In acute care settings, occupational therapists work in program-based teams with other health care professionals in delivering assessment and intervention to a variety of clients.
Program-based teams include: medicine (neurology, oncology, hematology and general medicine), surgery (orthopedics, neurosurgery, general surgery, burns and plastics, urology, and vascular surgery), critical care/cardiac care (intensive care units, coronary care), ambulatory care (outpatient and specialty clinics) and emergency care.
Occupational Therapy Role in Acute Care
The occupational therapy role in acute care emphasizes discharge planning. This involves evaluation of activities of daily living (i.e., bathing, dressing) and home safety assessments (i.e., kitchen assessments, tub/toilet transfer assessments) to determine a person’s independence with these tasks. Recommendations may be made by the occupational therapist regarding education, equipment and/or supports that may be required to ensure a person’s safe and independent function upon discharge.
Occupational therapists in acute care also provide assessment and intervention regarding wheelchair seating, positioning, splinting, assistive devices, and education. As appropriate, occupational therapists initiate referrals for further rehabilitation or follow-up care with other health centres or community agencies.