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Occupational Therapists in People with Various Health Conditions

Please find more information of occupational therapy at http://www.otat.org

What sort of roles do occupational therapists undertake in people with arthritis?

• joint protection techniques
• work simplification / energy conservation techniques<
• prescription and provision of assistive equipment
• prescription and production of splints
• home modifications
• maintain range of movement and muscle strength
• education
• stress and pain management strategies
• relaxation techniques
• psychological support 

What sort of roles do occupational therapists undertake in people with burns?

• maximize personal independence in self-care, leisure and work roles
• compensate for disabilities
• adjustment to injury through education and coping strategies
• wound care
• scar management
• preventing loss of movement through splinting and exercises
• sensory retraining
• prescription of assistive equipment 

What sort of roles do occupational therapists undertake in children with medical conditions?

• Assessing children's abilities in fine motor, gross motor and perceptual skills.
• Teach techniques to improve school skills (e.g. pencil grasp, posture, hand-writing & drawing)
• Teach children how to independently do daily activities (e.g. dressing & feeding)
• Provide wheel chairs and other equipment required
• Create splints to improve the child's use of their hands
• Run fun activities for children who are very ill
• Health Promotion

What sort of roles do occupational therapists undertake in communities?

• Consult the community to see what they see are the important health problems to address
• Educate individuals and communities about healthier lifestyles and behaviours (e.g. diet, exercise, stress management, and balanced activities)
• Provide activities to assist people to take up healthier lifestyles 

What sort of roles do occupational therapists undertake in working people?

• Visit workplace to assess safety hazards and risks
• Suggest changes to work locations, equipment and activities to ensure that work can be completed safely
• Educate employers and workers about occupational health & safety legislation, how this can be followed, and the consequences for ignoring it
• Provide training in manual handling and other safe work practices. 

What roles do occupational therapists undertake in people with mental illnesses?

• Relaxation techniques
• Anger management
• Stress management
• Counseling
• Problem solving skill training
• Life skill training (e.g. budgeting, transport, cooking)
• Individual and group work
• Communication and social skills training
• Exploring leisure and recreation options
• Managing taking of medications
• Managing side-effects of medication
• Managing symptoms of illness 

What sort of roles do occupational therapists undertake in people with chronic conditions?

• maximizing personal independence in self-care, leisure, and work roles
• education on establishing routines and balancing daily activities
• promotion of normal movement
• fine motor skills training
• compensate for disabilities
• prevention of deformity and spasticity
• maximizing personal independence
• compensate for disabilities
• home modification and environmental control systems
• management of perceptual, sensory, cognitive and behaviour problems
• provision of slings and cushioning to support the shoulder
• wheelchair and transport training
• coping strategies to reestablish family, work, and leisure roles
• discharge planning / advise
• social and psychological support
• referral to other services within the community
• splint prescription and production 

What roles do occupational therapists undertake in people with neurological disorders?

• Equipment prescription and provision
• Training in use of equipment
• Issuing wheelchairs and training in use
• Modifying activities and tasks
• Individual and group activities
• Co-ordinate leisure and recreational activities
• Counseling
• Referrals to community services
• Addressing issues of physical comfort and health 

What sort of roles do occupational therapists undertake in people with operations or amputations?

• maximize personal independence in self-care, leisure and work roles
• improve joint motion and strengthen muscles
• prescription of assistive equipment and training
• massage and stump care
• coping strategies and psychological support
• home modification
• coping and relaxation strategies

What sort of roles do occupational therapists undertake in people with pain?

• prevention of pain syndromes
• maximize personal independence in self-care, leisure and work roles
• compensate for disabilities
• heat treatments
• exercise programs
• electrical nerve stimulation
• massage and trigger point therapy
• movements and strengthening exercises
• stress and pain management strategies
• home modifications
• coping strategies 

What roles do occupational therapists undertake in children and adults with a terminal illness?

• counseling
• relaxation techniques
• stress management
• pain management
• improving quality of life
• encouraging meaningful activities
• bereavement support for individuals, families and others
• providing home modifications and equipment
• facilitating sense of personal closure
• spiritual support
• facilitating carrying out of final wishes
• referring to community services and support groups 

What sort of roles do occupational therapists undertake in people with hand injuries?

• Assessment
• Splinting, strapping
• Muscle strengthening / stretching, coordination, and fine motor exercises
• Scar management, massage, wound care
• Prescription of adaptive equipment
• Coping strategies
• immobilize stabilize, or protect tissues
• optimal functional use
• substitute for paralyzed muscles
• correct deformity

What sort of roles do occupational therapists undertake in people with physical disabilities?

• Analyzing previous jobs of the worker, along with other jobs within their workplace that they are interested in
• Liaising with insurance companies, employers and doctors about the workers rehabilitation
• Assessing the workers abilities to do a variety of different tasks (this may require observing them do a task or using specialized equipment)
• Assisting the worker to relearn how to do a job despite their injury or disability, and with minimal risk of re-injury
• Suggesting activities (e.g. exercise and healthy diet) to reduce the impact of the injury to prepare the worker to return to a job
• Providing evidence in courts for workers compensation claims

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