We often get asked the question, “What is an Occupational Therapist?” We asked Kristin the same question, and she said she’d like to let everyone know! This is the first post in a two part series on what an OT is. Enjoy!
A day in the life of a community-based Occupational Therapist
Hi everyone, this is Kristin. I am excited and very honoured to be part of the team at Alongside You as an Occupational Therapist. Coming on board with Alongside You is a unique opportunity for me to not only establish valuable connections and roots within the community, but also provide services that are accessible to those who may fall outside of the traditional occupational therapy umbrella (e.g. hospital-based, Home Care, long-term care facilities etc.).
To give you an idea of the type of services I may be able to provide, here is a glance at what a typical day might look like for me…
(these are hypothetical scenarios and do not represent current or past clients)
9:00am – Get to the office. Check work emails. Prepare for the day’s clients. Prep time may include gathering necessary assessment forms, putting together handouts, looking up directions to a client’s home, or picking up equipment from a vendor to trial with a client.
11:00am – Initial consultation with a new client. She has been in a motor vehicle accident that has left her with chronic back pain. Because of this, she is having difficulty managing some of her daily activities, is sleeping poorly, and is discouraged because she has not been able to keep up with her gardening. After gathering information about her current daily routines and habits, I complete a brief functional screen to get a sense of her physical abilities and level of discomfort. Together, we decide that we will focus on activity modification, positioning, and energy conservation as our goals for the next two sessions to help restore her ability to participate in her daily activities.
1:00pm – Follow-up treatment session with a client who is struggling with re-defining his roles and occupations after an injury forced him into early retirement. We complete an interest checklist together and he identifies giving back to his community as an important part of his self-identity. We discuss various ways he may be able to do this and I provide him with information on local volunteer resources. He has some anxiety around meeting new people, so we plan to meet for our next session at the rec centre to meet the volunteer coordinator together.
3:00pm – Home assessment. An elderly couple has concerns regarding their ability to continue living in their home safely. Being in the actual home environment allows me to visualize barriers and potential hazards and provide appropriate recommendations for modifications or equipment that allow for greater safety and independence within the home. I will return next week with some equipment for them to trial.
4:30pm – Make sure all of my paperwork and documentation is complete from today’s appointments. Write up the equipment recommendations for my home assessment earlier today and call vendors to arrange an equipment trial. Send an email to the volunteer coordinator to schedule a visit next week. Return any missed calls or emails and pack up and head home!
Stay tuned for Part Two where Kristin will answer a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)! If after reading this you think she might be able to help you, please give her a call at (604) 283-7827 or email her through our contact form. She’d love to hear from you!