Focusing on Occupation in Occupational Therapy

Focusing on Occupation in Occupational Therapy

On this episode, I will talk with Sarah Stromsdorfer OT and blogger over at about how we as occupational therapists can add more occupation based treatment ideas and documentation into our daily interventions.

What are Occupations in Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a health care profession that focuses on helping people achieve independence in all areas of their lives. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages who have physical, mental, or developmental disabilities to help them perform their daily “occupations” – the things they want and need to do throughout the day. This can include anything from getting dressed and brushing their teeth, to driving and managing medications. They use activities and exercises to help people develop, recover, and maintain the skills needed for daily living and working in order to live as independently as possible.


MOHO Modified Interest Checklist

Occupation Based Kit Ideas

OT Goal: OT practitioner will instruct patient in 1 occupation based activity in their work environment as measured by self reporting with 100% accuracy within 1 week.

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9 thoughts on “Focusing on Occupation in Occupational Therapy”

  1. Hello Mandy, My daughter graduated from college with a pshycology degree and want to go into Occupation Therapy. Does she have to do some volunteer work in order to go to a two year school?
    Any help will definitely be appreciated.

    1. Mandy Chamberlain MOTR/L

      Hi Piervito! Thank you for the kind words. Yes, there are definitely observation hours that needs to be accomplished along with school pre-requisites before applying to occupational therapy school. Here is a great article discussing some of the requirements as each school is a little different. Occupational therapy is an amazing field and best of luck to your daughter if she decides it is a good fit!

  2. My name is Andrea and I am a new graduate of 2016. I really liked listening to this podcast! I agree with you and Sarah in there not being much to find on the internet on occupation based interventions. I am working in a SNF and it has just opened in December. The gym is bare besides biodex equipment and weights along with therabands and modalities. We have a wonderfully large kitchen with nothing in the cabinets. This is my first job out of school and it is hard for me to stay occupation based as the place has no equipment besides the items a patient comes in with i.e. clothes, toiletries. What are some items we can purchase or make that can be used for many different patients to bring in some occupational tasks during treatments? What items do you recommend a gym always have? Thanks and hope to hear from you!

    1. Mandy Chamberlain MOTR/L

      Hi there Andrea

      In the ideal world, I think the rehab gym would have an entire kitchen set up for simple (and hot!) meal prep, a laundry facility, an un-adapted bathroom, a station for grocery shopping, etc… BUT since I know this is not a reality in most facilities, I really like 1) using what the patient already has as these are the clothing, toiletries and shoes that they use at home. Also, I have put together some occupation- based kits that are really helpful so you can pull them out without taking up too much space. Here is an article I wrote with a supply list to check out:

    2. Hi Andrea, it sounds like you were at a disadvantage but also at a great advantage since you were starting pretty much from scratch! I hope you were able to advocate for the patients, yourself, and others. I am curious to know what changes occurred and what occupation-based activities were you able to implement at the skilled nursing facility?

  3. Pingback: Acute Care Occupational Therapy

  4. Pingback: Occupation Based & Functional Approaches in SNF | Seniors Flourish

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