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October is Occupational Therapy Month: Perspectives from an Occupational Therapist

September 2021

My name is Jeanette Logan. I work as the Regional Therapy Services Manager in Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) but have been a practicing Occupational Therapist (OT) for over a decade. In being asked to submit a write up on Occupational Therapy Month or “OT Month”, I decided to give a more personal perspective on what it has been like being a practicing OT in PMH and how it has been my privilege to work with other OTs in our region. Here are three of top items that come to mind when I reflect on OT practice in Prairie Mountain Health.

  • Occupational Therapists care. They care a lot! They work with a variety of patient populations spanning from birth to old age. They also work in a variety of settings such as in hospitals, homes, personal care homes, schools, daycares, community offices. They may work in physical or mental health. Occupational Therapists are tasked with using a holistic approach to assess all parts of a client’s abilities (physical, cognitive, affective, sensory), within their environmental context so that they can support that client to complete the every day tasks they want to do. Their care is client centered, meaning they address what is a priority for the client to improve their quality of life and functional abilities.
  • Occupational Therapists are excellent problem solvers. They apply their training to assess a client’s abilities, liaise with team members, and understand the systems in which they work to find solutions for the client. An example that comes to mind is evaluating a client for a wheelchair and seating system. Based on an OT’s assessment of the client and their knowledge of biomechanics of wheelchair/seating prescription, the OT determines what products are required to support that client so that client can perform meaningful activities when seated in their wheelchair in a safe manner. That OT understands how to apply through various funding sources the client may be eligible for and advocates on the client’s behalf to obtain the best outcome for the client. This is only one practice example of many.
  • Occupational Therapists work very well within their respective teams. Often they are seen by others on their team as a knowledgeable resource which helps that team member with completing functions of their own job. For example, an OT who works in the school setting and completes a standardized sensory assessment for a child. Based on assessment results, that OT will work with that child’s family, their teacher, resource teacher and so on, to set up programming for that child so the child can be successful in their school experience. It truly is this teamwork that supports the best outcome for the clients OTs serve.

Registered Occupational Therapists may not always work under the title of an “Occupational Therapist”. Many do but many work under other titles like Community Mental Health Workers or they work in some kind of administrative function. Regardless, OTs remain an integral team member to support Manitoban’s in their healthcare (or education) journey. 

 Jeanette r

Jeanette Logan, Regional Therapy Services Manager in Prairie Mountain Health.  Jeanette has been a practicing Occupational Therapist (OT) for over a decade.