Occupational therapy applies theory and research to practice, using an individual's occupation as the focal point for intervention and rehabilitation. Occupation is all the activities or tasks that a person performs each day. Occupational therapists work to help people with injuries or illnesses maintain roles and gain skills to return to work, school or home.
Occupational therapy is a health profession of the helping and treating kind. It is a health-related field that considers environmental, social, cultural, personal, and workplace influences as important determinants of individuals’ abilities to do activities. Occupational therapy practitioners help clients improve their functional skills and independence in daily occupations through intervention strategies that are tailored to the needs of each client.
Occupational therapists are allied health professionals and use their specialized training to help develop, recover or maintain the everyday skills required for performing occupation. They also assist people with disabilities to enhance their everyday skills, which can lead to more independence.
Occupational therapists work with patients of all ages who have a wide range of medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, traumatic brain injury, cancer and cerebral palsy. Occupational therapists work with individuals of all ages and with various organizations, including companies and governments. The practice of occupational therapy focuses on maintenance of health, prevention of disability, and improvement of participation in occupations after illness, accident or disability.
Occupational therapists are trained to analyze these activities and tasks to determine what skills and abilities are required to complete them. If a person has difficulty engaging fully in day-to-day occupations, an occupational therapist works with that person to assess why he or she cannot perform the specific activities and tasks that make up an occupation. Occupational therapy is used for building the skills needed for independent participation in daily occupations such as washing dishes, shopping, using a computer keyboard or telephone, or preparing meals.
Occupational therapy education includes the study of basic sciences such as anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. The coursework also includes study of human development and foundations for occupational therapy practice. Advanced courses build on the knowledge learned in earlier courses and help prepare students to function as occupational therapists.
A key element of occupational therapy practice is the establishment of therapist-patient partnerships. For patients to identify meaningful occupations despite difficulties, an initial assessment of occupation and work practices is essential. Occupational assessment procedures focus on occupation-centered self-reports and inservice training to enable the therapist and patient to interact effectively.
Establishing therapist-patient partnerships is an important part of a successful therapy program. Initial assessments enable patients to identify the occupations that are most meaningful to them and that they have difficulty performing. These can be seen as the initial steps in setting goals to help determine therapy goals, which will ultimately lead to helping patients regain a sense of self-control in their lives.
One of the most important steps in the occupational therapy process is the initial assessment. Occupational therapists use these assessments to evaluate what occupations patients perceive as meaningful in their lives and whether they are able to perform them. The ability for patients to engage in occupations that are meaningful to them has been linked with greater resilience after exposure to trauma or stressful events, lower levels of anxiety and depression, faster recovery from acute illness, and even a reduced risk of death.
Occupational Therapy is an outcome based profession. O.T. focuses on the individual’s ability to participate in meaningful occupations in work, leisure, home living and community environments. Occupational Therapy is not restricted to treating impairments, but also addresses a variety of factors that impact performance. Occupational therapy and rehabilitation in Bergen County, New Jersey.