April is National Occupational Therapy month and Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is using this opportunity to highlight our occupational therapy staff and the important role these therapists play in helping our patients get back to normal, everyday tasks. Claxton-Hepburn’s Occupational Therapists, Ashleigh Graveline, M.S. OTR/L, Stacey Graves, M.S. OTR/L, and Jennifer Ethridge, COTA, are trained and educated to treat a variety of conditions during outpatient therapy or an inpatient stay. They provide therapy for pediatrics to geriatrics including carpal or cubital tunnel syndrome, DeQuervain’s Syndrome, arthritis, joint replacements, fractures and tendon injuries, stroke recovery, Traumatic Brain Injury, and spinal cord Injury. Additionally, they complete return to work evaluations and functional capacity evaluations with use of the EvalTech Baltimore Therapy Equipment.
What is occupational therapy? Your life is made up of occupations, those meaningful everyday activities that you do. These occupations could include many roles, such as being a parent, a friend, a spouse, a tennis player, an artist, a cook, a teacher, or a musician. Occupational therapy provides skilled treatment to help individuals achieve and maintain independence in all facets of their lives. An occupational therapist is trained to treat any physical or mental dysfunction that interferes with a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living. Everyone has occupations from the toddler whose occupation is play and learning to the older adult whose occupations are engaging with family and friends and managing his or her home. We tend to not think about our occupations until we have trouble doing them. However, when you are recovering from an accident or injury, your occupations may be disrupted.
Why would a person need occupational therapy? Imagine if an accident, injury, disease, or condition made it difficult for you to participate in your daily activities. A wrist injury means that getting dressed in the morning is painful. Arthritis makes driving challenging. Autism may hinder a child from interacting effectively with classmates. A traumatic brain injury keeps a person out of work because of difficulties with memory, and organization skills. Or a small change in your activities, or the environment, could prevent a future condition, such as using ergonomics at work to avoid injury.
A physician referral is required to receive occupational therapy services, and all patients can chose where to receive your occupational therapy services despite who the referring physician is affiliated with. For more information about rehabilitation services at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center visit us on the web at www.claxtonhepburn.org/OT. Your tomorrow is worth defending.
Shown in the photo are occupational therapy staff Stacey Graves, M.S. OTR/L, Ashleigh Graveline, M.S. OTR/L, and Jennifer Ethridge, COTA.