If you or a loved one has a disability, or have ever had to recover skills after an injury or accident, then you already know of the impact Occupational therapists, and OT Assistants can make on our everyday life. As a celebration and recognition of the quality care and therapeutic solutions provided by OT’s and OTA’s, the entire month of April is declared as Occupational Therapy Month. Since 1980, April has been the designated month to recognize the occupational therapy profession for the work they do for patients by helping them gainfully participate in daily living activities.
OT’s and OTA’s are healthcare professionals who help people across the lifespan and enable them to live life to their fullest capabilities. OT treatments have a direct impact on the quality of life by improving one’s ability to overcome, or better live with a disability, regain skills lost due to injury, or provide support for older adults experiencing declining physical or cognitive abilities.
The best Occupational Therapy professionals have outstanding communication and listening skills. This is important as they strive to understand the challenges their patient is facing and explain the recommended therapies. OT’s by nature are problem solvers. From helping a patient relearn to button a shirt or navigate the stairs in their home, an OT will have strong organizational and problem-solving skills. And, as with other healthcare professionals, OT’s exhibit empathetic and compassionate care for their patients. Another important quality for an OT or OTA to have is patience!
So, how can we all participate in celebrating OT professionals throughout the month of April? The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has several online resources to help say thank you and provide recognition. There are brochures and fact sheets that can be downloaded to promote the OT profession, handouts on topics such as Safe Driving for Seniors or Falls Prevention Tip Sheets, and an online store with plenty of fun OT related products and clothing.
For anyone who likes to share information online at their various social media sites, AOTA has put together a full collection of online promotional materials for users to share on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Another great way to provide recognition to OT professionals is to simply say thank you. If you or a loved one are visiting an OT for services, let them know you are aware of OT Month and say thank you for all they are doing to help you or your loved one recover or adapt.
Share your thoughts about Occupational Therapy Month in the comment section below. Do you have any fun or heartwarming OT stories that you can share? You can also find us on our Facebook page and share your comments there.