It's More Than Just Occupations: How Occupational Therapy Is More Clearly Defined

When you think of the word, "occupational," you think of things relating to holding a job. Therefore, you probably assume that occupational therapy is also therapy as it relates to your ability to do your job. That is actually only partly true. Occupational, in the sense of therapy, applies to more than just your employment for pay. Here is more on that:

It Is Jobs, Plural

When you go to an occupational therapist, you are first evaluated by the therapist for what you can and cannot do. This gives the therapist some ideas on how he or she can help you. You may be looking to restore use of body parts that, for whatever reason, you have lost the ability to control. You may also want to retain use of body parts that seem weaker.

The tasks that you are given by the occupational therapist as part of your therapy are called "jobs." No, really, that is what they are called. Each of the "jobs" you are expected to do in therapy benefits you physically, but may also benefit someone else in the community.

For example, if you are losing fine motor control in your right hand, the therapist will have you use things like needles, nails, screws, etc., to create something, perhaps a toy or something for a child to wear. As you continue with these "jobs," your ability to use your weaker hand improves, or at least maintains, its current level of strength. You may need to continue doing these "jobs," or the therapist may assign new "jobs" to you to better your therapy plan. You may also have to see a therapist for a short time, or the rest of your life, as determined by the therapist.

The Therapist Also Has Jobs

The therapist does not just provide therapy. He or she works closely with a physical therapist to create complementary therapy plans. While the physical therapist works to make you stronger, so also does the occupational therapist. The two work in tandem.

The occupational therapist assesses every patient for the capacity or inability to complete job-related tasks. The physical therapist asks you to lift weights to test for strength. The occupational therapist asks you to pick up objects repeatedly to test for pain tolerance and a possible disability. Additionally, the occupational therapist looks for new jobs that you could do, given your current ability level to do various and meaningful tasks.

Contact a company like Hands-On Physical Therapy for more information and assistance.