THE OT OBSERVER
. • Nick Roselli - Therapy
Specializing in Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation
Manhasset 585 Plandome Rd., Ste. 102 Manhasset, NY 11030 (516) 869-5576
Bronx 931-A Morris Park Ave.
Queens 61-18 190 St. Fresh Meadows, NY 11365 (718) 454-0842
Bronx, NY 10462 (718) 822-4054
THE FIRST USES OFOCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AND HOW IT LED ME TO SPECIALIZE IN HAND THERAPY
hammer, etc. We celebrated the centennial of occupational therapy in 2017, and it’s interesting to look back at the history of this profession and see how it continues to serve patients today. My own practice has been deeply informed by what I learned studying occupational therapy. I utilize many of the techniques I developed in OT school every day. It’s where I became skilled in making braces and splints. When a patient has limited motion in their middle finger, for example, we’ll create a brace to heal the area and help them regain mobility. Sometimes a patient has doctor’s orders not to move their hand, so we make a splint to immobilize it and help them heal. We’re well versed in making these tools for the benefit of our patients. Because my foundation is based largely in occupational therapy, it was a natural transition for me to specialize in hand therapy. As an occupational therapist, you learn the basics of orthotic fabrication, and I saw how well this applied to the detailed work of hand therapy. In hand therapy, we focus on addressing the immediate needs of patients to help them regain mobility and complete activities without pain. If my patient is struggling to
“We are all occupational therapists first, reduced from our specialties by the common denominator, the human being who needs our help.” Occupational therapist Florence Stattel said this at the 38th American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Conference in San Francisco. The year was 1955, but even 65 years later, Stattel’s words are just as true. Occupational therapy was developed in the aftermath of World War I, when shell-shocked soldiers returning from battle needed support and care. The U.S. Department of War appointed reconstruction aides to help rehabilitate soldiers who were injured or disabled, and the first occupational therapists were born. These aides recommended daily tasks, like making the bed, and creative pursuits, like painting and crafting, to give confidence and mobility back to their patients. Since then, the profession has grown and developed to meet the needs of modern-day America, but at its root, it remains “the science of healing by occupation.” By nature, occupational therapy is a creative and resourceful profession. OTs figure out what’s limiting a patient and then facilitate healing through occupation — tying shoes, writing a check, using a
hold a toothbrush, we look at what’s limiting them and determine how we can build up their strength and dexterity to return to this activity. We work on the foundation of the hand and make sure it can function without pain. The results of our work help our patients be more independent at home and live their lives without limitations. I’m proud to have gotten my start with the principles of occupational therapy, and I’m so grateful for how integral they’ve been to helping patients get back to their lives without pain.
–Nick Roselli OTR/L,CHT, Owner
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