How do I Engage an Occupational Therapist?

1 November 2017

Engaging an Occupational Therapist

Let’s start at the start…

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and wellbeing through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement or their ability to engage.


So what exactly do occupational therapists do?

Here are some examples of the kinds of work that occupational therapists do:

Working with children:

  • Helping children achieve their developmental milestones such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  • Educating and involving parents, carers and others to facilitate the normal development and learning of children.

Rehabilitation and aged care:

  • Helping clients regain or enhance their daily lives after specific events such as hip replacement or stroke.
  • Assessing and modifying clients’ home and community environments to improve their safety and independence.
  • Prescribing and educating clients and carers in the use of adaptive equipment to assist function.

Acute care:

  • Specialist interventions in various health conditions including surgery, burns, HIV and acute mental health.
  • Assessing clients’ cognition, function and psychosocial needs.
  • Monitoring clients’ function and progress, prescribing adaptive equipment to ensure safety upon discharge from hospitals.

Injury management:

  • Using specialised assessments to determine the functional requirements of various jobs, and clients’ capacity to return to work.
  • Designing and coordinating graded return to work programs.
  • Educating clients in safe work practices.
  • Modifying the work environment to suit the needs of individuals so as to prevent or minimise injuries.

Mental health:

  • Designing individual and group programs and activities to enhance clients’ independence in everyday activities.
  • Developing coping strategies for clients in overcoming their mental health issues.
  • Improving clients’ confidence and self-esteem in social situations.


So now you know what they can do for you, the next question is: 

where can you get in contact with them?

Occupational therapists often work as part of an integrated healthcare team. They work with clients in both public and private sectors. You will find occupational therapists working in a wide range of practice settings, including:

  • public and private hospitals
  • medical rehabilitation units
  • community health centres
  • home care services
  • aged care facilities
  • psychiatric clinics, hostels and hospitals
  • vocational rehabilitation centres
  • schools and education facilities
  • independent living and respite centres, and
  • private practice.


If you need assistance in engaging an Occupational therapist, please contact one of our team by phone, email or come into our showroom. Our friendly staff will be more than happy to chat with you and point you in the right direction!


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