Making any decision that affects your health and well-being – or that of a loved one – can seem daunting. When it comes to making choices with the occupational therapy field, NBCOT recommends that you ask the following questions to decide if a person or facility is right for you:
Are your certifications current?
NBCOT's certification program ensures that occupational therapists and therapy assistants are fully qualified and prepared to perform the required services. To maintain certification, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are required to invest in their professional development and adhere to a strict Code of Conduct.
What is your educational background and how familiar are you with this condition?
Ask about any certifications, training, or experiences that may address the patient’s specific issue(s). Choose an occupational therapist or therapy assistant that can speak intelligently on the subject. Remember that experience counts, but the person selected should also be a good “fit” for you or your loved one.
How do you keep current?
This question will help you assess an occupational therapist or therapy assistant’s curiosity, interests, and familiarity with the latest research and evidence-based treatment programs.
What is your plan of action?
Look for an occupational therapist or therapy assistant that presents a holistic, creative, and specialized program. He/she should provide written goals before treatment - this will enable everyone involved to evaluate the patient’s progress.
How can I help?
A successful therapy program often relies on a strong support system, especially as patients transition to life outside the therapy facility or office. It is important to understand what is required of both the patient-therapist and patient-caregiver relationship to ensure the best outcomes.
Can you provide me with references?
Independent verification of the occupational therapist or therapy assistant's performance record will go a long way to creating a more trusting relationship.
Many times, the choice of occupational therapist or therapy assistant also requires the patient and his/her loved ones to consider a rehabilitation or long-term care facility. These questions can help guide that process:
Is the organization as a whole accredited?
Request information on which authority has certified the facility’s services.
How does management measure quality?
Knowing which benchmarks an organization employs to measure performance and how they compare to local and national averages will help you understand the level of care you can expect to receive.
How satisfied are your clients?
Ask if the facility regularly conducts client satisfaction surveys or if they have been evaluated by an independent firm.