April is National Occupational Therapy Month, and what better way to celebrate it than with a spotlight on one of our very own Occupational Therapists, Rachel Locke. Read on to learn more about Occupational Therapy as a whole, and get a glimpse into Rachel’s passion and reason for pursuing a career as an Occupational Therapist (OT).
What is the reason you decided to pursue Occupational Therapy as a career?
Rachel Locke: I chose OT because of its wide scope of practice and holistic treatment approach to rehabilitating impairments and disabilities. I enjoy assisting people in returning to the things they want and need to do.
What does an Occupational Therapist do?
Rachel Locke: Occupational Therapists work with people of all ages, helping them to participate in the things they want and need to do by addressing the physical and cognitive impairments through exercise, activity modification and engagement in occupation. OT’s focus on activity analysis and anatomy to identify areas of impairment and then create individualized treatment plans to target the patient’s goals. Occupational Therapists can specialize in various rehabilitation areas including neurology, psychology, vision, upper extremity, driving, pediatrics, geriatrics and vocational.
At ProActive Physical Therapy, occupational therapy focuses on rehabilitating patients with dysfunction in their cognition, vision, balance and/or upper extremities, from upper body orthopedic (fractures and musculoskeletal injuries) to neurological disorders (stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, neuropathy). Focus is placed on splinting, hand and arm function, strengthening, increasing range of motion, improving fine and gross motor movements and coordination, increasing balance, improving cognition/thinking, and improving visual motor control.
Who benefits from Occupational Therapy?
Rachel Locke: Occupational therapy at ProActive Physical Therapy can benefit anyone having impairments with their activities of daily living (dressing, grooming bathing, cooking, driving, working, going to school, writing) from cognitive and visual deficits to upper extremity impairments.
What is the most rewarding part of being an Occupational Therapist?
Rachel Locke: I enjoy witnessing a patient’s excitement when they are able to do the things they weren’t before because of illness or injury.
What advice do you have for someone who is interested in a career in the Occupational Therapy field?
Rachel Locke: It is beneficial to observe an OT in different settings before pursuing the education to identify it’s a right fit for you.
If you’re looking to schedule an appointment for occupational therapy in Tucson, you can request an appointment online or contact the North clinic at 520.202.2030. We look forward to answering any questions you have and getting you back to your favorite activities.