Empowers patients by enabling them to perform basic functions around the home. The occupational therapist achieves this by assessing the patient’s needs, creating a plan of care, implementing the care plan, and making an assessment to determine if progress has been made.
Job Duties & Responsibilities:
- Creates a general treatment plan:
o Determines the need of the patient.
o Formulates a treatment plan.
o Lays out the treatment plan to ensure permanence of gain.
- Identifies methods for home safety:
o Clears home passageways for mobility.
o Puts items within reach of the patient.
o Teaches the patient adaptive methods for doing things.
o Instructs care giver how to perform functions for the patient carefully.
- Provides assisted devices:
o Identifies devices the patient may need.
o Determines the placement of the device.
o Provides resources for obtaining the devices.
o Instructs the patient on how to use the device.
o Installs devices if needed (except for grab bars).
- Teaches skills for daily living:
o Identifies which skills the patient needs to acquire.
o Teaches patients how to dress, shave, comb their hair, use makeup, brush teeth, wash face, feed themselves, use the bathroom, and bathe themselves.
- Demonstrates safe methods to transfer from one furnishing to another:
o Shows how to get on and off a toilet.
o Shows how to get in and out of a bathtub/shower.
o Shows how to get on and off the bed.
- Tests vision functionality:
o Tests patients for visual tracking, perceptual motor skills, acuity, and low vision.
o Looks for a history of visual impairments within the patient’s family.
o Identifies if corrective lenses are necessary.
- Tests for gross cognitive functioning:
o Tests patients for their ability to follow directions, verbalize needs, remember things, problem solve, make judgment calls, and self-medicate.
- Tests for upper and lower extremity functioning:
o Tests patients for range of motion, gross/fine motor functioning, and functional strength.
o Tests patients for edema and skin integrity.
- Teaches Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs):
o Trains patients on meal preparation, housekeeping/home management, laundry, money management.
o Informs patients concerning community resources.
- Sets up patient care plan for HCA:
o Instructs aid to promote independence.
o Gives one-on-one aide training.
- Performs the duties of a Certified Lymphedema Therapist:
o Determines if a patient possesses lymphedema or edema.
o Finds out a detailed patient history.
o Performs Stemmer’s Test.
o Performs a thorough examination of the limb.
o Performs Manual Lymph Drainage/Complete Decongestive Therapy (MLD/CDT) if necessary.
o Gives recommendations following treatment to speed recovery.
High School Diploma or GED required. Must be a Certified Occupational Therapist.
- General Troubleshooting
- Problem solving
- Analyzing information
- Attention to detail
- Decision making
Typical physical demands:
Must be able to lift 25 lbs or more, depending on the weight of the patient. Must be able to endure standing for long periods of time.
Typical mental demands:
Must be able to demonstrate patience and work well with deadlines.
Conditions will differ depending on where patients are located – some will be in assisted living centers while others may be in their own home.