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what is it, what does it treat?

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The occupational therapist works with people with disabilities or who encounter difficulties in daily activities. What does he treat? When to consult? What price?

Occupational therapy is a medical-therapeutic paramedical specialty whose bases are medical, psychosocial and educational. The occupational therapist is therefore a health professional who accompanies people with disabilities or who encounter difficulties in their daily lives. What is the work of an occupational therapist ? Why go see him? How is a session going? What are the prices ?

What is the definition of an occupational therapist?

The word “Occupational therapy” comes from the Greek “ergon” (work, activity) and “therapia” (treatment). Occupational therapy is intended for people of all ages with disabilities, including motor and psychomotor disabilities. It is considered a paramedical specialty and practiced by occupational therapists who intervene always on medical prescription. Expert in rehabilitationthey provide solutions to disability in daily, professional or school life, with the help of different types of care, advice and educational activities.

What does an occupational therapist treat?

The occupational therapist works with all types of population, from infants to the elderly in all disabilities : psychic, neurological, rheumatological, traumatological, etc. It can be requested in the early phases (post traumatic/re-education) and late (rehabilitation) with various means: activities of daily living, making splints, home/workplace layout… He takes care of the patient when a health problem limits his ability to perform personal care, move around, communicate, have fun, work or study.

Who can consult an occupational therapist?

The occupational therapist can be called upon at various times and for quite varied reasons: in prevention, after an injury, in a situation of temporary disability, or more broadly when an illness or any other reason limits the person’s ability to exercise. their daily activities independently (care, travel, work, various daily tasks, etc.).

Occupational therapy care is generally prescribed by the doctor to people suffering from disabling pathologies, including:

  • there multiple sclerosis
  • there Alzheimer’s disease
  • there rheumatoid arthritis
  • poly-handicap
  • autism
  • various malformations for example.
  • Permanent or temporary disabilities resulting from an accident or trauma
  • psychomotor disorders
  • THE developmental delays in children (learning disabilities)
  • motor disorders related to old age…

Before beginning his care, the occupational therapist evaluates the daily difficulties of the disabled person by proposing concrete situations. It also studies the environment in which these difficulties are expressed (at work, at school, at home) to put in place certain arrangements (eg: specific equipment for work) and to propose adapted rehabilitation exercises. Depending on the nature of the disability, different techniques can be used as acts of re-education and rehabilitation by the gesture (manual techniques: carpentry, pottery, etc.) or fun activities (eg psychomotor development of the child). Learning technical gestures makes it possible to compensate for a handicap preventing the performance of a task.

Before the first visit to the occupational therapist, you must bring a letter from your doctor and all the documents that can help you better understand the medical situation: imaging, medical reports, etc.

Where does the occupational therapist practice?

Occupational therapists most often work in hospitals, rehabilitation and functional rehabilitation centers for adults and children, as well as in establishments for the elderly or in private practice. Patients are referred to them by their physician.

What is the price of a session? Is it reimbursed?

Occupational therapy sessions are covered by Social Security when they are carried out in a hospital, in a specialized structure or in the context of hospitalization at home. If the care is carried out in the liberal framework, it is not reimbursed because occupational therapy is not currently a profession under agreement with the Health Insurance. There pricing in each office is free, under the principle of the law of free competition. It is necessary to count around 55 euros per hour and up to 170 euros for a balance sheet.

Various types of funding exist subject to acceptance of the file: allowances to be requested from the Departmental Centers for Disabled Persons (MDPH) (Disabled Child Education Allowance and Disability Compensation Benefit), Primary Health Insurance Funds (CPAM) (request for Relief in “Legal benefit” or request for social action fund). The Mutualité Sociale Agricole (MSA) and certain mutuals offer a package or service for occupational therapy sessions or can be requested through their social action fund.

What studies to become an occupational therapist?

Occupational therapists hold a state diploma which is prepared in 3 years after the baccalaureate, in training institutes approved by regional councils and in partnership with universities. The institute can be public or private: in the latter case, the training is chargeable. Access is by competition or after a common 1st year of health studies at university.


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