Occupational Therapy Month: A Time to Thank
April is Occupational Therapy month. In this last week, we at Cascade Health would like to take a moment to recognize and celebrate our occupational therapists, whose incredible talent and dedication to helping people regain the ability to perform daily tasks makes a dramatic difference in the health of our community.
Like physical therapy, occupational therapy focuses on managing pain using noninvasive/nonsurgical techniques. But whereas physical therapy helps people cope with pain, increase range of motion and improve endurance, occupational therapy focuses on how people perform the activities and roles that are most important to their daily lives.
Occupational therapists (OTs) take a comprehensive approach to building and restoring their patients’ abilities to perform daily tasks of life. An OT may help someone who suffered a stroke, for instance, relearn how to dress themselves. They may work with people with permanent disabilities such as cerebral palsy learn how to use adaptive equipment to gain more independence. Or they may help an injured worker regain functional ability needed to effectively practice their trade.
At Cascade Health, occupational therapists work in three different departments to help our patients in meaningful ways.
Our Home Health department provides skilled nursing care to help people recover from illnesses, injuries and medical procedures in their own homes. Occupational therapists work in partnership with the nursing staff to evaluate patients and develop a plan to improve their ability to complete daily tasks. For instance, if someone has been injured and is not as steady on their feet as they used to be, or needs adaptive equipment to get around, the OT may observe them as they complete activities such as cooking or moving about their house and make recommendations about how it can be done safely and independently.
Workplace Injury Occupational Therapy
OTs at our main occupational therapy office concentrate on workplace injury rehabilitation, with a focus on injuries of the upper extremities. The arms, wrists and hands play such a key role in most people’s work that losing function can have a significant impact on their physical and financial wellbeing. OTs help people remaster daily or work-related activities so they can return to work and independence as quickly as possible.
Hand Therapy Clinic
Occupational therapists with certifications in hand therapy specialize in treating injuries, post-operative care, custom orthotic fabrication and wound care. Any number of injuries and conditions affecting the hands can severely limit people’s ability to carry out daily functions we don’t normally even think about – opening packaging, enjoying hobbies, playing an instrument and of course, working.
Cascade Health’s occupational therapists provide a wide variety of services to people with different conditions, needs and health goals to help them reach optimal functional health. We are proud to have some of the best OTs in Lane County working with us to ensure that our patients receive the best care possible. Though OTs in each of our departments may specialize in different areas, they all have one main goal in common: to improve the quality of their patient’s life. Thank you all for your compassionate service to this community!
“Occupational therapy is where science, creativity and compassion collide.” – Jessica Kensky
By Deanne Galbraith-Bain, Physical & Hand Therapy Manager