Occupational Therapy

For many people, everyday living is complicated by disease, aging, disability, illness, or trauma. Occupational therapy can provide people with the skills they need to overcome disabling conditions. Occupational therapy is not limited to work-related injuries. Occupation refers to activities that are meaningful to an individual within the environment the person lives and functions. The three areas of occupation are self-care, work and leisure.

Any injury to your hands or arms can hurt your ability to perform even the simplest and most basic daily activities. At Ministry Saint  Michael’s Hospital, we recognize how important it is to you to be able to use your hands and arms, pain-free.

Our Staff
Michelle Newman, OTR, CHT
Loretta Ferg, OTR, CHT
Mary Spielman, OTR
Kylie Steines, COTA

 

Occupational Therapy in Acute Care
During a hospitalization for an acute illness, injury or surgery, patients may need help to become independent and safe in performing daily living activities. Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital Occupational Therapists provide services to patients requiring assistance with these activities due to loss of range of motion, strength, endurance and/or motor control. Activities of daily living may include feeding, oral hygiene, bathing, dressing and toileting.

Our occupational therapists may educate the patient in the use of adaptive equipment such as reachers, dressing sticks, sponges, long-handled shoe horns and sockaids. The therapist may also fabricate or recommend pre-fabricated splints to promote proper positioning or aid in recovery after injury or surgical intervention.

Our Staff
Michelle Newman, OTR, CHT
Loretta Ferg, OTR, CHT

 

Hand Therapy

Our highly skilled and nationally certified hand and occupational therapists provide services to patients with hand and upper extremity injuries and medical conditions. Together with the physician and patient, our therapists develop individual treatment and rehabilitation programs to maximize functional levels for each individual.

Hand Therapy Services include:

  • Wound Management
  • Splint application
  • Rehabilitation techniques for conditions such as tendinitis, neurological disorders of the upper extremities, tendon and ligament injuries, tendon transfers, edema, traumatic injuries, post-surgical treatment, fractures, lacerations, amputations, vascular disorders, burns and joint replacements.

Our Staff
Michelle Newman, OTR, CHT
Loretta Ferg, OTR, CHT

Low Vision Therapy

Medical professionals define low vision as “vision loss severe enough to hinder the performance of daily living, but still allowing some useful visual discrimination.” Whether it’s caused by macular degeneration, glaucoma or diabetes, low vision may mean a loss of independence for millions of Americans.

Occupational Therapy focuses on enabling the patient to safely and independently complete the daily living tasks compromised by vision loss. This is accomplished by teaching patients to use remaining vision as efficiently as possible to complete activities; modifying activities so they can be completed with less vision; and training you to use adaptive equipment to compensate for vision loss such as magnifiers. .

Our Staff
Michelle Newman, OTR, CHT

Lymphedema Therapy

Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid that causes swelling in the arms and legs. Edema occurs when venous or lymphatic vessels or both are impaired. When the impairment is so great that the lymph fluid exceeds the lymphatic transport capacity, an abnormal amount of protein fluid collects in the tissues of the extremity. This can interfere with wound healing and can result in various infections.

While damage to the lymph system can be long-term or even irreversible, the symptoms brought on by lymphedema are now treatable, thanks to modern antibiotics and special rehabilitation techniques developed in recent years. The Rehabilitation Department at Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital is a regional center for lymphedema therapy, servicing patients from communities throughout central Wisconsin.

The patient may be referred to an occupational therapist at Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital who is specially trained in techniques that aim to lessen the swelling. This unique treatment uses these techniques: Compression wraps, compression garments, massage and Sequential gradient pumping.

Compression and Massage - Compression is applied to the limb to reduce the swelling. It may be applied by using multi-layer compression wraps often followed by the use of compression stockings or sleeves. A special therapeutic massage may also be performed, focusing on gently massaging connective tissue (not muscle tissue as with traditional massage) with a pumping motion. This stimulates the weakened lymphatic system by pushing the stagnant fluid through the vessels, allowing the venous system to reabsorb the fluid and helping to develop collateral channels through which the lymph can begin to flow.

Sequential Gradient Pumping – A sequential gradient pump, distributes pressure through overlapping air compartments constructed in a special appliance that envelopes the limb. The compartments inflate sequentially, causing the lymphatic fluid to circulate out of the affected limb, thereby reducing the swelling.

Our Staff
Michelle Newman, OTR, CHT
Loretta Ferg, OTR, CHT

Information Request

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