The purpose of occupational therapy is to help restore and maintain a person’s independence after they have experience an illness or injury that resulted in limited range of motion, a medical condition, or even a disability. Oftentimes, individuals who consult with occupational therapists have had some part of their life impacted by an injury or illness, and require professional assistance to regain their quality of life – to as much of an extent as possible.
There are a number of different methods used by occupational therapists to determine the exact limitations an individual may face after an illness or injury, and most often, an occupational therapist will conduct a type of assessment to do so.
Find out the types of assessments offered by occupational therapists below.
Occupational Therapy and Medical Driving Assessments
A medical driving assessment is an important service provided by occupational therapists to individuals who may have lost the ability to drive as a result of an illness or injury. The main purpose of a medical driving assessment is to help people regain their ability to drive, or at least function behind the wheel in the safest way possible.
The goal of the medical driving assessment process is not only to help people get back on the road, but also to promote safety for both the driver and those around them. To do this, occupational therapists will first conduct an initial evaluation that looks at an individual’s current physical, cognitive, and visual abilities. From there, they will develop a specific treatment plan that is designed to help improve the person’s abilities so that they can safely operate a vehicle once again.
This may include therapies such as physiotherapy, cognitive rehabilitation, or vision rehabilitation. In some cases, it may also involve the use of adaptive equipment or modifications to a person’s car.
An occupational therapist will provide guidance and support throughout the entire process to ensure that the individual is able to drive safely and confidently when they retake their road test.
Occupational Therapy and Ergonomic Assessments
Ergonomics is the study of how people interact with their environment, specifically in relation to their work. Ergonomic assessments are an important part of occupational therapy because they help to identify potential risks an individual may face at work due to their illness or injury.
The goal of an ergonomic assessment is to help people work in a way that is safe and efficient, while also reducing the risk of further injury. To do this, occupational therapists will assess an individual’s current job tasks, as well as their workstation set-up. From there, they will make recommendations on how to improve the person’s work environment so that it is more conducive to their healing process.
This may include changes to the person’s workstation, such as adding ergonomic furniture or adjusting the height of their computer monitor. It may also involve changes to the individual’s job tasks, such as modifying their workflow or providing them with assistance from another worker.
In some cases, an ergonomic assessment may also involve the use of adaptive equipment or tools.
Occupational Therapy and Functional Capacity Assessments
A functional capacity assessment is another type of assessment that is often conducted by occupational therapists. The main purpose of a functional capacity assessment is to measure an individual’s ability to complete work-related activities.
This information can be used to help people return to work after they have experienced an illness or injury, or it can be used to help them find a job that is suitable for their current abilities.
To conduct a functional capacity assessment, occupational therapists will assess an individual’s physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities. They will then use this information to create a customised Return-to-Work Plan.
The Return-to-Work Plan will outline the types of activities the individual is able to do, as well as any accommodations or modifications that need to be made in order for them to be successful.
Professional Assessments, Compassionate Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists play an important role in helping people return to work after an illness or injury. They do this by conducting assessments, such as medical driving assessments, ergonomic assessments, and functional capacity assessments. These assessments help to identify any risks or limitations an individual may have so that a customised Return-to-Work Plan can be created.
If you are interested in learning more about the services offered by occupational therapists, or if you think you may benefit from an assessment, please contact Coastal Rehab today. They would be happy to answer any of your questions and help you get started on the road to recovery.