Prairie du Chien Mayor Dave Hemmer signed a proclamation declaring April 2014 as Occupational Therapy Month honoring the professionals and program that serve the community. Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital’s Occupational Therapy team includes Jill Koehn, COTA; Crystal Keeney, Occupational Therapist; Angela Wagner, OT (Director); Nathan Rickertsen, OT; Sarah Fruit, OTA student; and Javier Alvarez, COTA.
Occupational therapy focuses on maximizing a person’s ability to participate in life independently. People who can benefit from occupational therapy range from the tiniest of newborn infants to senior citizens, and every age in between. Many occupational therapy practitioners work in schools, where they help children pursue the ‘occupations’ of learning, playing, and growing.
Occupational therapy also helps children with conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome, spina bifida, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other health and psychosocial conditions. Premature infants often benefit from occupational therapy. A baby's occupation is to eat and grow, but if developmental complications cause feeding problems, occupational therapy can often provide treatments that improve the baby's ability to take in nourishment. In industry, occupational therapy helps injured workers return to the job, and also can teach healthy employees how to prevent injuries at work. Some common work-related conditions that can benefit from occupational therapy are hand and wrist problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
Older persons also benefit from occupational therapy. It not only helps in recovery from illness, surgery, or stroke, it can also improve overall well being. Occupational therapists help seniors maintain their independence by working to improve their mobility, ensure safety in the home, and maintain access to their community.
To learn more about the benefits of occupational therapy, please contact PdC Memorial Hospital at 608-357-2000 or access the website at pdcmh.org