MetroWest Medical Center Celebrates Occupational Therapy Month

Apr 16, 2024

What is OT and How Can it Help?  

MetroWest Medical Center celebrates Occupational Therapy Month in April. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) provides information about occupational therapy (OT) and the roles that occupational therapists play in our daily lives.

MetroWest Medical Center provides inpatient services at Framingham Union Hospital and outpatient services at the MetroWestWellness Center. We have a team of occupational therapists who play a vital role in helping our patients to improve, rehabilitate or maintain participation and independence in daily meaningful activities.

“We take a client-centered, evidence-based approach, to address physical, cognitive, developmental, and psychosocial aspects of one's life,” explains Christine Scully-Palmer, occupational therapist at MetroWest Medical Center. “We focus on upper extremity impairments of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. We evaluate and treat injuries and disorders through interventions like manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, modality use, education and or splinting.”

Whether your goal is to improve your strength, range of motion, or reduce pain, we address these areas through functional, day-to-day activities. Our inpatient Occupational Therapists evaluate and treat impairments that impact activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, toileting, functional mobility, household management and leisure activities. We also address upper extremity impairments, cognition, patient/family education and adaptive equipment needs. The team works with our inpatient interdisciplinary team to make discharge recommendations to ensure our patient's safety once leaving the hospital.

Sean M. recently finished rehab with Schully-Palmer and had this to say, “After breaking a finger playing basketball that required surgery, I knew I was going to have a long road to recovery. I cannot express the gratitude for the exceptional care I received from Christine at MetroWest Wellness Center. She worked with me to create a personalized treatment plan, and held me accountable in doing the work. The results were noticeable right away, and after 2 months, I have exceeded all expectations and expect to make a full recovery.”

At Leonard Morse Hospital, our occupational therapists work in the behavioral health units with children, adults, and geriatric patients. Occupational Therapists run various group sessions to teach life and sensory skills for coping techniques. One of the group sessions includes Pet Therapy, where trained dogs join the groups. The practitioner teams meet with patients one-on-one for educational training such as anxiety management, sensory training, activities of daily living (ADL) training, among others. Therapists provide functional and cognitive assessments to help with discharge planning for these patients while collaborating as part of an interdisciplinary team that provides functional goals for patients.

 What is Occupational Therapy?  

Life is made up of occupations – meaningful everyday activities. These occupations can include many roles, such as being a parent, a friend, a spouse, a tennis player, an artist, a cook, or a musician. We generally don’t think about our daily occupations until we have trouble doing them. Everyone has occupations – from the toddler whose occupations are play and learning to develop important skills, to the older adult whose occupations are engaging with family and friends and managing their home. If recovering from an accident or injury, one’s valued occupation may be disrupted. Occupational therapy incorporates your valued occupations into the rehabilitation process.

 Why Would I Need Occupational Therapy?  

An accident, injury, disease, or condition can make it difficult to participate in daily activities. A wrist injury means that getting dressed in the morning is painful. Arthritis makes driving challenging. Autism may hinder a child from interacting effectively with classmates. A traumatic brain injury keeps a wounded warrior out of active duty because of difficulties with memory and organizational skills.

Occupational therapy allows people across their lifespan to do the activities they want and need to do. An occupational therapist will evaluate your situation, and input from the patient and their family or care provider, develop individualized goals that allow you to resume or pursue your valued occupations. Goals are created with a therapist, to help improve or maintain the ability to perform daily activities to reach goals and getting back to life activities. Occupational therapy practitioners can help develop and implement programs that help promote healthy behaviors. Or address specific issues such as older driving, community transitions for returning soldiers, homelessness, troubled youth, mental health, and addiction.

Who are Occupational Therapy Practitioners?  

Occupational therapy practitioners are either occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants. They are skilled health care professionals who use research and scientific evidence to ensure their interventions are effective. With strong knowledge of a person’s psychological, physical, emotional and social makeup, occupational therapy practitioners can evaluate how your condition (or risk for one) is affecting your body and mind, using a holistic perspective.

For more information about Occupational Therapy Services at MetroWest Medical Center, please visit our website here.

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