ATF Medical joins the American Association of Occupational Therapists (AOTA) in celebrating April as OT Month.
OTs are frequently associated with helping individuals redevelop and maintain the ability to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing, eating, and grooming. They do that … and much more.
You’ll find OTs practicing in nearly every realm of medicine, including mental health and sleep assessment. Their overarching role is to help people regain strength and functionality after an illness or injury. One thing that makes OTs unique is their ability to look at a situation holistically – which helps deliver the best outcomes.
In workers’ compensation, these highly skilled and highly educated clinicians are valuable members of an injured worker’s care team. Within workers’ compensation, OTs have several different areas of practice, including adaptive housing/home modifications.
A home modification OT’s goal is to maximize a worker’s independence and safety in their home. An assessment of the person and environment is conducted with a focus on what activities the IW is having difficulty performing in the home and what physical barriers the home presents. Then the OT will then develop a plan for a better “person-environment fit.”
This plan may include a scope of work, floorplan drawings, recommendations for structural modifications, medical equipment, complex rehab technology, and/or assistive technologies. Common projects include planning for home entrances, emergency egresses, along with bathroom and kitchen accessibility.
OTs that specialize in work rehabilitation concentrate on the worker in their vocational role. This OT conducts Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs) that determine an employee’s work capacity and barriers to performance and writes a customized rehab plan to foster recovery. This may include work conditioning, strengthening, worksite ergonomics, worksite modifications, or task modifications – all with the goal of facilitating the worker’s return to work.
April is the month to recognize the value OTs bring, so thank the OT on your claim for their expertise and service. Tagging them on social media is one way to show appreciation.