Jesse Ausec is an occupational therapist at Beaufort Memorial. Many people don’t know exactly what occupational therapy is, or how it differs from physical therapy. That’s why we’ve gotten together with him to shed some light on the role of an occupational therapist in helping you live well.
|Jesse Ausec helps his patients reach functional goals through occupational therapy.|
How do you define occupational therapy?
Jesse: With occupational therapy, it's important to know what the word “occupation” means. It refers to an individual’s meaningful everyday activities, and they can be different for anybody from a toddler to adult.
Occupations for children include getting dressed, school work, and playing, whereas for adults occupations can include managing a household, their career, enjoying leisure activities, or anything else that fills their day. Occupational therapy is the rehab process that helps people get back to those meaningful activities.
How would you compare occupational therapy to physical therapy?
Jesse: Occupational therapy and physical therapy definitely overlap, depending on the setting, but in occupational therapy we address things like coordination, strength, balance vision and cognition. Within that context, we use functional goals like tying your shoe or getting in and out of the shower. Those are the types of issues occupational therapy addresses.
Who can benefit from occupational therapy?
Jesse: Someone could need occupational therapy at any point in life. In early childhood, there can be difficulties as a result of birth trauma, prematurity or just general delays. Aging can lead to cognitive and physical difficulties or injuries that typically occur later in life.
What’s your favorite part of your job as an occupational therapist?
Jesse: For me, it’s being a part of kids' lives. They can come to therapy to play and can count on having a friend. It’s also rewarding being able to reassure parents that the difficulties that their children are experiencing do not have to define their childs’ lives or their future.
To learn more about occupational therapy at BMH, click here