Occupational Therapy Week at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital
Occupational Therapy Week at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital – rebuild, reconnect and rediscover
Next week marks Occupational Therapy (OT) Week (26-30 September) and the team at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) is celebrating all things OT and highlighting the role they have in children’s recovery and management of their health conditions.
Families and clients can look forward to a week packed with fun activities when they visit the OT department. There will also be an informative display board on OT services, signs that a child might need OT, and tips for parents or caregivers on home programmes so that the child can practice the skills addressed during therapy.
As a profession, Paediatric Occupational Therapists help clients with a range of problems to improve their functioning and quality of life. This empowers them to be as independent as possible and to experience dignity and quality of life at school, at home and at play.
At RCWMCH, the OT team focuses on quality of life, as well as viewing a client in a holistic manner, since every child has their own personality, their own interests, and their own needs. They have their wards, clinics, and individual outpatients that they provide services to. They also supervise students and help them along their journey towards becoming an OT. In addition, they value teamwork between healthcare workers caring for one patient, as well as teamwork with the child’s caregiver, family and support system.
Every child deserves the best possible opportunities to be able to engage in activities that are meaningful to them. “Being an OT gives me an opportunity to do this,” says Melissa Filter, one of the Occupational Therapists at RCWMCH.
For Melissa it is a privilege to help children to reach their potential. “As an OT, drawing the caregivers into the care of their child makes them part of the team for their child. It is important to always look further that what you can see at face value and make sure you understand the child fully within their context. Be patient and kind, and definitely be playful, have fun along the way!”
According to Melissa, a child might need OT when he or she may not be reaching all of their milestones. “A child may have an injury or condition that prevents them from doing all the things they want to and need to do. We can help rebuild children’s skills after, for example an injury, so that they can then engage in meaningful activities again.”
For more information on OT, visit www.otasa.org.za.