• Mariella

Finding the right Occupational Therapist (OT)

Updated: Jan 11

If you have a physical injury or illness, a mental health related issue or difficulties related to normal aging, getting help from an occupational therapist can prove invaluable in how you navigate your recovery and get back to your daily activities and responsibilities.

If you are wondering how to find an occupational therapist who is the right fit for you, keep reading.

Since occupational therapists work in a variety of settings, they will have different skills and experiences. Therefore, it is important to discuss your situation with your occupational therapist, so they can tell you if they can help. Ask the occupational therapist about any knowledge and experience they have working with similar clients and how their training can help you meet your treatment goals.

Before hiring an OT consider the following;

1. Their experience. To start, you want to ensure that the therapist you are considering has completed all requirements for their licensure. Here in Quebec, they have to be a member of the Ordre des Ergothérapeutes du Quebec. When you’re seeking the help of a healthcare professional, you also want to know about their level of experience. Many occupational therapists will specialize in specific areas such as pediatrics, mental health or the senior population.

2. Connection. You want to have a connection with your OT so that you feel comfortable with them. Speaking with your therapist before having a session can help to establish trust and help you determine if there is a personality fit. A good therapist will listen and take the time to discover your needs and what is important to you.

3. Location of services. Depending on your situation, treatment may be home based in person or virtual on the computer. Make sure you ask about any technology you may need. And if you require home services, ask if there are any additional costs associated with travel time or mileage. If you’re going to participate in regular therapy over a period of time, it needs to be convenient for you. It will also be easier to get regular appointments for in-home care if the OT is located in your area.

4. Cost. Ask the occupational therapist for a breakdown of their fees, including the cost of an initial assessment, follow-up visits, and charges for additional services such as phone calls, emails, reports etc.

There are many things to consider when looking for the right therapist for you or your loved one, and choosing the right therapist can be emotionally and physically draining. Asking questions and making some preliminary contact can be the difference between having good results and having great results, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. You want someone who can focus on your specific needs and create a care plan to get you there.

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