All patients that are referred to Tulsa Bone & Joint Hand Therapy will initially have an evaluation with an Occupational Therapist. After the initial evaluation, the patient will set up their appointments and may notice they are scheduled with a COTA for some of their visits. Patients may not know or understand COTA’s role and may be hesitant to see them.
A COTA is a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant. They have attended college and receive an Associate degree in Applied Science. A COTA is also required to pass National Boards and carry a state medical license in order to treat patients. However, a COTA cannot work without being under supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L or OT).
Angela Averill is our only COTA here at Tulsa Bone & Joint. She has been in the hand therapy setting for 6 years. She is qualified to provide manual treatment to a patient’s affected body part (finger, wrist, elbow etc.), perform ASTYM, various modalities, and instruct the patient in exercises and activities that have been specified in the Plan of Care. Angela is in constant communication with the OTR about the patients treatment and progression. She follows the Care Plan established during the initial evaluation and will address any questions or concerns directly with OTR. Angela has shadowed our doctors to get a better understanding of the diagnoses treated here at Tulsa Bone & Joint, and she will occasionally assist in fabrication of splints.
Angela enjoys interacting with patients and being part of the expert team helping our patients reach their goals and return to prior level of function.
We here at Tulsa Bone & Joint are happy to have her as part of our Hand Therapy Team.
By Rebecca Storey, OTR/L, CHT
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy was founded in 1917 and today has more than 213,000 OT professionals that practice nationwide. Occupational therapy has evolved over the past centennial to encompass a science-driven, evidence-based profession designed to help clients live their lives to their maximum potential through the focus of mind-body connection and purposeful activities. These things can include anything from your job duties, hobbies, or daily activities such as cooking/dressing/cleaning/etc.
How does Occupational Therapy differ from Physical Therapy?
Part of our rehabilitation team here at Tulsa Bone and Joint includes 4 licensed Occupational Therapists and 1 licensed Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. In the outpatient orthopedic setting, occupational therapists typically treat the upper extremity. Physical therapists typically treat the spine and lower extremities. This can vary depending on the treatment setting. The occupational therapists in our clinics have many years of experience treating upper extremity conditions. They work very closely with our surgeons and orthopedic doctors, providing custom splinting and patient-centered care for various diagnoses.
April is Occupational Therapy Month
Tulsa Bone and Joint would like for you to join us in celebrating our Occupational Therapists. Look for posts on our blog and Facebook throughout the month as we introduce our staff and share some insight as to what drives them as Occupational Therapists and the experiences that lead them to our practice. #OTMonth
By Rebecca Storey, OTR/L
What do you think of when you think of Hand Therapy?
Most the time we think of “splints,” or in Medicare terms, “orthosis.” Custom orthoses can be fabricated using a thermoplastic material that is uniquely molded to the individual, depending on the body part or area being treated. Your doctor may order a custom orthosis for many different reasons, which may include:
Post-surgical positioning for proper healing
Arthritis and/or joint support
Correction for joint abnormalities (pediatric and adult)
Joint protection while engaging in sports
And various other conditions
With your therapist’s expertise and using the specialized materials, each orthosis is cut, then mold specifically to the individual and the area being treating. The benefit of this is the therapist can make adjustments or modifications in order to maintain skin integrity, minimize pressure points, allow for changes due to swelling, access to care for open and healing wounds, maintain proper movement patterns, increase ROM and many other benefits.
Hand Therapists have unique experience in this area due to their unique training, skilled hands and keen eye for details.