The role of the Occupational Therapist in the Spinal Injuries Unit
The Occupational Therapist assists each individual to set client-centered goals in conjunction with the interdisciplinary team to promote a maximum level of independence in the areas of self care, domestic duties, work and leisure.
An individual program is created to meet the client's needs and may include:
- Upper Limb Management: Splinting and positioning; and use of functional activities to strengthen muscles, improve dexterity and develop hand function.
- Self Care Retraining: Rehabilitation aiming to achieve maximum independence in every day tasks such as feeding, grooming, bathing, dressing, bladder/bowel management and skin care.
- Domestic and Community Living Skills: Provision of opportunities to develop new skills and techniques to managemeal preparation, cleaning, laundry tasks, shopping, money handling and use of public transport.
- Home Assessment and Modifications: Identification of potential environmental barriers to hospital discharge and ensuring timely referral to an appropriate home modification service for assessment.
- Specialised Equipment Prescription: Trial, provision and/or prescription of adaptive equipment/aids and technology to facilitate independence in activities of daily living, as required for discharge.
- Return to Driving: Referral to appropriate driving assessment service.
- Vocational Skills: Support to pursue return to work or study options.
- Cognition: Assessment and implementation of strategies to minimise impact of any cognitive impairment on daily living.
- Other: Pain management, education, group programs and parenting.