Alicia Hanshew, Occupational Therapist; Abigail McNeel, Occupational Therapist; Kristy Riffe, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Susan Wilkins
PMH Public Relations

Occupational therapy practitioners ask, “What matters to you?” not “What’s the matter with you?”

April was Occupational Therapy Month and, to celebrate, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital’s Occupational Therapy team reached out to the community with information about the services offered here in Pocahontas County.

Occupational therapy (OT) helps people across their lifespan to accomplish meaningful activities that occupy their time through rehabilitation focused on restoring function to the maximum potential (AOTA). OTs specialize in modifying and adapting functional tasks in order to ensure an individual can engage in what is important to them. 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.

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital offers outpatient and inpatient OT services in addition to physical therapy services.

According to a study published in 2016 by Medical Care Research and Review, occupational therapy services were found to be statistically significant in reducing readmission rates to the hospital for heart failure, pneumonia and heart attacks. The researchers point out that “OT focuses on a vital issue related to readmission rates – can the patient be discharged safely into her or his environment? If the answer is negative, then occupational therapists can provide a variety of interventions aimed at addressing the social factors and functional deficits that place the patient at increased risk of adverse health events and readmission.”

PMH offers full-time occupational therapy five days a week following an order from a physician. Occupational therapy providers include Katy Pugh, Alicia Hanshew, Abigail McNeel and Kristy Riffe.

To learn more about occupational therapy services at PMH, stop by the Rehab Department at PMH anytime between 7 a.m. to noon on May 3 during the Health Fair.

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