Things Tele OTs do Differently

Things Tele OTs do Differently

Things Tele OTs do Differently

Telerehabilitation has fast gained speed during the pandemic time, even if this Therapy method has been active for many years. This uses ‘technology’ for Client Therapist communication. Various apps for teleconferencing help during teletherapy sessions. Let us read more to understand what tele OTs do differently.

Origin of Telehealth:

Teletherapy first came into practice in the 1920s when Doctors communicated using telephones to connect with remotely placed patients. NASA used this mode to resolve the health issues of their astronauts in space. Many research papers since the 1990s have mentioned the use of Telehealth as a form of practice.

Tele Occupational Therapy Intervention uses Video conferencing apps, interactive content, and various tools to deliver these sessions. Occupational Therapists who practice as Tele therapists conduct sessions in various ways. They make use of resources at home, and electronic media during their sessions.

The reasons to opt for Teletherapy are but are not limited to, remote locations of the client, and long waiting periods for an in-person consult. Also, safety reasons during the pandemic and easy accessibility are other contributors.

The world federation of Occupational Therapists has accepted this telerehabilitation model in 2014.

Tele OTs use Digital Content for:

Using Digital Content helps tele Ots to conduct sessions in different ways.

Interactive Session: Digital content is shared with the clients here. These activities target areas like visual coordination, visual-motor coordination, Scanning, and fine motor skills. This makes use of predesigned worksheets and therapeutic content.

Virtual Activities: These activities help sustain attention during the session. These help as activity breaks and also get the child to concentrate better. Letter hunt and spot differences are examples of these.

Online Games: These games are goals specific and Client specific. These help them practice a task and help with sorting, identification, visual scanning, and visual perception.

Tele Occupational Therapists also use:

Demonstration: Tele OTs sometimes demonstrate exercises and then also perform with the client, using the same/ similar equipment at both ends. This helps with eliminating improper positioning, postural corrections, and better visual learning.

House space and environment: This is the major benefit of therapy in the home environment. A familiar place enhances performance and easy access to everyday regular items. These are used differently as per the set goals. Also, immediate ideas are shared to use the same items differently to target practicing at home.

Role Play or concept learning: Through play covering various themes, a client can think, logically reason, visually scan and collect items, and interact as the character. These skills help with imagination, executive functioning, communication, attention, and memory.

How to modify the home environment for Tele OT:

Many factors contribute to a great teletherapy session. Firstly, essentials for tele OT sessions are large screens with web cameras, fast internet, and a well-lit corner. Secondly, a good sitting arrangement according to ergonomic principles achieves maximum participation of the client. Thirdly, free space around the sitting station to ensure good practice of taught exercises and movements. The clutter-free, noise-free environment also contributes to maintaining certain decorum during the sessions. Lastly, the presence of a caregiver along with the client ensures their safety and understanding of the exercises better. Read more on best practices in Teletherapy here. 

For Effective Tele OT sessions:

Tele OT sessions involve the caregivers during the session. What they also do is demonstrate the task and guide the caregiver for home therapy. The Therapist, the caregiver, and the client work together to meet the set goals. Therapists re-evaluate these goals in a timely fashion and set new goals as per the client’s needs.

We are a team of trained professionals at 1 Special Place and are skilled in tele rehabilitation. Get in touch with us here.

Amruta Tamboli
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