Common Injuries for OT Patients

Common Injuries for OT Patients image

Common Injuries for OT Patients

Dealing with a life-altering injury brings a significant number of challenges. In addition to physical therapy, which focuses on recovering the muscles and range of motion after an injury, many people can benefit from the skill of an occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant. These professionals focus on teaching the injured individual how to participate in daily life and work activities while dealing with the realities of their new injury. Here are some common injuries that OT and OTA professionals can help with.

Stroke and heart attack injuries

Stroke and heart attack can cause ongoing problems, especially to the upper extremities. Learning how to do day-to-day life activities after a stroke can be challenging, and an occupational therapist provides the support and planning necessary to learn skills like brushing teeth, eating and even speaking clearly after these life-altering injuries. The occupational therapy assistant will work with the occupational therapist to help the patient reach the goals outlined in the treatment plan.

Head injuries

Head injuries, regardless of how they occur, can lead to a battle to perform daily functions. When the mind is no longer communicating well with the rest of the body, therapy is required to help learn coping skills to perform daily functions. In order to maintain independence after a traumatic brain injury, patients need the help of an occupational therapist to help find activities and ways of doing daily activities that accommodate these new lifestyle needs.

Occupational therapists help address problems with organization, memory and attention span, as well as safety and ability to work and perform daily tasks. Occupational therapists create treatment plans to help these patients and their families learn to adjust, and those plans are then supported through the work of an occupational therapy assistant. With the services of both an OT and an OTA, many patients with severe head injuries are able to regain some independence.

Injuries involving loss of limbs

Amputees often require the help of an occupational therapy team to learn how to go about life without the limb they have lost. Whether a leg or arm, learning how to eat, walk and take care of personal hygiene needs can be overwhelming after an amputation. The occupational therapist will help these patients create goals for daily living tasks and the occupational therapy assistant will assist in reaching those goals. If the amputee will be using prosthetics, the OT and OTA will help the individual adjust to the wearing and use of the prosthetic as needed.
Spinal cord trauma

Trauma to the spinal cord can cause paralysis and a loss of proper use of the limbs, especially the lower extremities. This requires drastic alteration of daily life. An OT and an OTA can help patients dealing with the aftermath of a spinal cord trauma learn to compensate for the new challenges and the loss of function of parts of their bodies. The therapy team will also assist in accommodating any need for immobility that may arise after one of these injuries.
Regardless of the type of injury, the goal of the occupational therapy team remains the same, and that is to help the patient learn to live as independently as possible within the limits of the injury. This can be a rewarding career field for people who are passionate about helping others.

To learn more about our Regulatory Information: Brown Mackie College does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to Brown Mackie College.