Top Tips on Choosing Your Occupational Therapist

Man doing Occupational TherapyOccupational therapy is necessary to help a person with an injury, disability, or illness cope with everyday activities. The demand of this kind of therapist is growing every year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the market will increase by 21% from 2016 to 2026. However, there’s more to finding your OT than picking a name from a list; you’re bringing a stranger into your vulnerable home setting with an invalid who may have specific sensitivity issues.

An OT, although professional and well-trained, must also have to have the personality that will match that of the patient. This person should be able to connect with the patient – be an excellent fit to minimize conflict and ease the transition from family to trained home health care.

Some of the qualifications for an excellent occupational therapist include:

  • Outstanding communication and listening skills
  • Practical use of available equipment, tools, gadgets, and accessories with sensory opportunities that are safe and age-appropriate
  • Ability to foresee, analyze, evaluate, and diagnose patient status and progress
  • Able to involve the family in the process without making them feel forced or angry about it
  • Follow doctor’s instructions perfectly
  • Remain transparent and able to document everything during each session

When choosing an occupational therapist, the family must be involved with the agency. The OT needs to be aware of accountability responsibilities and know that someone in authority other than the family is monitoring the case. The role of the agency is critical to the program because the family deserves the best possible professional treatment regardless of monetary compensation. Thus, finding a great OT relies heavily on the agency that will supply the professional.

Some of the questions you should ask the home care facility, and the OT professional are:

  1. Are you certified by the National Board of Certification for Occupational Therapy?
  2. Do you have specialized training in treating the (name the patient’s medical diagnosis)?
  3. Where did you finish your training?
  4. Are you familiar with the most efficient and latest methods in OT?
  5. Can you read and explain the doctor’s diagnosis and prescribed treatment to me? (This is done to test communication skills, patience, and diligence in reading instructions)
  6. What treatment would you recommend?

Finally, before you make your decision, please take a minute or two to talk to the patient and get feedback. The patient’s willingness to work with an OT will play a significant role in the success of the treatment.