Occupational Therapy at Seton Medical Center Harker Heights: ‘It's rewarding to be a part of a patient's recovery’

March 27, 2020
If you need assistance getting back to daily activities after a health setback, our occupational therapists can help.
 
Seton Medical Center Harker Heights provides state-of-the-art rehabilitation services, including occupational therapy, for patients recovering from health care conditions such as stroke, brain injury arthritis and other conditions.
 
So what is occupational therapy and how does it help patients get back to everyday life activities?
 
“Occupational therapists assist individuals return to or maintain their participation in meaningful activities,” said Alexis Johns, OTR.
 
Occupational therapy is a unique profession, often confused with physical therapy.
 
“I like to explain to patients that physical therapists may get you to where you want to go, but what are you going to do when you get there? Per AOTA, ‘occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations).’”
 
The occupational therapists at Seton Harker Heights work with patients from birth through geriatrics and assist them with difficulties in their daily activities. 
 
“We do this by addressing safety, practicing the actual task, providing compensatory techniques, providing exercises that will assist in performing the task and many other ways,” Johns said.
 
Patients can expect a relaxed atmosphere in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
 
“While in the hospital at Seton, the occupational therapist will visit you in your room and perform an initial evaluation,” Johns explained.
 
“During the evaluation, we ask about your prior level of function, who assists you at home with ADLs (dressing, grooming, bathing, toileting, feeding), what equipment you may or may not use, assess your strength and current abilities to perform ADLs, and give recommendations for exercises/adaptive equipment while in hospital and needs for discharge.”
 
“In our outpatient setting, your occupational therapist will evaluate your strength, range of motion, and your ability to use the affected upper extremity. We may also fabricate an orthotic for protection, depending on your injury. We then will provide exercises and activities for you to perform to improve and progress your function and promote healing.”
 
Johns decided to pursue occupational therapy when she realized it intertwined with her passion for teaching.
 
“Once I discovered occupational therapy, I fell in love with the profession and realized teaching is a large aspect of OT,” Johns said. “I could help people become more independent in their daily lives and teach at the same time.”
 
Above all, Johns enjoys seeing patients become more independent and watch them overcome obstacles. 
 
“It's rewarding to be a part of a patient's recovery and assist them in participating in their meaningful tasks.”
 
Our staff at Seton Medical Center Harker Heights is committed to getting patients back to living their best lives. Click here to learn more.
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