October is Occupational Therapy Month
Why I love being an OT...
Celebrating Occupational Therapy Month
Occupational therapy is a little known health care profession. I want to help clarify what occupational therapy is all about. We have similar schooling to physiotherapists which involves completing a Masters degree of Science in occupational therapy. During our schooling, we develop an understanding of human physiology, anatomy, neuroanatomy and psychology. We then learn to apply this knowledge to help individuals function in their daily life.
Our jobs are varied. You will find OT’s in hospitals, rehab centres, private clinics, nursing homes, schools, family health teams, mental health centres and even in neonatal intensive care units.
What do we do? If you look at our national association’s website (CAOT) you will see OT described as:
Occupational therapy helps to solve the problems that interfere with your ability to do the things that are important to you. It can also prevent a problem or minimize its effects.
When an injury, illness, disability or other problem limits your ability to:
• take care of yourself,
• participate in paid or unpaid work, or
• enjoy your leisure time, e.g. hobbies, sports, spending time with family,
then you may want to learn some new skills for the job of living from an occupational therapist.
Occupational therapists believe that occupations (activities) describe who you are and how you feel about yourself. If you are unable to do the things you want, or need to do, to live and enjoy your life, your general well-being may be affected.
What does this mean?
In my practice, I often see children with sensory processing challenges, handwriting difficulties or Autism or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). We assess children and from these results, teach children and their parents how to adapt their environment and activities to allow children to be more successful in their day to day tasks. We also look at where the child has areas to improve and provide meaningful therapeutic activities to help build strength, range of motion, endurance, sensory processing and/or visual perceptual skills.
I have a diverse practice, not only do I see children, I also work with adults with Acquired Brain Injury including those with Post Concussion Syndrome. As an OT, I look at how a person is able to function in their daily life, note their strengths and challenges and then work with my clients to develop strategies to help manage their daily tasks. This can include reviewing proper body mechanics, sleep hygiene, memory strategies, pacing, time management and the list goes on. An Acquired Brain Injury is a life-altering event and often persons have difficulty finding meaning in their daily activities. The underpinning of being an OT is to always frame therapy in meaningful activity. In this way, step by step, we can help a person re-define their life. Each individual is unique and as an OT I look at the entire individual including their family, community, work/school and spiritual environments.
These are just snippets of the varied, challenging and rewarding work that I am able to do as an OT.
Why do I love being an OT?
As an occupational therapist, I get to blend my creative side, my scientific side and my love of interacting with people into all aspects of my job. Want more information about how an OT can help you?
Check out the following websites: