Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a health care profession that is focused on enabling people to fully perform all aspects of both their occupation and everyday lives.

During 1914-1918 World War disabled soldiers were faced with new life challenges. Some were confined to their beds; others had limited mobility and were not able to leave the wards. It became evident that vocation training might be the answer. The nursing attendants were referred to as ward aides or occupational aides and they were trained in teaching soldiers mental and manual activities as well as assisting them with aptitude assessment and vocational choices. Over the years with the initiation of universal health care, technological advances in surgery and medical treatments, as well as changes in views of occupation and lifestyle have dramatically affected the role of occupational therapists in society.

Occupational is based on the Latin root word occupation meaning ‘a taking possession, business, employment’. Occupational therapy involves helping to restore the client’s performance and function and to develop and maintain skills.

Occupational Therapists help people that are unable to perform everyday activities due to injury, illness, emotional or psychological problems, surgery, developmental disorders, and aging. Occupational Therapists develop individual and group programs to help rehabilitate and engage them in work, school, or leisure.

    Occupational Therapists duties include:

    • Analyzing and evaluating clients’ levels of functioning in areas such as self-care, work, study, volunteerism, and leisure
    • Developing intervention programs
    • Maintain clients’ records
    • Monitoring progress
    • Recommend health programs to maximize clients’ ability to partake in everyday activities
    • Assist and supervise support personnel and students

    A therapy session will last usually 45 minutes to 1 hour to allow for a thorough consultation and initial physical exam and other testing. More specific testing may follow depending on the unique situation which the client presents (functional capacity, driving evaluation, workplace assessment).

    Occupational Therapists offer their services in healthcare facilities, in schools, and by private and social service agencies, or they may be self-employed. They are available to provide information and treatment options for those interested in learning more.

Specific Techniques


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