PMH HealthBeat

Occupational Therapy Month

During National Occupational Therapy Month, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital recognizes its growing and successful Occupational Ther- apy team. PMH is proud to offer full-time services in both Occupational and Physical therapies. These two fields are often confused or lumped together, but they are vastly different. 

Rehabilitation services are available for both inpatients and outpatients in need of treatment in the recovery of a surgery, illness or other medical condition.  Occupational therapy focuses on helping individuals who have had some kind of impairment or injury re-learn how to perform daily activities that are meaningful to them. This could include dressing, bathing, self-feeding, meal prep and even hunting and fishing. This is especially useful after a stroke, fracture or surgery.

Occupational therapy practitioners ask not only, “What’s the matter with you?” but also, “What matters to you?” Then they develop individual goals and work plans for each patient to achieve. 

For children, this can include sensory integration, handwriting and assisting children with disabilities to be able to participate fully in school and social situations.

For adults with injuries or changes in health, OT can help people recover from an injury to regain skills to be able to return to work. For older adults, this can include bathing, dressing, eating, getting to the bathroom, meal preparation, and being able to access their home safely, decrease fall risk and learn how to use and incorporate adaptive equipment during functional tasks.

The Occupational Therapy Department uses real patient examples of how they can help others.  Once a former critical care nurse and supervisor at a large hospital in North Carolina, Susan Walker was an in-patient at PMH for two weeks.  During her stay at PMH, she noted that the staff was not only concerned for her immediate medical problem, but her ability to live a better life once out of the hospital.  She said occupational and physical therapies made this happen.  She has since been coming to the Rural Health Clinic because of the “excellent care and genuine concern” shown to her.

PMH’s team includes Kristy Riffe, a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant; and PRN Occupational therapists Alicia Hanshew, Abigail McNeel and Katy Pugh.

If you have any questions about the occupational therapy services at PMH, or would like information on scheduling an appointment, please contact us at 304-799-1015.

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