Credentials and Education
Occupational Therapists graduating from an accredited program today have Master’s and Doctoral Degrees, and admission to occupational therapy degree programs is competitive. These programs are 2-3 years of graduate work after the student has obtained their Bachelor’s Degree.
The Occupational Therapy Profession & Scope of Practice
In its simplest terms, occupational therapists help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Unlike other professions, occupational therapy helps people function in all of their environments (e.g., home, work, school, community) and addresses the physical, psychological, and cognitive aspects of their well-being through engagement in occupation.
Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and develop social skills, helping people recovering from injury to regain function through retraining and/or adaptations, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client, family, and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or to modify the intervention plan based on the patient’s needs and skills.
Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments, recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, training in how to modify a task or activity to facilitate participation, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers.
Some of the Most Commonly Treated Diagnoses, that can be helped in many ways by Occupational Therapy:
- Hand Injuries / Trauma to include yet not limited to: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), Dupuytren’s Contracture (conservative vs post surgical treatment), post surgical elbow, wrist, digit fracture (s), wrist sprain, elbow tendonitis (also referred to as Tennis Elbow ) and fabrication of static splints as prescribed by MD
- Shoulder pain, rotator insufficiency and status- post Rotator Repair Surgery Rehabilitation treatment
- Arthritic Conditions for client education, pain management and simplification of completing Activity of Daily Living Tasks
- Low Vision
- Work Station / Ergonomic Assessment and Recommendations
- Cognitive Skills Rehab for memory – judgement – safety awareness and attention to activity to promote improved mental strength
- Home Assessment as indicated and appropriate to diagnosis
- Stroke Victims for improved cognition; limb function; independence with activities of daily living and/or balance
- Clients diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s / Dementia