Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I’m going to attempt to describe OT in the out-patient unit of the hospital. In a word; chaotic. From what I have seen, therapy in general relies heavily upon family. Family training is a huge part of treatment. Keep that in mind.

In out-patient OT there are about 25 patients to 5 OTs at any given time during the day. Also, adult and pediatric OT happens essentially in the same room. It is loud. Very loud. Space is crowded. Very crowded. I would like to get some pictures, but I haven’t figured out how taking pictures of patients is going to work. It could get tricky. Anyhow, the patient arrives with the family and the therapist meets them and sets them up with an activity, then goes on to the next patient as the family takes over. The therapist will wander back and change the activities as needed. It is a messy system that works. It really does. Most patients come daily for two hours of OT, followed by two hours of PT (or vice versa) for a few weeks then they return home. Home may be a day’s travel away. They may come back in a few months for progress checks, but the family will continue therapy at home.

Common diagnoses are CVA (stroke), TBI (traumatic brain injury), or amputations. Goals for these diagnoses are similar but also very different than what you might see in the US. Increased independence is a common goal, but “independence” in India looks different than what we see in the US. Family helps the patient much more here in India. Can they transfer themselves? Can they donn/doff their prosthetic without help? If not, the goal may still be met because family can assist.

The OT process used here is the same as we use in the US, however the time frame is often adjusted as many patients are coming from across the country. The books used in their OT education department are very familiar. I was taken to the library on my first day at the hospital, and I saw Case-Smith, Trombly, Willard & Spackman, etc. All the textbooks I spent hours reading are here, only older editions and in a much more “loved” condition. The popular models of OT are also taught and used here, MOHO and PEO are the two common, I have not been able to figure out which is used more commonly. All the Frames or Reference as the same as well. Nothing new under the sun…

Their education is a little different in that they have a Bachelor’s of OT, and then go on for their Master’s if they desire to specialize in something. From what I can gather, they have three years of school follow by six months of internships and then two years of “bond” (if they are sponsored students, which most seem to be). Bond is essentially bondage to a hospital for two years. I do believe they get some pay during bond.

“Same, but different” is my initial impression of OT in India. Also, “it depends” applies here just as much as it did in the US. (Bless you, ABJ for getting me used to hearing that long ago.) 

1 comment:

  1. Just got caught up on your blog, Emily ... so enjoyable to read and live vicariously through your adventure. I look forward to future posts and enjoyed our FB chat. Anne