Get to know an Occupational Therapist at VHA

[Background Music] My name is Christine DeLisle
and I’m an occupational therapist here at the VA Southern Nevada. My department
of occupational therapy works on rehabilitating the Veteran in ways
that improve their functional capacities. So we use work simulation
units that allow you to simulate anything from being able to open up
a jar or being able to work a hammer or broom. For someone who is interested
in going back and being able to do carpentry for example, we have attachments
that simulate things like their screwdrivers. People who have had
carpal tunnel and any type of distal radius fracture, being able to work on
their pronation and supination skills can be accomplished using this type
of skill. Depending on the amount of resistance we think is appropriate for
the VSeteran we can program it to be anything from zero to 50, 60 pounds
of resistance. We have a kitchen setup in our clinic area, that way we can
work on retraining them on how to do things such as being able to prepare
themselves a simple meal. We have a functional stove, an oven which
allows us to, again, take a look at their cooking abilities and their
abilities to navigate environments that can be unsafe for them at home.
Along with that we have different of utensils that allow people who
have decreased grasp to be able to feed themselves. We use things like
the grooved pegboard which have very intricate carvings on them to be
able to test and see how fast someone is able to manipulate items. From
everything like puzzle pieces—which not only work on fine motor skills, someone
who is working on their grip and pinch, but also visual perceptual.
Being able to detect the different colors and patterns on each of these
pieces and seeing—the Veteran can work on these skills in a functional
environment and carry that over at home, from clinic to home is our goal.
We utilize any types of manipulatives at our disposal, anything
from magnetic letters that we can place on a refrigerator to help
with scanning from left to right, top to bottom. The Bioness is a
functional electric stimulation unit, as well as a therapeutic stimulation
unit, which allows therapists to work with patients at regaining
the movements in their hands. So for now, for Jimmy, one of the
things that we did was we have him on functional training, it’s
a grasp and release program where it will make his hands close for
grasp, and, as you can see, he has quite a bit of pinch now. One of
the things it does is it allows you to work on opening or functionally
opening a person’s hand to be able to grasp an item. M: I like it, honestly, it’s a lot of fun.
People are nice occasionally. My goal here at the VA is not
only to feel like I am rehabilitating them physically
but really to help them transition emotionally
and mentally as well. [Background Music]

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published