What to expect of an Occupational Therapy Assessment
An occupational therapy assessment is an important first step in your recovery journey. That’s when your OT will understand where you’re at, what you are struggling with, and where you want to go next. It also helps the OT justify funding for treatment services, if needed, and develop a safe, effective treatment plan.
Our dedicated Occupational Therapists (OTs) are committed to providing you with individualized, meaningful, and creative ways to support your recovery journey.
Recovering from an injury is hard, but getting back to the activities you love is worth it!
Occupational Therapists are unique
OTs are university-trained, certified, and regulated by the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).
What sets OTs apart is their holistic approach to your needs. Unlike other professions that focus on either physical or emotional parts of your injury, OTs consider physical, cognitive, emotional, cultural and environmental factors to ensure that your recovery is safe, meaningful and effective. They also focus and build upon your strengths and priorities.
OTs meet you in real-life environments: at your home, workplace, and community settings, ensuring that the treatment aligns with your reality and daily life and has real impact.
Occupational Therapy can help in a variety of situations, including but not limited to:
- Home safety
- Mood management
- Concussion rehabilitation
- Community access
- Return to work
Our OTs help you getting better and improving your quality of life.
Our OTs have experience in providing OT treatment for physical injuries, mental health concerns, and brain injuries. They are passionate about delivering quality treatments tailored to your unique needs.
What to expect from your OT assessment
When someone requests the help of our OTs, we get any necessary medical information to ensure a safe assessment, and we choose an occupational therapist with the right skill set and approach to assist you. However, the OT assessment primarily involves an in-person meeting with you.
Some important information about the assessment:
- Location: Most assessments occur at your home, but may also occur at your workplace, or somewhere else in your community, depending on what is being assessed. Some specialized assessments may be conducted at our clinic in New Westminster.
- Duration: Typically, 2-3 hours.
- Components: Review of what to expect, risks and benefits (consent), an interview, observations of your daily activities, and standardized tests or questionnaires.
Your therapist will be on time, and treat you with respect, care, professionalism, and courtesy throughout the assessment. There is no judgement, nor expectation that you clean or prepare refreshments ahead of time.
If you anticipate being at all uncomfortable, just let your therapist know in advance, and invite a friend or family member to attend with you.
We expect that you provide more than 24 hours’ notice if you need to change the assessment time.
Getting ready for your OT assessment
Preparing for your assessment is easy:
- Gather Information: Relevant medical details, recent test results, and current medications.
- Review Daily Activities: Consider your daily routine and note areas of difficulty.
- Communicate: Share your goals, concerns, and relevant information during the assessment. Ask lots of questions.
- Wear Comfortable Clothing: Choose clothes that allows for easy movement.
- Be ready to “do”: the OT may ask you to show how you do certain tasks (or portions of tasks) around the house, such as sweeping, making the bed, working on the computer or emptying the dishwasher. You will not be asked to do anything that is unsafe, and the OT will provide tips and strategies to make things easier on you, right away.
Collaborative Plan for Treatment
Before completing the assessment, the OT will briefly review their findings, explore your personal, functional goals, and review possible treatments for feedback. Examples of what an OT may recommend could include: equipment, learning and practicing techniques or strategies, grading tasks (gradually making them more challenging), homework between sessions and/or referral to other health care professionals.
At OT Works!, our therapists take a collaborative approach. We listen to you, design treatment plans, and set goals with your input to ensure that your recovery is not only meaningful but also appropriate to your situation.
We communicate directly using your preferred method, welcoming feedback to enhance each client’s experience.
What happens after the OT assessment
The OT prepares a comprehensive report detailing functional strengths, difficulties and treatment recommendations. With your consent, this report can be shared with medical providers and funding parties.
If OT treatment services are recommended, the plan and goals are shared with the funder for approval (whether that’s an insurance representative, family member or other party). Ideally, occupational therapy treatment is approved and initiated within one week of the in-person assessment. Sometimes the OT will set up your first treatment session, as they leave the assessment, in anticipation of this.
However, there can sometimes be delays in obtaining approval. Your therapist will keep you updated on the process if this is the case and will advocate for service on your behalf. They also may provide you with some activities or strategies to get started with, on your own, if appropriate and safe, to facilitate an early recovery.
Once treatment is underway, your engagement, motivation and feedback will help pave the way to a new you, and the meaningful life you seek.
Contact us for your Occupational Therapy assessment
If you or someone you know could benefit from an occupational therapy assessment, don’t hesitate to contact us today!