At some point in our lives, we have experienced services that made us feel like we were given the same answers, treatments, and products as everyone else. It is common sense that no two patients are the same and it would be wonderful if treatment plans were uniquely designed for each patient at every clinic. Unfortunately, the current healthcare model has become more interested in the bottom line (referred to as “productivity”) and this forces therapists to look for the fastest, easiest treatment plan so they can either hand over their patient to a number of assistants or get to the finish line having met simple goals for a “successful” discharge.
When the first scenario happens, the patient will not have continuity of care because they won’t always have the same therapist so it’s like starting over again each time, having to explain why they are in therapy. When the latter happens, patients may believe there was nothing more that could be done to achieve full rehabilitation and that can lead to hopelessness, dependency, and depression over the loss of quality of life.
I often get calls from people who have completed more than one round of post-acuity rehabilitation, inquiring if there is a possibility for more recovery of a lost function. These phone calls turn into mini consultations that many therapists would either not take or charge as a telehealth service. But answering these inquiry calls have great value. They help the potential patient feel heard and validated. It determines if my practice skills are a good fit for the caller and starts the process of building trust and rapport. People will often tell me “this is the first time I feel I’m being heard.”
Occupational Therapists (OTs) build their treatments on the unique story that each patient brings. We glean gems that create a personalized therapy plan with client-centered goals that are met by engagement in purposeful activities that have meaning to them. The OT profession started during the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century and changed the mental illness asylum culture to one of mental health and wholeness.
OTs with a well-rounded education are required to take classes in the arts and in fabrication of adaptive equipment so we can facilitate therapeutic crafts that help the patient find a part of their lost selves after a stroke, injury, or even clinical depression. OTs must justify the therapeutic activity (art/craft) by a clinical activity analysis.
OTs have the most incredibly diversified profession but it often goes unnoticed because rehab organizations like to compartmentalize interdisciplinary teams and too often, new OT grads will fall in line with what their employer demands of them without any thought of advocating for our profession or the patients they are serving.
People are not made from cookie-cutter templates and neither should their therapy plans. It is not what healthcare or rehabilitation was meant to be but as consumers, we need to know WE HAVE A CHOICE in where we go for our healthcare and rehabilitation.
Integrative Therapeutic Solutions only offers PERSONALIZED therapy plans that are developed by YOUR goals for an integrated life in body, home, and community!