April 30, 2016 By Fleur Minott Nembhard
So, you’ve suffered an injury or illness and you have a referral to see the Occupational Therapist, what should you expect and what are the therapist’s expectations of you?
Your first visit will be an evaluation and during this period, you will be asked several questions as well as undergo a series of tests to determine your current level of function. Any information from your referral source, along with the results of the assessments, will be used to establish a baseline of your condition. If you are unable to communicate, questions will be asked of the family member/caregiver accompanying you.
From this baseline, a treatment plan and goals are established.
During this initial session you can expect a summary of the findings to be discussed with you and a plan of treatment explained. Depending on the nature of your complaint, you may:
In addition to the management by the occupational therapist, the success of your treatment will also depend on 6 tasks which you (and your carer) have to fulfill. These are your Occupational Therapist’s expectations of you:
Practice does make perfect! Your consistent performance of your home programme will be essential to the success of your therapy. Your therapy visits while important, are not the only keys to success. You have a responsibility to yourself to follow your programme. Remember- Repetition equals Retention.
Don’t focus on what you can’t do. Compare what you can do today that you couldn’t last week or last month. Baby steps….small increments
Your condition is NOT your conclusion, don’t loose heart, just keep working, working, working
4. Remain POSITIVE
Your psychological status will be very important in the outcome of your condition, it’s going to drive you to try harder even when your progress may appear slow. Surround yourself with activities and persons that will have a constructive influence on you. Seek support if you need it. Encouragement goes a long way
5. PUSH yourself!
While pain is the body’s language that tells us something is wrong and we respect it, there are times when pain is gain. Your occupational therapist will guide you with ways to manage your pain and there will be times when you will be encouraged to PUSH through.
6. PERFORMANCE of Everyday Activities
Performing everyday activities provides opportunities for practice and skill development in areas that you may have deficits. Even if you can’t complete a task, do what you can. Don’t be a spectator……….Get back into this game called LIFE!