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Occupational Therapy Services

What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health profession which helps people gain or regain the skills which are important for an individual's safety, function and quality of life. Occupational therapists use functional activity in assessing and treating people to maximise their ability to perform tasks that are important to them and their lifestyle.

Occupational Therapists work with people (and their family, carers, and other health professionals) with a variety of conditions, which can affect a person's ability to move, think, communicate, see and perceive, as well as their mood and personality.  These limitations can make it difficult for a person to perform the activities required in their roles at home, school/work, and leisure, for example:

  • Dressing,
  • Personal hygiene,
  • Eating,
  • Cooking,
  • Shopping,
  • Driving,
  • Writing,
  • Play.

Occupational Therapists working within the Townsville Hospital and Health Service provide a variety of services including:

  • Prescribing assistive equipment (e.g. over toilet frames, bath-boards, shower chairs and wheelchairs);
  • Recommendations regarding home modifications (e.g. grab-rails);
  • Splinting for hands and other body parts to maintain or improve health or function (e.g. to prevent contracture);
  • Prescribing compression garments (e.g. for burns, lymphoedema and vascular insufficiency).
  • Providing therapy programs for children;
  • Upper limb retraining post neurological conditions;
  • Assistance and retraining with functional tasks such as showering, dressing and cooking;
  • Strategies to assist with thinking skills;
  • Providing education and support regarding activity with conditions such as heart attacks, chronic pain and mental illness;
  • Providing advice about positioning and equipment to manage pressure ulcers;
  • Driving assessments;
  • Self-management for living with a chronic disease.

Inpatients

Occupational Therapy services are available for patients admitted to all hospitals in the Townsville Hospital and Health Service (excluding Palm Island).  The primary goal of the service is to enable patients to achieve maximal independence in their activities of everyday life during and beyond their hospital stay. Occupational Therapists also assist with the discharge planning process to encourage a safe and smooth transition from hospital to home.

Occupational Therapists work across all areas including:

  • Acute Wards 
  • Oncology and Palliative Care
  • Paediatrics 
  • Rehabilitation

Referral Process

  • Referrals made to the Palliative Care Service can only  be made between medical professionals only (ie doctor to doctor).  Once a person is on the Palliative Care Program, referrals can be made by all health professionals to the Palliative Care OT.
  • Referrals for Rehabilitation are made via the Rehabilitation Consultant and Rehabilitation medical team.
  • For specific referrals at The Townsville Hospital please contact ward occupational therapist or Occupational Therapy Department for more information.
  • Regional hospital referrals should be directed to the relevant hospital Occupational Therapist.
A blanket referral system (daily screening of ward patients for potential referrals) exists for all inpatients at The Townsville Hospital except for the following wards - Intensive Care Unit, Special Care Baby Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Coronary Care, Day Surgery and Maternity. For these wards, please contact the Occupational Therapy Department to refer directly. 

Outpatient Services

The Townsville Hospital Occupational Therapy Department provides outpatient services within a number of different clinical areas. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Chronic Pain Management
  • Hands, Burns, Trauma
  • Lymphoedema
  • North Qld Spinal Service
  • Paediatrics
  • Palliative Care
  • Vascular
  • Day Rehabilitation Service
  • Oncology Outpatients

Regional areas also offer limited outpatient services however not all clinical areas listed above may be available. For more information on service availability and referrals please contact The Townsville Hospital Occupational Therapy Department or your local Occupational Therapist. Regional areas also offer limited outpatient services however not all clinical areas listed above may be available.

For more information on service availability and referrals please contact The Townsville Hospital Occupational Therapy Department or your local occupational therapist (Contact Details).

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Regional Services

Inpatient and community based occupational therapy services are provided in;

  • Burdekin
    • Ayr Health Service
    • Home Hill Health Service
  • Charters Towers
    • Charters Towers Hospital
    • Charters Towers Community Health
    • Eventide Aged Care Facility
  • Hinchinbrook
    • Ingham Hospital

For more information on service availability or referral processes please contact The Townsville Hospital Occupational Therapy Department or your local occupational therapist (Contact Details).

Community Adult Physical

Occupational therapists are employed within a number of multidisciplinary community based teams providing allied health services to clients over 18 years of age. Services may be provided in a clinic setting or within patients' homes. These teams include, but are not limited to:

  • Community Health
  • Older Persons Community Services (including Aged Care Assessment Team and Older Persons Allied Health Team)
  • Integrated Health Care Partnerships

For more information on service availability, eligibility criteria and referrals please contact The Townsville Hospital Occupational Therapy Department or your local occupational therapist (Contact Details).

Community Paediatrics

Paediatric occupational therapy services are available within the Townsville Health Service.  Within Townsville, all referral are taken to an intake meeting to identify the service which will best meet the needs of the referral. Some regional centres may also offer a community based paediatric service.

For more information on service availability or referral processes please contact The Townsville Hospital Occupational Therapy Department or your local occupational therapist (Contact Details).

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Last updated: 29 July 2013