What is Occupational Therapy?
As Health professionals, occupational therapists work with people of all ages who may have physical, mental or intellectual challenges that may compromise their ability to participate in the routines of daily living. The goal of occupational therapy is to minimize or prevent the effects of these challenges on people's lives, enabling them carry out their life roles as independently as possible.
Examples of how an occupational therapist can help their clients include:
- Adapting materials and/or equipment. For example, fabricating splints for clients that have arthritis or a repetitive strain injury
- Performing developmental assessments and providing recommendations to assist preschoolers in attaining age appropriate skills
- Teaching clients new ways of doing things. For example, teaching safe bathing and dressing following a back injury
- Teaching clients new ways to cope with stress. For example, through stress management and assertiveness training
- Performing cognitive and perceptual assessments and developing retraining programs for clients following a neurological event
- Making equipment and/or environmental recommendations to increase a client's safety and independence in their home
Who can Benefit from Occupational Therapy?
People of all ages who want to improve their day-to-day living skills (self-care, leisure, productivity) can benefit from occupational therapy. By increasing the client's independence and sense of purpose the benefits of occupational therapy often extend to the clients family, friends and employers. Examples of health problems that may interfere with one's day-to-day living skills include:
- Neurological events – spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke
- Mental health problems – depression, schizophrenia
- Accident injuries – motor vehicle or work related
- Childhood conditions – autism, ADHD, chromosomal abnormalities, cerebral palsy, spina bifida
- Neurological conditions – parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, ALS, multiple sclerosis
- Orthopedic conditions – arthritis, low back pain, joint replacements
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Cumulative trauma injuries – tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome
Qualifications of Occupational Therapists
In order to practice legally in Prince Edward Island, occupational therapists must have:
- graduated from a recognized university program
- completed a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised clinical fieldwork
- completed the processes to become registered with the Prince Edward Island Occupational Therapists Registration Board