Monthly Archives: November 2015

Communication in Occupational Therapy

Communication in Occupational Therapy

Communication is crucial in occupational therapy if the person wants to get well in a timely manner. Insurance companies also want ‘timely fashion’ as they generally provide too few sessions but expect great results. As the mentor on a team, I like to discuss with the patient about what their goals are for the six weeks of visits and together we would then come up with a plan for achieving those goals. As an occupational therapist, you will typically work on functionality and have the person work on different ways to avoid aggravating their pain.

As the mentor, my role is to get the person expressing their needs and wants of the occupational therapist and their expectations. as we need them to tell us what is their purpose for wanting occupational therapy. Once the client has laid out their goals, we can get to work on making those goals happen. As professionals we need to remember we can’t always go off of the doctor’s reports or the IEP because the client often times doesn’t tell their doctor everything about the pain or the struggles with a certain task. The patient must feel comfortable, safe and be genuinely truthful about their pain or the difficulties in doing daily tasks.

As an occupational therapist and mentor on the care plan, we are there to work with the person so they are able to do more things comfortably. The occupational therapist has to remember that they need to take the client’s lead as they are the expert on their bodies and know what feels normal and what feels off. My unique position of both being a professional in the field and receiving the services myself, I understand where the client is coming from. My advice for any new occupational therapist is to listen, listen and listen again to the patient. If you do, you may be able to achieve most of your patient’s goals within the six week period.
Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

Occupational Therapy: Figuring Out Maximum Mobility

Figuring Out Maximum Mobility

As I work along side occupational therapists, I am always figuring out how to give the clients maximum mobility. I believe that it is NOT how someone moves but rather how they move independently within their own ability. As an Occupational Therapist, your main concern is going to be your client’s independence and their comfort when doing the task rather than how they look doing it. Take walking as an example; if the client is most comfortable walking in an walker with a sling to support them, who cares if they look like a giant baby. The important thing is that they can indeed walk independently!
As a mentor, I don’t pay attention to how the children look doing a task but rather that the person is able to do the task independently. Children with severe disabilities have the desire to play with friends and they are able to do that better if they can move independently. Your job is to give the client maximum independence because it not only raises the person’s self esteem, it helps them stay mobile. My goal for every one of my clients is to give them ultimately, the most mobility possible because they are children who deserve to play with their peers.
The job of an occupational therapist is to give the individual mobility so they can do some more activities independently. Children who are able to do more things independently tend to have higher self confidence and require less care from a staff. As mentors and occupational therapists, we must always strive for the client to be able to do most of their daily tasks with minimum assistance, as it is going to do wonders for their self esteem. As long as the client is safe doing tasks independently, I am all-in for adapting equipment or new ways to aide the activity.

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children