I am not a rote-ational therapist, I AM AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST!!! (student)

So….when on my fieldwork, I talked about how it seemed like we were just “upper extremity physical therapists” when working in inpatient rehab…sure, you see the occasional folding laundry, or unloading fake groceries, but mostly, you see a lot of arm bike, arm pulley, theraputty…I guess that falls under “preparatory methods” in the OTPF, but still! BORING! Tedious! I know those exercises are important for endurance and strength, but we all know it is boring!

So anyway. I was responsible for a treatment plan for a certain patient while on my fieldwork, and I racked my brain trying to think of appropriate activities that weren’t just “arm bike!” Merrolee, famed New Zealand OT Extraordinaire, helped me out. She asked me about his hobbies, and I told her he liked to travel. She suggested I bring a big map and have him stand up (we were working on standing balance and endurance), while tracing where he had been on a map. I thought that was a great idea. I looked for a map in my house, but had to settle for a US map puzzle I had bought at the dollar store, years ago. I brought it in, and I had my patient sort out the states by ones he had been to, wanted to go to, or didn’t care about. He stood up and started sorting. He talked about the places as he sorted, and it was clear he enjoyed it – and he stood up 3 minutes and 30 seconds, which was the longest – by almost double – he had stood up before.

It was a very good example of how occupation-based activities work a lot better than rote activities!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you all enjoyed this episode of ‘Occupation Rocks, Episode 1,3001″

Karen, MOTS!

Oct 26, 2007 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3