As part of their regular rehabilitation services, occupational therapists at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center educate their patients about ways to heal. But this month, the therapists have added a touch of fun in observance of OT Month.
“This trivia game has been extremely popular with our patients,” said Pam Perry, director of Rehab Services. “Since this is the Easter season, patients have been looking for hidden eggs that contain a rehab trivia question. If they answer correctly, they are eligible for a small prize.
“Everyone has a lot of fun with this, but more important, they are learning about occupational and our other therapies through the trivia questions,” Perry added.
Occupational therapists perform a wide range of services for patients, including those who have been in accidents or suffered a stroke.
“Our therapists can help a stroke victim regain the ability to participate in daily activities,” Perry commented. “For example, if the person doesn’t have full use of a limb, our treatment could incorporate teaching one-handed techniques for dressing, bathing and cooking.”
Perry noted that therapy also includes education on home modifications. “For example,” she said, “it may be necessary to educate a patient on how to remove clothing from a drawer or closet. We may suggest lowering the hanging rod so a patient can reach and remove clothing safely and without pain.
“In some instances,” Perry added, “we make recommendations for adaptive equipment that is needed. Once the patient has the equipment, we will make sure he or she can use it appropriately and safely.”
In the case of a patient who has had an accident, Perry cited the example of a broken wrist. “Initially,” she said, “we focus our attention on the wrist so our patient will have reduced swelling, and can regain range of motion and increase strength. But along with that, we also have the patient perform functional tasks and work on any limitations during therapy sessions.”
Therapists also provide services in the homes of patients who are unable to safely attend sessions at St. Rose because of physical or cognitive limitations. “We provide the same type of patient care in the home, which gives us even more opportunities to educate the in-home caregivers on how to better care for their loved ones,” Perry said.
In addition to Perry, the OT staff includes Sister Mary Vuong OTR/L; Kim Partlow, COTA/L; and Ruth Johnson, COTA/L.
St. Rose Rehab Services also provides physical and speech therapies on a full-time basis.