In honor of Occupational Therapy Month, UnityPoint Health - Meriter is celebrating the incredible care our occupational therapists provide in our hospital, clinics and beyond.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy (OT) helps people of all ages maximize functional independence in everyday activities. Essentially, OT enables people live life to the fullest by helping to promote health, prevent and/or live better with injury, illness or disability.
You are probably already aware of the outpatient occupational therapy services we provide in our clinics, but did you know that we also provide inpatient OT services at the hospital?
OT in the hospital
Our committed OTs evaluate and treat a variety of conditions throughout the hospital. Working closely with other disciplines, we provide care for patients in cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, general medicine, the NICU and ICU.
We strive to help our patients increase independence with activities of daily living (ADLs), which includes feeding, hygiene, dressing, bathing, toileting and more. We provide guidance, education and resources for anything from post-surgical precautions and energy conservation techniques to compensatory strategies and adaptive equipment.
OT in the NICU
We care for our tiniest patients in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). We help strengthen the parent/infant bond by providing guidance and education that helps facilitate optimal development outcomes. This involves modifying sensory environments, massage and other nurturing techniques.
OT in Inpatient Psychiatry
Using therapeutic techniques and activities, we help patients in the inpatient psychiatry unit develop social skills and coping mechanisms. This includes anything from stress and anxiety management to personal interaction and communication.
OT in the ICU
In the ICU, devoted OTs promote early mobilization and function which has shown to decrease the length of time on a ventilator, length of hospital stay and length of symptoms of delirium. They also evaluate and treat cognitive impairments to improve functional participation in ADLs.