ATI Physical Therapy Celebrates Occupational Therapy Month
Hand therapist help patients live life to the fullest
ATI Physical Therapy is celebrating National Occupational Therapy Month by recognizing the work hand therapists do each day.
Kathy Callaway, MHS, PT, CHT, is ATI's Vice President of Specialty Services and has been a certified hand therapist for 20 years. “The hands and upper extremities are extremely important to everyday function,” said Kathy. “As hand therapists, our goal is to help restore a patient’s function so they can successfully complete everyday tasks with as little pain as possible.”
Many of ATI’s hand therapists are certified occupational therapists by trade rather than physical therapists. Although there are many similarities between the two, occupational therapists focus on evaluating and improving a person’s functional abilities while physical therapists focus more on assisting patients with movement.
Occupational therapists evaluate a patient’s home and work environments to offer suggestions on adaptive equipment and activity modifications to improve their function. As The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) states, occupational therapists take a holistic approach to therapy, considering the person an integral part of the therapy team and focusing on how to adapt an environment to best fit that person.
“Hand therapists treat a variety of injuries from broken bones and arthritis, to amputations and disabling trauma,” said Mary Anne Dykstra, OTR/L, CHT, a hand therapist for ATI’s Midwest division. “It’s important that we customize our care to the need of each patient, and create treatment plans that will not only improve their function, but improve their overall quality of life.”