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How much do you know about Occupational Therapy?

Take the true/false quiz:

  1. Occupational therapists find people jobs.
  2. Occupational therapists give people baths/showers.
  3. Occupational therapists dress people.
  4. Occupational therapists use special equipment to increase independence with daily living skills.
  5. Occupational therapists are considered the splinting experts of the medical profession.
  6. Occupational therapists teach people to manage their wheelchairs independently.
  7. Occupational therapists teach people how to overcome or compensate for physical problems.
  8. Occupational therapists break a task down into components, and address the problem areas. This leads to a successful completion of the whole task.

Answers:

  1. False. The term ‘occupational therapy’ was coined before the term ‘occupation’ was used to commonly refer to employment.
  2. False. An occupational therapist will work with a patient on bathing or showering routines if it is a goal to complete this task without assistance. When the therapist works on this skill, the focus is on the patient completing as much of the task him/herself as possible.
  3. False. Occupational therapists focus on increasing a patient’s independence with dressing, grooming, washing, etc.
  4. True! Occupational therapists use adaptive equipment when necessary to allow a patient to be more independent and safe with self-care. They also teach adaptive techniques to maximize independence.
  5. True! Occupational therapists are trained to make custom splints to immobilize, improve function or provide stability to a joint.
  6. True! Wheelchair independence allows the patient to experience a level of freedom and independence, if possible, even if their movements are limited by a wheelchair.
  7. True! Occupational therapists teach compensation skills for physical deficits. Half of the occupational therapist training is in psychology and the other half is in physical disabilities. You will find occupational therapists working in psychiatric settings, teaching people how to compensate for psychological deficits that are impeding their quality of life.
  8. True! This is why you will sometimes see an occupational therapist working on upper body strengthening with balance, when the ultimate goal is independent dressing. If decreased strength and balance are issues impairing functional independence, these deficits are addressed before independence in the desired skill.

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