Occupational Therapy at Jefferson Hospital

If you’ve suffered a stroke or debilitating injury, depend on the specialists at Jefferson Hospital to help you reach your goals for independent living. You can count on our care.

The Occupational Therapy program at Jefferson Hospital helps patients achieve independence by recovering the self-care skills of everyday life: dressing, bathing, homemaking, and getting in and out of bed, a car, and a tub. Our licensed, certified occupational therapists and therapy assistants create individualized treatment plans that help our patients gain new strength and success every day.

Our Occupational Therapy programs are often prescribed for those recovering from a stroke, but we also provide services to patients recovering from work-related or automobile accidents, and other injuries to the nerves, spinal cord, bones, or joints. Our rehabilitation programs can start during recovery at Jefferson Hospital. Our staff provides services at the Jefferson Hospital Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit for patients receiving treatment from our departments of orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, and cardiac care.

Our therapy program includes individualized training programs to promote strength and coordination, plus assessment and recommendations for durable medical equipment to support patient safety in the home.

Our comprehensive Outpatient Therapy Services include:

  • Individualized evaluations
  • Custom splinting, fabricated on site
  • Whirlpool
  • Therapeutic modalities
  • Therapeutic exercise to increase range of motion, strength and function
  • Adaptive equipment training
  • Self-management training and home exercise instruction


A physician's referral is required prior to treatment. The Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a distinctive program of our department. This state-of-the-art, computerized assessment system can be used to assess strength and coordination giving our therapists a clear diagnosis of a person's ability. This service is provided for inpatient and outpatient adults, including seniors.

Occupational Therapy at Jefferson
Occupational therapists work with individuals to develop or relearn the skills needed to perform everyday activities of daily living (ADLs) for use in the home and community. These skills include the physical, cognitive, and visual-perceptual abilities to perform self-care and home management. Occupational therapists also work with individuals on more advanced skills to function effectively in the work, school, and community environments.

Areas of emphasis include:

1. Neuromuscular re-education and strengthening

Neuromuscular re-education focuses on improving the strength, timing, coordination, and force production of muscles affected by injury. Occupational therapists (OTs) provide therapeutic interventions that are consistent with the latest research evidence. An example of equipment utilized by occupational therapists to improve neuromuscular functioning is Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES).

2. Adaptive equipment or methods for ADLs

Often our patients have experienced a decline in their ability to perform their activities of daily living due to their injury or illness. Our occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants can utilize adaptive equipment or modify ways to perform tasks to help the individual regain as much independence as possible. We offer wheelchair accessible bedrooms, laundry areas, bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms. Occupational therapists work with patients in this setting to practice using adaptive equipment or adaptive methods for the best, most independent level of function possible.

3. Visual-perception

Many patients who have had a neurological incident experience changes in their visual function. Our occupational therapists screen patients for difficulties with visual processing and, if necessary, make referrals to professionals who specialize in neurology and low vision. Therapists work on improving patient function by teaching and incorporating visual-perceptual compensatory strategies and facilitating improved visual processing through therapeutic activities.

4. Community re-entry

Occupational therapists work with patients who are considering returning to work after experiencing a neurological or complex orthopedic disability. The occupational therapist collaborates with other health care professionals and works with the patient to develop an appropriate treatment plan to prepare them for their return to the working environment.

The occupational therapist can contacts the patient’s employer as needed to get information regarding the job, policies related to return to work, and special consideration/circumstances that might impact successful return to work.

Occupational therapists also help patients consider other work options if they are unable to return to the job they had prior to injury or illness. The therapist may help patients become aware of their transferable work skills and make physical and/or cognitive adaptations that will enable them to seek other work or participate in vocational services in the community.

5. Hand therapy

Hand therapy is a specialized form of occupational therapy focusing on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of upper extremity dysfunction. A certified hand therapist evaluates and treats pre and post-surgical conditions including fractures, sprains, arthritis, tendonitis, cumulative trauma, nerve and tendon injuries, and upper extremity stiffness and weakness. Hand therapy includes a variety of treatment interventions, such as custom static and dynamic splinting, various exercises, ergonomic training, and manual techniques. It also comprises modalities such as electrical stimulation, heat/cold therapy, and ultrasound that's used to reduce pain and swelling, improve range of motion and strength, and restore maximum upper extremity function.

Occupational Therapy Locations:

Jefferson Hospital

Hand Clinic Locations:

Jefferson Hospital

For more information about Occupational Therapy Programs at Jefferson Hospital, call us at (412) 650-6511.