Final Post of 20% Project

What are some ways that physical and occupational therapists can use technology for outpatient therapy?

That was my big kicker, my initial question that started this entire journey of search engines, blog posts, social media, and honestly some light junk reading. I started this journey thinking of technology as a kind of narrow window. When some people hear the word technology they automatically think computer screens and robots. I was one of those people before this project, unfortunately. However this is very much not the case. Technology, especially concerning things like Occupational therapy, can be an advancement of any tools in general. For instance, a wheelchair advancement to better transportation of those alone in their households that cannot walk on their own, can prove to be a large, innovative, and efficient technological advancement in Occupational Therapy. However, after I realized that the definition was so broad, I tried to narrow down my search to make it more about how maybe OTs can administer certain types of rehab on tablets, small computers, and even cell phones.

Occupational therapists have been undergoing a slight transformation concerning the use of technology in rehabilitation and therapy. For starters, OTs using social media to get information concerning new healthcare reforms, job openings, training programs, and just simply broadening their clientele is almost necessary these days. It creates so many opportunities for OT firms to reach out to their patients on a daily basis, whether it is the therapist to one other patient, or the therapist/firm to their entire audience of patients. It allows them to keep tabs on outpatient cases and creates a more innovative convenient way of communication in general.

Other than the social media side, I got to see and read a lot about new apps and activities that people can access from the comfort of their own home. Tablets and smartphones are extremely common these days. That being said, if they are part of an everyday lifestyle, they should be able to operate as a benefit to patients of occupational therapy at home. There are more and more apps being developed that help enhance motor skills, language, and so many more tasks that patients can do while sitting at their house, without an OT present. It can be used as sort of a “homework” assigned by OTs to help keep improvement increasing in one’s patients/clients.

Along with my research about Occupational therapy and its use and integration of technology, I came across some interesting information. In the same type of field is a job called “Life-care planner”. This job basically encompasses a body of people that take care of insurance planning, healthcare planning, and trying to come up with convenient, innovative, efficient, and helpful ways for this person (after injury, etc.) to be able to do whatever it was that is now impaired. For example, someone actually came up with a plan to help a quadriplegic patient transport in a wheelchair by blowing through a straw to activate the movement of the wheelchair. It is all about basically creating your own technological advancement to better the life and treatment of someone else. That’s amazing!

Technology is going to be ever present in our world. No matter what field one goes into, it will some how make its way into that area, if it hasn’t already. Its truly an amazing thing, and this project allowed me to see the blessing of it that people sometimes suppress. Sure, our grandparents had to walk up hill, both ways, in the snow to school – while we have our iPhones map out the fastest way and tell us the weather before hand. But, although it is ever present, it is ever helpful. That is what this project helped me realize.  

Nationwide Healthcare Jobs

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Health Care Jobs Nationwide

There are different types of healthcare job opportunities accessible these days to take care of health related problems.  And some of them include professionals like physiotherapists, occupational therapist, physician, physical therapist assistant, nurse practitioner, and registered nurse and so on. The need for these healthcare jobs nationwide is increasing rapidly in proportion to the requirements of the aging population. Entering this healthcare field is worthwhile as the demand is ever increasing and for that it is necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree or associate degree to take up the profession.

These health care jobs nationwide are lucrative and are a best ever growing career in the healthcare industry that offers both stability and security. It provides an opportunity to work in hospitals, rehabilitation homes and even nursing homes. The service they provide the patients coming here makes a positive impact on the lives of people.

Why…

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Gallery

Tilite TR Series 3 Manual Rigid Wheelchair

A little reminder of what new breakthroughs in different forms of technology can do for Occupational therapy.

Cheryl's Seating Notes

Hello Everyone! TGIF! Today, I would like to share with you the Tilite TR Series 3 manual rigid wheelchair. This is a popular model by Tilite and it’s also a custom ordered frame! By custom, I mean that this wheelchair has a specified fixed dump. Having a fixed dump helps to reduce the weight of the base significantly and is highly recommended for client’s who are absolutely sure of how much seat dump works for them functionally. Reducing the weight and amount of “play” in the base is also important for maintaining shoulder health as well as for efficiency when self-propelling. The one in my pictures is a carbon fiber base, which makes this base even lighter! It is by no means a cheap base, but a great choice if funds are available. On this base we set up an ADI carbon fiber backrest and a Ride Designs custom…

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One need was met

Love stories like these!

picking dandelions

Often when working with people with disabilities, you work and work and slowly see progress. Change is not usually instantaneous. But today it was. And today I was reminded of the extreme power of occupation to radically change lives.

