This week marks my office assistant’s end of her 3 month probationary period with us here at Hands on Therapy Services. I am very happy to have Gretell on board with us and hope she can stay as long as she can and potentially even grow within our company. Sometimes I have so many stories I want to tell about hand therapy but can’t decide on which one to write about 1st. It was her suggestion that maybe I can write a blog post about having fun in occupational therapy! Because we really DO have fun!
Thank goodness I love what I do. And I have FUN with it. I have fun with my patients AND I make fun of them! Hahaha! What is better than that I ask you?!? Having fun at work=having fun in therapy.
The problem is that most people who come here are not in a fun situation. I would say at least 90% of my patients are complicated cases, with surgery. It’s my specialty.
- They have pain.
- They feel bad.
- They are frustrated.
- They are worried.
But coming to a good occupational therapy place can make a bad situation better, gets your mind and your physical being better. It doesn’t have to be only here with our occupational therapy clinic in Miami, but these are what you may want to look for in a therapy clinic. What are some of the things that we have fun with? How do we turn pain into laughter? Funny enough, patients laugh at each other! It’s a riot….really I tell you! And it’s not mean spirited by the way. They laugh at each moaning and groaning, then they realize it’s their turn to get tortured! Oh the faces that we all make here too! Hand therapy can be very painful. Believe me, there are tears. But those are short lived in a positive environment and with progress. Mostly everyone encourages each other to do better.
Some of the ways we promote a positive environment is by discussing:
- Diagnosis – can you believe that a lot of people come in and don’t really understand what happened to them and what type of surgery they had and why they needed it? Am I talking about you?? It’s amazing! But helping you understand what happened and why you had the surgery makes a huge difference in how well you can do because now you understand what it can take to get better. And leads us into the next topic.
- Goals – What are YOUR goals? What is the plan in occupational therapy? How long does therapy take? Knowing what you need to do or what not to do can help you to reduce the risk of developing complications. Discussing together the goals and updating the goals over the course of the occupational therapy sessions allows us to better connect on what needs to get done for better outcomes.
- Outcomes – every week or two we take measurements of some kind whether it be functional measures of “oh I can brush my teeth with that hand” and “I can reach to comb my hair” or with measuring tools to see how the numbers have improved. Visuals like pictures from beginning, middle, to end really can highlight where you were and how far you have come even if it’s not perfect yet.
- Words of encouragement- You can’t all be positive all the time. This is most true when you are hurt and cannot function the way you want to function. The fear of not being able to return to your old self is constantly looming over you. I get it. We ALL need words of encouragement. Besides the three topics above, words of encouragement is very effective in giving us that extra push when we don’t think we can do it one more minute.
I hope this was helpful for you to know what to look for in an occupational therapy clinic. We are centrally located in Miami. If you are looking to have some fun during your hand therapy, click HERE!
Hoang Tran, OT/L, CHT
Hands on Therapy Services is a leading Miami certified hand therapist, specializing in rehabilitation of shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand injuries resulting from injuries, surgery, or naturally occurring conditions. Our Miami hand therapy services are provided by our certified hand therapist in Miami. We also offer occupational therapy in Miami with our on site occupational therapist. Plus – coming soon – we will be offering physical therapy in Miami.
Disclaimer: As with all our pages, this is NOT a substitute for formal medical treatment or occupational therapy. It is intended to inform only. Hands on Therapy Services disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.