Occupational Therapists at QEII Hospital are helping provide relief for patients waiting for surgery or removing their need for surgery all together.
Occupational Therapist, Sian Cooper, said involvement in one of the state’s few Primary Contact Clinics at QEII is just one of the rewarding aspects of a job that forms an essential part of health service delivery.
“As an OT, we can follow a patient journey from injury to outpatient rehabilitation whether they are unwell or recovering from surgery.
“We are able to spend more time with a patient than their GP or surgeon which means we are able to educate them on what the injury means for them, when it’s suitable to start introducing new functional activities and how they can continue living a normal life while they recover,” she said.
Working from the Outpatient Hand Clinic, the case load at QEII is varied with a wide range of ages, injuries and requirements.
“We see everyone from the highly active recovering from a snowboarding accident, to the more sedentary elderly who may have had a fall”.
“Our holistic approach to care means that we look at the patient, their occupation and the environmental factors that will impact their injury. So the one patient may need weekly rehabilitation for her hand at the clinic, but she also may not have left the house since her fall, she may require access to a community based psychology service, or education and guidance on how to get back to living her life as normally as possible,” she said.
Sian has worked at QEII, PA Hospital and also Gold Coast University Hospital since returning to Brisbane about six years ago, rotating around several areas in the field.
“I love the surgical side of things because it’s always expanding, there’s always different types of surgeries, different techniques and lots of research happening in that space which is exciting to be a part of,” she said.
Through QEII’s Primary Contact Service, OT’s are able to contribute in reducing surgery lists by treating patients conservatively.
“We are often able to remove patients from the orthopaedic surgery list completely through therapy or at least review their case and provide relief and improved quality of life while they wait.”
Occupational Therapy Week runs from 21-27 October, shining a spotlight on how OT’s work to support people of all abilities to engage in activities they find meaningful.