – play exploration & participation

Leisure – leisure exploration & participation

Social participation – with family, friends/peers, and the community

What are some of your necessary and meaningful occupations?

Occupational Therapy Month: NBCOT

Occupational Therapy Month: NBCOT

“N” is for NBCOT – the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

As of right now, I am an OTS (occupational therapy student). After I complete my didactic work and both Level II fieldworks, I will sit for my boards to become an OTR (registered occupational therapist). In order for my to “earn my R” I have to pass the NBCOT exam. The NBCOT is the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. The NBCOT is the governing body of registered OTs. In order for be to add those three little letters to the end of my name, I have to pass the NBCOT. No pressure. After I earn my “R”, I will apply for licensure in whichever states I want to practice. Once I obtain licensure I will be an OTR/L. So fancy!

I will probably be taking the NBCOT at the end of winter in 2021. I still have A LOT to learn between now and 2021, so this is a fleeting thought in my mind right now. I just wanted to explain the process to the Internet about what actually needs to be done in order for me to become an OT because I still feel like there’s a lot of confusion. I hope this has cleared things up. Happy Thursday!