Don’t scroll past! it’s not a boring post I promise
Now that you are here, let’s get into it. Occupational therapy (OT) is not a phrase you might have heard often. I won’t be surprised if this is the first time you are hearing this. The first thing you need to know about OT is that it is a healthcare profession. And before you think further or ask, No, we do not find or create jobs for people.
According to the World Federation of Occupational Therapist, Occupational therapy is a client-centered health 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 working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement. (WFOT 2012)
Let me break it down.
In the context of OT, occupation means what keeps you occupied daily and this means what you do on a daily basis from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. Brushing your teeth, dressing up, combing your hair, bathing, going to work, being active at work, taking your child to school, playing with your child and so on all sum up to form your occupation. When you are unable to carry out these daily tasks due to a disability or disease, then you might need an occupational therapist.
Occupational therapy is a client-centered profession which means we put the needs of our client first. The job of an occupational therapist (OT) is not limited to a hospital. As OTs the scope of our practice spans physical and mental disabilities. The major goal of an OT intervention is INDEPENDENCE in your daily life. We use different modalities like physical, psychological and so on in our practices.
Who Are Our Clients?
A proper occupational therapy setting is structured like a home with kitchen, bedroom, and toilet. This shows that we do not leave out any area of your life when it comes to achieving independence. OTs can either use a rehabilitative approach or when managing a client.
Occupational therapist can treat different conditions including
- Cardiovascular accident (stroke)
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)
- Traumatic brain Injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Depression and anxiety
- Parkinson’s disease
- Asperger’s syndrome
- Down’s syndrome
- Sensory Processing disorder
- Learning disorders
- Dyspraxia and more.
Occupational Therapy in Nigeria
Occupational therapy in Nigeria is still growing. Obafemi Awolowo University is the only tertiary institution that offers a bachelor degree in occupational therapy. It is under the department of medical rehabilitation. People with this degree are called Occupational therapist. Also, Federal School of Occupational Therapy offers a diploma course in OT, however, people with this degree are referred to as occupational therapy assistants.
There are few occupational therapists in Nigeria and I am one of these amazing few (winks). An occupational therapy intervention starts with a wholistic assessment of the person, environment and occupation. After this assessment, the therapist and client will set goals for the treatment process. These goals will determine the plan and duration of treatment.
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