The Occupational Therapy Service at Boston Children's Hospital provides direct inpatient care to patients ranging in age from newborns to young adults.
- Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5 pm
- Weekends as needed
Patients referred for occupational therapy while in the hospital may be:
- Recovering from surgery
- Receiving care for a traumatic injury or illness
- Undergoing treatment related to an acute, chronic or complex medical conditions
Our staff is specially trained to deal with a variety of pediatric medical conditions, including:
- Orthopedic conditions
- Neurological conditions
- Congenital hand conditions
- Acquired hand conditions
Occupational therapists play an integral role in the management of patients in our intensive care units:
- Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU)
- Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Our therapists provide examination, evaluation and treatment to patients with impairments, functional limitations, disease and disability. We also provide consultation to the medical staff regarding occupational therapy services.
The goal of therapy
Our occupational therapists work to improve each patient's underlying impairments and try to help them make a full recovery or return to their optimal level of function. Our occupational therapists are skilled in modifying our patients' environments and daily tasks and in using adaptive equipment and assistive technology to increase functional independence.
Occupational therapy is initiated by a referral from the patient's physician.
Occupational therapists perform thorough initial evaluations and use the results to develop comprehensive treatment programs with specific, objective, measurable and time-based goals.
Treatment programs are always individualized for each patient. Examples of treatment include:
- Self care and adaptive equipment intervention (Example, selecting or developing equipment, teaching patients how to use equipment)
- Visual-motor intervention
- Upper extremity motor recovery (Example, reaching and grasping)
- Custom splint fabrication
- Range of motion programs
- Strengthening programs
- Developmental activities for long-term patients
Our staff works together with physicians, nurses, physical therapists, patient care coordinators, and parents to provide the best possible care to each patient. Our therapists participate in interdisciplinary team meetings during a patient's stay. When a patient is ready to go home, our therapists work with rehabilitation professionals in the community to coordinate care.
Educating patients and families
We emphasize participation of the family or other caregivers in each patient's treatment program.
Home programs are provided, as well as education regarding occupational therapy discharge plans and follow-up.
In many instances, occupational therapists assist in deciding when a patient is ready to leave the hospital. We communicate whether or not a patient is safe to be discharged to home or may benefit from a transition to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital.
Along with the patient's physician, we may recommend that a patient receive occupational therapy services in his/her home or on an outpatient basis after leaving the hospital.
If a patient needs to return for outpatient occupational therapy appointments, we often refer patients to Children's Outpatient occupational therapists. We can also help coordinate outpatient services within the community.