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OMC and the City of West Plains recognize April as Occupational Therapy Month

Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) Rehabilitation Services and the City of West Plains recognize April as Occupational Therapy Month. Occupational therapy enables people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them live better with injury, illness, or disability.

“At OMC Rehabilitation Services, we are very fortunate to have a staff of certified occupational therapists and certified occupational therapist assistants that strive to help our patients return to the activities of daily living,” said Pam Ream, director of OMC Rehabilitation Services. “Occupational therapy helps people stay active in their daily routine, whether that is work, or just their everyday activities.”

According to Ream, occupational therapists and therapy assistants focus on helping patients return to work or activities, which are meaningful to that individual. This can be accomplished despite their challenges that they face.

Ream said therapists work with patients to maximize their potential so that they can thrive at school, work, home or in any setting. Occupational therapists help people overcome their disabilities or medical conditions so they can accomplish their everyday tasks. “Our mission is to work with our patients and help them with the skills they need to live life to its fullest,” Ream added.

Connie Henry of West Plains received occupational therapy at OMC’s Rehabilitation Services. “I credit the work with my occupational therapist, Brian Cote, and my surgeon for being able to use my hand today. I was extremely impressed with Brian’s professionalism and his one-on-one attention that I received. He didn’t let me off easy during our sessions, and he spent my scheduled time working just with me. Pam would always check in to see how I was doing, too. I truly felt like the staff at OMC genuinely cared about me and that I was not just another number.”

Occupational therapy takes into account a person’s psychological, physical, emotional and social makeup as well as their environment. The therapists work with the clients to achieve their goals, function at the highest possible level, concentrate on what matters most to them, maintain or rebuild their independence, and participate in daily activities they need or want to do. Solutions may include: adaptations for how to do a task, changes to the individual’s surroundings or helping them to alter their own behaviors.

Ream said occupational therapy can also help with fine motor skills and visual perception. Occupational therapy can be of assistance to those who have had a stroke or head injury, or those who have developmental delays or neurological problems. Specialized occupational therapy is offered at the Hand Clinic, a clinic dedicated to treating injuries that affect hand function, which is staffed by a Certified Hand Therapist.

Rehabilitation Services also offers sensory integration testing and therapy for those people who have problems interpreting and processing information they receive through their senses. Sensory integration therapy aids in the behavioral aspects of autism and Asperger's disorder.

In addition to occupational therapy, OMC Rehabilitation Services also offers physical therapy and speech-language pathology services in the hospital and at area clinics, schools, and work places, and through Riverways Home Health of OMC. For more information about OMC Rehabilitation Services or occupational therapy, call 417-257-5959 or toll-free 888-242-9329 or e-mail rehab@ozarksmedicalcenter.com.

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