Occupational Therapists work in a variety of settings with people of all ages. The primary focus of OT is to assist patients in reaching their highest functional potential and becoming as independent as possible. Occupational Therapists at St. Francis Memorial Hospital work with inpatients, outpatients, Home Health patients, residents in 4 nursing homes, and students in 5 area schools.
An Occupational Therapist works with wheelchair positioning, upper extremity strength and endurance training, fine motor coordination, adaptive equipment training and increasing independence with daily tasks. Treatment with the Outpatient Clinic often includes rehabilitation of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. Typical techniques utilized by OT include therapeutic exercise, splint fabrication, scar massage, edema control, daily task training, physical agent modalities, range of motion and strengthening. School-based OT addresses fine motor, visual perception, sensory integration issues, self-help skills and handwriting/computer skills that may be affecting the student’s academic performance. Positioning, feeding and reach/grasp are a few of the components in the early intervention program for ages 0-3.
OT provided to residents in nursing homes usually consists of activity of living (ADL) training in order to promote independence. We also can do Home Safety Assessments to transition patients to home. It is a significant benefit to be able to work with patients in the hospital and then follow them to the nursing home and then to home.