In this paper I conductedresearch on the different roles of Occupational Therapy.
During the research I choseto compare and contrast what these roles play a part in therapy. There are manysimilarities and differences in the roles that take place while treating achild with Autism, mental health recovery, stroke rehabilitation, and breastcancer rehabilitation. The fact sheets vary in approaches from one extreme tothe next. From the role of Occupational Therapy for anyone with Autism includesmore approaches of play therapy. Whereas approaches for breast cancerrehabilitation include things like strengthening their muscles so that they cando every day basic tasks for themselves. These are both very different ways to go about Occupational Therapy tocater to your patient’s needs.
Therefore, the role of Occupational Therapydiffers because you will always get different results for each individualtreatment. The roles of Occupational Therapy will always be different for eachindividual patient, as well as each different treatment from session to sessionso that the patient can receive the best outcome to help them in everyday life.Keywords:needs,rehabilitation, recovery, roles The roles of OccupationalTherapy influence the way each patient heals and recovers. Occupational therapypractitioners use techniques that assist the patient’s as they go abouteveryday life. These activities range from purposeful activities,occupation-centered activities, preparatory activities, and contrivedactivities. Each and every activity is individualized for each client andpatient.
The occupational therapy practitioner will then use the informationgiven from the patient or guardian to adjust their activities and occupationsto help the client learn or relearn these concepts. These will eventuallybecome less difficult for the clients when they are practicing these ideas ondifferent manipulatives to then eventually move on to a “normal setting” intheir lives. The primary goal ofmental health recovery is not to manage symptoms, but rather to facilitateresiliency, health, and wellness in an individual’s community. The AOTA Factsheet on Mental Health Recovery states that, “SAMHSA (2012) identified 10principles including hope, person-driven, many pathways, holistic, peersupport, relational, culture, address trauma, strengths/responsibility, andrespect. These fundamental recovery principles are in full alignment with thephilosophy of occupational therapy.” Mental health recovery can be throughoutmany settings. These may include long term-facilities, hospitals, residentialprograms, and many more. Patients who are receiving mental health recoveryservices may grasp on to coping strategies for their health, budgeting,purchases, controlling their symptoms, and their values vs.
their goals. “Stroke is a leadingcause of adult disability in the United States, with an estimated 7 millionstroke survivors. Each year, approximately 795,000 people have either a new orrecurrent stroke (Nilsen, 2015).” Oftentimes, stroke patients exhibit deficitsin their cognitive, physical, and emotional functioning which can then lead tofurther deficits in areas such as daily activities, school, parenting orleisure. For stroke patients, their therapy can include more accommodations tomake it as easy as possible for the patient to be mobile whether that is ontheir feet, or in a wheelchair. While some patients may still have to relearnactivities that they were able to do before their stroke such as relearningactivities that are functionable such as using a fork, or preparing a meal.
Thesetting for Rehabilitation can be in places such as a nursing home,rehabilitation home, or even in the patient’s atmosphere that they are used toin their home. “Autism is adevelopmental disorder- typically diagnosed around age 3 years- that affectsbrain functions, specifically those areas that control social behaviors andcommunication skills (Scott, 2011).” This disability is seen starting out inpreschool, and kindergarten where services are then offered in school systems,hospitals, clinics, and plenty more. When it comes to Autism, occupationaltherapy practitioners work on things with the patients within a variety of ageslike learning to adapt to the environment around them, transitioning from placeto place, and working on things also like sensory, and basic skills such astaking a shower.
Occupational therapy practitioners will help the patient engagein activities that they usually come about on a typical day. These can includegoing to school, going to work, hanging out with friends. This allows thepractitioner to help the patient with social cues and transitioning.
“Breast cancer diagnosisand treatment can impose multiple degrees of physical and psychological strainon an individual. The physical, emotional, and cognitive implicationsassociated with chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery can result in decreasedability to engage in meaningful occupations, including maintaining one’s home,returning to work, and performing prior social roles and responsibilitiesadequately (Deluliis, 2012).” Breast cancer diagnosis effects how the patientgoes about his/her everyday life. This is when the occupational therapypractitioner steps in to allow the patient to learn things like preventingtheir condition from worsening, learning different ways to strengthen theirmuscles as they are very weak at this time. This rehabilitation process can beseen in places such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and hospice careunits where it allows them to learn these occupations to help them manage theirlife at the best of their abilities. Rehabilitation andrecovery seem to sound the same and be the same, but they are not. Thoughoccupational therapy offers assistance, rehabilitation offers assistance frommore than just the occupational therapy practitioner where they are able to bein a possible home or facility that offers them assistance as well.
Recovery ismore so focusing on the process of what it takes to overcome the possiblebattle of the patient’s condition. Rehabilitation may also start treatment athome, and move to a facility for more assistance until the patient feels morecomfortable. Breast cancer rehabilitation and stroke rehabilitation both offervery similar therapeutic mechanisms. Both of them focus on a variety of ways tocope with their conditions as well as strengthening their muscles as they arevery weak due to their conditions that the patient is in. Mental healthrecovery focuses on more personal goals and awareness of resources.Occupational therapy practitioners for people with autism focus on the conceptsof social norms, social environment, interactions, and learning to take care ofthemselves.
While these four topics and their roles with occupational therapyare different, they all come down to the same thing. That is learning orrelearning meaningful activities of one’s daily life. These activities seem to belittle but when someone such as a stroke patient having to relearn how to use afork, it becomes very difficult and frustrating for the patient. This is also wherethe occupational therapy practitioner steps in to assist with the ability to helpthe patient’s mindset while learning and relearning these “basic” activities inlife to help them to be able to function in everyday activities.