1. How often will I receive occupational therapy?

The frequency and duration of an occupational therapy treatment plan is related to the medical diagnosis or surgical procedure performed. For example, a patient who has been fit with a customized splint may be seen daily for monitoring of the splint and for other therapeutic activities, such as teaching one-handed techniques for dressing.

2. Do you have a rehabilitation unit at BIDMC?

We do not have a rehabilitation unit. Occupational therapists work closely with case managers and make recommendations to the treatment team for patients requiring further rehabilitation services after discharge.

3. What is the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy?

While both disciplines work very closely together to coordinate care, the occupational therapist focuses on a patient's occupational performance. For example, if a patient is returning home to care for an infant, the occupational therapist focuses on those functional activities that are important for a parent to perform such as carrying the infant, diapering, etc. Each patient identifies his/her goals in the initial assessment, and these activities are included in the treatment plan.

The physical therapist focuses on a patient's ability to mobilize safely such as transferring out of bed to a chair, walking and climbing stairs. BIDMC physical therapists also are trained in chest physical therapy and use these techniques to help patients clear secretions and improve breathing.

4. Since BIDMC is a teaching hospital do I need to be treated by a student?

We have a very active student teaching program and usually have occupational therapy students in training. However, you may request to not be treated by a student.

5. How many years of training do occupational therapists have?

New graduate occupational therapists must have at least a Master's Degree in occupational therapy and have successfully passed a national examination to be licensed to practice in Massachusetts.