Hi OT's.... I'm doing a simple investigation of the status of health and wellness in occupational therapy. If you have some time, send me your thoughts about the following questions:
How do you define or use health and wellness in your practice settings?
Do you think that your environment in conducive to incorporation of health and wellness treatment programs, or inclusion within existing therapy?
Do you use CAMs? (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine- yoga, meditation, relaxation, myofascial release, massage) with your clients? Do you have certification?
How do you feel health and wellness will relate to OT in the future?
Yes, I do have a couple of yoga certifications and I do incorporate yoga in groups and as a therapeutic modality in my practice.
This is in a SNF environment
Holly Randolph, MS, OTR/L
I am an occupational
therapy student, and while I have not worked in a specific practice setting
yet, I strongly believe in OTs using health and wellness treatments in their practice.
These types of treatments really emphasize the prevention of certain conditions
(e.g. chronic diseases) rather than their treatment. I think it is definitely
an emerging area for OTs to work in because of our background and knowledge
base. I also believe that more health professionals should emphasize prevention
to help relieve some of the financial burden facing our health care system
today. In my opinion, the most conducive environment to incorporate health and
wellness practices would be a community-based setting since these OTs would
have the most integration within the community and would have a large impact on
a greater number of people. In regards to the use of complimentary and
alternative medicine (CAM) in occupational therapy, I believe certain
CAMs may be appropriate to use with various clients. A lot of them do require continuing
education in order to be competent in their practice, so I believe it is up to
the individual therapist to education his or herself before using CAM interventions. However,
the most important thing to remember is that our practice is about occupations,
and the use of some of these CAMs is really more a preparatory method that
should be used in conjunction with other more occupation-based interventions.
I would say that health and wellness is my primary focus in acute care. We address many per-existing chronic health problems as well as social and financial barriers. I personally do not use CAMS, but I have become a certified behavioral health specialist to add some more tools to the OT toolbox to help people create healthier habits and routines and prevent hospital re-admits.
How do you document/charge for working with patients in acute care for health and wellness and lifestyle changes? I try to incorporate as much as I can during my treatments in acute care but I am working on other areas that I can charge for during that time. I have studied many dietary theories and am certified as a holistic health coach. My passion as an OT is in prevention of further disease, disability, re-hospitalizations in those who have already been diagnosed which a chronic condition and also to empower the client to take control of their health. I am finding it difficult, however, to achieve this in an acute care and/or inpatient rehab setting I guess. I am also finding it difficult to find a career opportunity in the health and wellness market as an OT. Do any of you work in a setting that is in health and wellness, if so how did you find your job? I graduated in 2009 and wanted to work in health & wellness since being in school but have been unsuccessful.