It’s important that occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) work closely with other healthcare professionals. People benefit from everyone working together to address their concerns and to help them reach their goals. 

OTPs are excellent communicators, good listeners, accepting of other team members’ perspectives, value shared-decision making, and strive towards functional goals with their patient always at the top of mind.

In Hospitals from the ICU and NICU, to Acute Care

Helping patients regain or improve their ability to perform daily activities, which is essential for their recovery and well-being.

OTPs work with a variety of different healthcare professionals in a hospital. Physicians refer people to OT when they need rehab and OTPs keep the doctors updated on their progress and any adjustments needed to the treatment plan. OTPS and physical therapists collaborate to improve people’s abilities. OTPs work closely with nurses to coordinate care for people. When people experience communication challenges, OTPs work with speech-language pathologists to improve communication skills, swallowing abilities and cognitive function. When planning for post-hospital care, OTPs work with social workers to ensure necessary support systems and resources for a successful transition back home. They might consult with dieticians what patients require modifications due to their medical condition. OTPs may work with respiratory therapists and rehabilitation aides. 

OTPs actively participate in interdisciplinary team meetings that are held to discuss progress, set goals, and adjust treatment plans. OTPs can point out issues that arise when working on functional tasks that doctors and nurses may not come across during a quick assessment.

Working to Help Those with Mental Health Challenges

A team approach is always utilized in the mental health system.

OTPs often collaborate with psychiatrists and psychologists, social workers, nurses, primary care physicians, speech-language pathologists, rehabilitation specialists, care coordinators, case managers, and individuals working in mental health facilities.  

They ensure that people experiencing mental health challenges receive care that addresses physical, emotional, and social well-being.

Rehabilitation from Injuries, Illnesses, or Medical Conditions

People are typically referred to outpatient rehab from a doctor. OTPs keep doctors and nurses updated on patient progress and suggest changes to treatment plans. OTPs collaborate with physical therapists to enhance overall independence and physical abilities. Speech language pathologists work on joint treatments with OTPs when a person requires speech or cognitive rehab. 

For people recovering from orthopedic surgeries, OTPs collaborate with surgeons to make sure goals align with surgical outcomes. If a person requires assistive devices or adaptive equipment like a wheelchair, OTPs will assess needs and recommend appropriate equipment.

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