If you’ve ever heard someone talking about “Occupational Therapy,” you may have assumed they were looking into a new job or career counseling. Even though Occupational Therapy has nothing to do with a career change, it is still a vital program that can impact someone’s everyday life.
April is National Occupation Therapy Month. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, Occupational Therapy offers customized treatment programs to improve one's ability to perform daily activities.
Amanda Williams, an Occupational Therapist at North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC), expands on this idea. According to Williams, occupational therapy is so much more than career a related task. Occupational Therapy is focused on performing daily life skills, such as brushing your teeth, handwriting and performing your favorite hobbies. These can be work or play. Patients can lose mobility and the ability to function due to an accident, surgery or chronic pain.
“Our goal is to help patients perform everyday life activities again,” said Williams. “We want to decrease their pain, increase their mobility and motor development skills and get them on the road to recovery.”
Williams and Ted Borchers, another Occupational Therapist at NARMC, often spend their days creating individual plans for patients. These plans are customized to best suit the patient, no matter what age or injury.
“We are a very goal oriented department,” said Borchers, when speaking about the Occupation Therapy program at NARMC. “The patient, physician and therapist all work together to heal an injury in the best way possible. I am their coach and I want to see them succeed.”
Borchers also uses his time to visit local businesses to perform jobsite analyses, which help prevent injuries.
“It really is a gratifying, rewarding career. We build relationships and bond with our patients, while we watch them recover and grow,” Borchers added.
The Occupational Therapy team at NARMC has over 45 years of combined experience. Each therapist specializes in different sectors of Occupational Therapy, which offers a wide variety of services to patients. Williams focuses primarily on lymphedema, while Borchers builds splints for patients, as well as works with hands and shoulders on a daily basis. The therapists offer advice to one another to ensure the best plan for each patient. Together, the entire Rehabilitation team works together to create a positive outcome for each patient.
Occupational therapy is changing the lives of your friends, family and neighbors- how can it change yours? Talk to your physician today to learn more about NARMC’s Occupational Therapy program.