Today we went to a village with DIDP, a volunteer organization run by one director of Sandi on the weekends, where we saw clients from the area. I share with you one story among many:

After walking probably two hours to see us, a mom entered and laid her six year old daughter on the mats in front of us—a precious little girl with cerebral palsy that neither engaged nor participated in daily life. She spent her days laying on the ground outside their house fully dependent on others. Initially we were concerned not only about contracture and atrophy of muscles, but also cognitive involvement based on her lack of interaction…

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Occupational Therapists for Technology

In doing research, I found out about a certain group of OTs from other countries that devote their time to using online technology to advance themselves and others about matters in their field. They are also a group of volunteers that coordinate and run activities for the overall benefit of their profession. This group is called OT4T (Occupational Therapists for Technology). Their description seemed to be extremely fitting and interesting so I delved further into their website and researched more about them. It was a little hard to navigate but I have kept looking for more websites about them.

Other than that, I have found other research concerning OTs using technology in their practice. Many questions arise when talking about this topic about elderly people being able to use the new innovative ways of therapy that are arising. I found a study a research study touching on this exact subject, and their findings exhibit the OT use of technology purely from an elderly perspective. They did specific research on things that a lot of people are commonly familiar with (such as Wii Nintendo) and its effectiveness in therapy. The entire study was made available online, including abstract, methods, results, discussion, etc. It was made clear who felt that their digital literacy was in their favor and who’s was not, when using new and innovative ways in technology in regards to therapy. This study had many details that up and coming OTs would find helpful when thinking to integrate technology in their practice.

There are several blogs about occupational therapy and the integration of technology in their practice. Although blogs can be opinion based, it was interesting to see the different outlooks on the use of technology in this field and why, and also just how prevalent the topic of this integration is.

Assistive technology has been the most common among the suggested technology in the world of Occupational therapy. It is simply an aid, and an innovative aid at that. It allows therapy, and assistance when need be at the convenience of the patient. An assistive device that I found a lot was a Communication Board – a card made of paper/cardboard that has an assortment of letters and symbols that are adaptive to suit the communicators/user’s needs. It is commonly used when communicating with patients with Down syndrome, autistic, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities that hinder communication and clarity.

It is interesting to see how people can develop a life care plan and create therapies more conveniently, innovatively and clearly with the aid of technology. I look forward to exploring more specifics in these studies, more assistive and other types of technology used in therapy, and hopefully developing a deep understanding of how and why this integration is necessary and helpful.

Embarking on a new journey

Starting this WordPress blog years ago, I was intending to create networks in the world of Dentistry. Years later, I have changed my major and my plans for the future. I have started to gear toward becoming an Occupational therapist and helping those in need of everyday motor skill enhancement, aid, and development. I look forward to exploring the world of Occupational therapy and using technology tools to do so. 

For most of my posts, I will be updating readers of my blog on the progress I am making on a specific project called The 20% Project. Specifically, I am looking for new and innovative ways that Occupation Therapists (OTs) can use technology to help outpatient clients in the comfort of their own home. It is important that patients who are not enrolled in a full time rehabilitation center understand ways they can keep up their therapy at home. There should be more apps that they can by to either track or log their progress and things they have completed at home, or even apps that can be that kind of therapy. OTs can use apps such as motor skill therapy apps, brain exercises, easy to do kid apps and so on. Our world is becoming more and more technologically advanced. It is only appropriate that OTs keep up with these advancements and use it to their advantage! 

Technology can also improve the awareness that patients have of their conditions and knowledge of how to participate in therapy to better themselves. There have been countless amounts of cases where miracles happen to those who were not supposed to walk, talk, and function as an everyday average person again. Those cases can keep happening with the aid of technology giving more options to OTs on what exactly a patient needs as a life care plan. OTs can build their audience using social media in technology and allow fellow OTs or other patients to have FAQs answered and have resources to go to when needing anything. 

Technology can be an OTs best friend, and it is my job during this project to see exactly how that can happen. I look forward to trying to bridge the gap of this kind of healthcare and their use of technology to help outpatient clients in the comfort of their own home.