What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists provides the following definition of Occupational Therapy: "Occupational therapy is as a profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate or by modifying the environment to better support participation."
OT gives people the "skills for the job of living" necessary for independent and satisfying lives.
What Does it Take to be an Occupational Therapist (OT)?
An occupational therapist (OT) completes a 5 or 6-year post baccalaureate occupational therapy degree. They must complete a supervised fieldwork program during their studies and pass a national certification exam (NBCOT). Many states, including Virginia, require yearly continuing education courses to be taken to maintain licensing.
What Kind of Problems Can an OT Treat?
Occupational therapy treats any physical problem that interferes with a person's ability to perform activities of daily living. Therapy can be provided for anyone from young children to older adults. Some typical injuries or illnesses are: paralysis in the arm, hand or fingers, arm joint disease, injury that limits movement in the upper extremity, inability to perform personal care tasks, and activity of daily living.
What kinds of Treatments Are Used in OT?
There are many ways to provide occupational therapy. Depending on the cause of the problem, each person is evaluated and an individualized treatment plan is designed to fit their needs. The first step in treatment is an evaluation process by the therapist. This helps the therapist determine the best treatment plan and frequency of treatments.
Does Insurance Cover Occupational Therapy?
Most health insurance policies will cover occupational therapy. Some insurance companies might have limits to the number of covered treatments in 1 calendar year. It is important that you call your insurance company to check on your individual coverage. In addition, if you have received OT in a prior clinic please inform the front desk.