By the Tulsa Bone & Joint Occupational Therapy Team
“Occupational Therapy is where science, creativity, and compassion collide.” -Jessica Kensky (2016, AOTA Welcome Ceremony)
April is Occupational Therapy Month, so we’d like to help our audience understand our role as occupational therapists a little better. Occupational therapy is a unique discipline that serves to enhance a patient’s ability to participate in the activities that “occupy” their time and give meaning to their lives following injury, illness, or disability. As occupational therapists, we strive to maximize our patients’ potential through use of functional activities.
Occupational therapists (OTs) and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs) are located in numerous settings, including but not limited to outpatient clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, home healthcare, mental health facilities, and community outreach facilities. Occupational therapists are experts in activity analysis. We address a client’s performance skills, patterns, personal factors, activity demands, environments, and contexts in efforts to make our patients successful with their desired activities.
Here at Tulsa Bone and Joint, we have a passionate team of both occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants specializing in hand therapy. This specialized practice area focuses on treating complex injuries from the shoulder to the tips of the fingers. Hands are arguably one of the most functional parts of our bodies, as they allow us to interact with our environment. Injury, illness, or disability involving the upper extremity often affects a person’s ability to perform activities such as dressing, grooming, medication management, household management, work/school tasks (writing, typing, lifting), and leisure participation.
Occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants may incorporate activity modifications, adaptive devices, and assistive technology into the patient’s care plan in order to maximize the patient’s function. Modifications can include custom orthotics to stabilize structures, increase movement, preserve movement, or enhance function. Through education and activity modifications, therapists are able to help patients to return to their desired roles and responsibilities, while following the post-surgical restrictions set by the physician.
Our occupational therapists take a client-centered and occupation-based approach to treating various diagnoses such as: fractures, arthritis, rheumatic diseases, crush injuries, amputations, dislocations, congenital abnormalities, soft tissue injuries, hand trauma, nerve injuries, and pain. At Tulsa Bone and Joint, our therapists work closely with the physicians on campus to provide the upmost care to our patients through conservative treatment or post-operative care.
Each of our occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants have more than 4,000 hours of experience treating upper extremity specific diagnoses. Our evaluating therapists have a Master’s level degree of Occupational Therapy and attend continuing education courses each year to maximize their skills to serve you best.
Our staff will be happy to assist you with any of your upper extremity rehabilitation needs. Please join us in celebrating throughout the month of April for Occupational Therapy Month!