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Occupational Therapy vs Physical Therapy

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ragger33

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Hi,
If I'm interested in working with paraplegic people, which field should I go-into? Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy? Basically, I'm also done with my business degree, and I volunteered to help-out a teenage paraplegic this year-- and I absolutely fell in love with the guy and helping him out. I'm thinking about switching future careers, but I don't really know so much about either Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy. As of now, I help him get dressed a little in the morning (by putting-on his pants and shoes) and at night after he takes a shower, help him get set-up in his bed to get ready to go to sleep, and carry him on and off the bus when traveling. Which field should I be more interested in? What kind of activities would a Occupational Therapist do with a paraplegic, and what kind of activities would a Physical Therapist do with a paraplegic? Thanks for the direction guys.
 

ragger33

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wow. i think you read into that a little too much.
i meant: that I really enjoy working with him, and I feel like I'm actually doing something good, and that it could be a very fulfilling career (in terms of life-purpose, etc).
but thanks for answering the question though. (not)
 

ukegal

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To me, it sounds like OT because those are all ADLs with assistance. In my mind, PT would be about working the muscles to get them to function (as much as they can) again.
 

superCOTA

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Yes, I'm busting your onions. But hey man, loving your patients can land you in jail, and it's just not cool. :love: So don't do it, buster!

OT teaches the disabled to do for themselves.... we help them figure out a way to do it and we leave and move on to the next person.

Some who suffered an accident can be rather bitter. I'm not generalizing... It's not everyone... i said SOME, but there are stages to get through and some don't get through any, and with the large helping of psychology in OT that PT does not recieve, I suggest OT to help them with this.

I recommend a movie called "Murderball", which deals w/a w/c rugby team, and some individual situtaion of it's members. These guys would get OT for a few weeks to months and a few more at home, then they are on their own. Our role is important but it's short term. And those that are younger/smarter will be figuring this out on their own rather quickly. Just to be clear.

I have done ADL's with those who were born disabled and those who abruptly became so. Really, you get to a point where their max level of independence is determined, and either they are independent or not. At this point OT makes a recommendation for the best type of living with the least restrictive environment that suits the patient best, and we discharge the patient from services. Those that still need physical help recieve it from a personal care assistant (PCA or CNA or family.) We can make a recommendation for a particular living situtaion and if there is a social worker involved, they often take over w/ such referrals.

You probably are interested in the rehabbing of someone and not just the daily routine of doing ADL's all day, but the movie will shed some light on those in different stages of life and their state of mind.... OT's often work in a facility where you dont get to pick and choose your patients, although there are some dynamite rehab centers that would get the more interesting cases than 'shady acres' nursing home. Minors recieve OT in schools but it's for academic reasons mostly. Some minors get OT/PT at home and that's where the ADL's would be addressed (Some states in the US dont offer such services, like the ones west of the George Washington Bridge LOL. Seriously.)

Good luck. Maybe wait a bit to see how the current goverment is going to treat us on each side of the clinical table. A 6-Figure business job and volunteering isn't so bad, either.
 
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