Welcome to St. Mary's Physical and Occupational Therapy Department

Alisha Ettleman, Tristin Miller, Jody Lang
Brant Loose, Nicole Guess, Brandon Wehenkel

What Is Physical Therapy?
In an editorial that appeared in PT Magazine in October 1999, the publisher remarked:

"Physical therapists are good people to know. They're educated in understanding the interaction of all your body parts. Their hands-on approach begins with examination, diagnosis, and treatment of the immediate problem. Then they teach you how to take care of yourself by showing you how to do exercises and how to use your body properly to gain strength and mobility and prevent recurring injury. You'll find them advising on proper posture and body motion in the work place, treating injuries, consulting on fitness, and administering physical therapy in the home. Today physical therapists provide help for every part of the body to everyone from infants to the elderly - more than 1 million people every day!"

The physical therapist provides services aimed at preventing the onset and/or slowing the progression of conditions resulting from injury, disease, and other causes. The physical therapist provides these services to people of all ages who have functional conditions resulting from back and neck injuries, sprains/strains and fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, birth defects such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida, injuries related to work and sports, and others.

Adapted from the APTA

What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives. It gives people the "skills for the job of living" necessary for independent and satisfying lives. Services typically include:

Customized treatment programs to improve one's ability to perform daily activities
Comprehensive home and job site evaluations with adaptation recommendations
Performance skills assessments and treatment
Adaptive equipment recommendations and usage training
Guidance to family members and caregivers

About Occupational Therapy Practitioners
Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with specific emphasis on the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury.

The occupational therapist enters the field with a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree. The occupational therapy assistant generally earns an associate degree.

Practitioners must complete supervised clinical internships in a variety of health care settings, and pass a national examination. Most states also regulate occupational therapy practice.

Adopted from AOTA

Additional Links
Meet the Therapists
Who can benefit from Physical Therapy?