If you think occupational therapists only work in hospitals, then I am here to tell you that you are wrong. Yes! You are because you can also need occupational therapy in the workplace
The exciting thing about Occupational therapy (OT) is the fact that the practice is not restricted to just one place. OT practitioners also work in schools and can play a role in your workplace too. That is why I am here to educate you on how occupational therapy can help in your workplace.
In case this is your first time hearing about this profession or this is your first time on my blog, check here to read about what the profession is all about. Trust me, it is worth the read.
Back to our gist
OTs treat a person as a whole and not just the injury. This is why it is not a surprise their interventions can extend to your workplace. The workplace is an integral part of your daily life; this is why it is also an aspect of intervention for an occupational therapist. After an illness, injury or disability, the interaction between a person, occupation and the environment can be affected, which can, in turn, affect a person’s productivity at work. One of the many roles of an OT is to improve this interaction and help the individual get back to work as soon as possible.
Role of an Occupational Therapist in the workplace
It will be interesting to note that you do not have to be disabled before consulting an OT. You can contact your OT to provide a preventive measure to avoid injuries at your workplace. Also, your OT can help you improve your work productivity if you feel like you are not functioning optimally at work.
Here are a few ways an occupational therapist can help you improve your productivity at work.
One of the many roles of OTs includes Disability Management Consulting (DMC). DMC plays a critical role in promoting a return to work in the case of an injury or illness, especially when it results in a physical, mental, cognitive or social impediment for the worker. Occupational therapists have a vast understanding of job demand and skills needed for competent job performance, and this is why they are an asset to both individuals and workplaces. They carry out a series of analyses to access the capability and fitness of the worker, then communicate the result of the analysis to the employer who then works together with the OT to effect some changes in the workplace that would accommodate the returning employee. OTs aims to understand the social and environmental limitations that can impede work effort and use it to plan the return to work process.
OTs use their skills to intervene for specific work needs, create a platform for workers to meet their goals, and advocate for treatment in case a worker needs it. OTs do this to improve the client’s strength and help them function despite any challenge. This approach can help build resilience and capabilities of the worker.
OT help build the capacity of workers and ensure that the wellbeing and health of the worker are taken care of. This is done by incorporating strategies such as job analysis, counselling, modifying or adapting equipment, adapting the work to the worker’s level of strength, case management, and ergonomic analysis.
Occupational therapists can help prevent physical injuries suffered in place work through capacity assessment and evaluation. They do this by identifying potential risks, provide measures to prevent these work hazards, and educate the workforce about work analysis and body mechanics.
OTs have in-depth knowledge about cognitive and psychosocial factors, and this helps them understand how physical, cognitive and psychosocial factors can affect a worker’s function. They introduce integrative therapies that would improve work productivity in the workplace, thus preventing challenges that might arise.
In an event, a worker has, say depression, chronic pain or fatigue, an occupational therapist service would be needed because of the knowledge they possess. They know the physical, medical, biological and psychosocial factors that affect the human condition, and with this knowledge, they can come up with measures to tackle these workplace-related issues.
Occupational therapists help employees with disabilities by working with employers to make adjustments in their work environment to make them comfortable and maintain their efficiency. They utilize key approaches like physical assessment, postural evaluation and work sitting positions. The aim of this is to curb repetitive injuries like neck pain, back pain and strain injury that is common in the workplace.
An occupational therapist can do Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs) to assess the abilities and limitations of employees with regard to safety and productive work task. To ensure a successful return to work, the occupational therapist uses the Functional Capacity Evaluations to affirm that the abilities and capacity of the worker match both the work environment and job.
There you have it, proven points to show you that OT is the best thing after sliced bread. After reading this, if you feel you need an occupational therapy assessment in your workplace, do not hesitate to contact me. You can find my contact details below.
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I remain your favorite Nigerian OT.