Differences between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

OT_vs_PTPeople often ask “what is the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy?” Both professions are health care related, both have many similarities like assisting patients in regaining the ability to perform everyday functions, and many times the 2 will collaborate while providing care for patients.

However, each profession has a different focus. The occupational therapist is trained to modifying the physical environment as well as training the person to use assistive equipment to increase independence. They focus to help their patients engage in meaningful activities of daily living (ADLs). The physical therapist is trained to identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment/intervention, and rehabilitation. They focus on the physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being.

As an example: an occupational therapist is often involved in educating people on how to prevent and avoid injuries, as well as educating people about the healing process. Physical therapists in turn often help people improve their ability to do their daily activities through education and training. While there is this crossover between professions both play very important roles and are more specialized in their areas of expertise. In many situations, both types of health-care professional are involved in injury recovery.

Physical and occupational therapy is a booming field in the healthcare industry. Both professions require special certification and a post-bachelor’s degree to practice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of OTs in the work force is expected to increase by 26 percent between 2008 and 2018, and the number of PTs is expected to increase by 30 percent.

Check out the following video explaining some of the differences between occupational and physical therapist:

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Consumers Seek Health Research, Diagnosis Tools Online

Younger consumers use mobile devices for health-related reasons more often

For many looking for healthcare information, the web has become a critical stop in the research process. More than one out of five internet users named the internet as their most trusted source of medical information, according to a September survey conducted by RxAlly.

But where are seekers of online medical info going to find answers to their healthcare questions? A January 2012 poll of US internet users by comScore found that general health websites were in high demand among those who visited a health-related site over the previous six months, viewed by 59% of them. Interestingly, government websites had the lowest rate of viewers, visited by only 8% of respondents, behind both disease sites (12%) and drug sites (9%).

Differences in how women and men used online community websites were not as pronounced as one might expect. The poll found that almost seven in 10 women using such sites sought information about symptoms and diagnoses, compared with almost six in 10 men. Two-thirds of women were on the hunt for general information, compared with just over six in 10 men. Surprisingly, men—who have a reputation for avoiding doctor visits—searched for information about preventive measures and community support in greater numbers than did women.

The data reflects the practices by which internet users seeking healthcare info use the web—to educate themselves and find online communities to address health-related concerns.

Smart devices are also incorporating themselves into online health browsing, but much more so among younger demographics. According to the poll, 31% of those ages 18 to 24 who searched for health info and owned a smartphone used the device daily to research a health issue. That was significantly greater than the percentage of those ages 25 to 34 (19%) who did so, and more than twice as many as those ages 35 to 44 (15%).

Thirty-one percent of those ages 18 to 24 who performed online health queries and owned a tablet also performed daily health research on the device. But interestingly, those ages 45 to 54 were second behind them, at 17%.

Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Consumers-Seek-Health-Research-Diagnosis-Tools-Online/1009616#kGXJbpHcesAVrm3m.99 Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Consumers-Seek-Health-Research-Diagnosis-Tools-Online/1009616#xGEJiwvO6HzSDIWm.99

Southern California Flu Trends: What Do Google Searches Reveal About The Epidemic?

The Huffington Post | By Anna Almendrala
Posted: 01/11/2013 4:31 pm EST

Google graphs of flu outbreak in Southern California, Los Angeles

Click on Graphs for LARGER image

Officials have confirmed that a La Habra, Calif. man is now the second confirmed flu death in Orange County. He died in the last week of December, the same month a Fountain Valley man died of the flu, reports ABC 7.

There has only been one flu death in Los Angeles County so far. California’s flu season usually picks up in December and peaks in February or March.

Despite the deaths, California, Mississippi and Hawaii are the only three states that have (so far) avoided the nationwide flu epidemic. For other metros across the United States, flu infections have reached emergency proportions. From LA Daily News:

Massachusetts reported 18 deaths this season, and Boston declared a state of emergency. Meanwhile, Chicago hospitals were turning ambulances away, because emergency departments were inundated with patients suffering from influenza, according to published reports.
California health officials are advising people that it’s not too late to get a flu shot — an important defense against the disease as incidences continue to increase.

“California is seeing an accelerated increase in flu activity over the past few weeks,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health in a statement Friday.

“There is no shortage of vaccine in California and it is not too late to get vaccinated,” the statement continued. “Our flu season may not peak for several more weeks, so I encourage everyone to get vaccinated to protect not only themselves, but those with whom they come into contact.”

Enter your zipcode at FluShotLA.com to see where you can get immunized.

In addition to county and state health department tallies, Google’s flu trends tracker has also emerged as a reliable way to measure incidences of flu infection. The search engine has discovered a relationship between searches for terms related to flu symptoms with actual flu infection numbers. And since Google is such a behemoth, they’ve released worldwide reports on flu-related search terms.

Below, you’ll find screenshots (taken Jan. 11, 2013) of flu search term reports for all the cities in Southern California where Google’s information is available. The charts reveal that Los Angeles and San Diego are suffering the most from the flu right now, as flu-related search terms are reaching the “intense” level. West Hollywood has the least searches.

Lack of Interpreters Hampers Farmworkers’ Health

By Kate Moser   •   California Health Report

Female Hispanic Farm WorkerCalifornia has some of the nation’s toughest laws meant to ensure equal health care services for people who aren’t fluent in English.

But many limited English-speaking patients still lack the interpreters necessary to have meaningful communication with medical providers, particularly in emergency scenarios. The problem is acute for the communities of indigenous Mexican immigrants in California, advocates and practitioners say.

“The root of the problem is that until fairly recently, the huge indigenous population in California was under the radar,” said Sandra Young, a family nurse practitioner at a clinic in Oxnard and the president of the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project.

Many indigenous Mexican immigrants are farmworkers, the most recent arrivals in the state’s agricultural labor market, according to the Indigenous Farmworker Study, a California Endowment-funded study completed in 2010.

Nearly half of the indigenous Mexican farmworkers in the state can be found in the Central Coast region from Oxnard to Watsonville. The study identified 23 different indigenous languages spoken in California agriculture, representing 13 Mexican states.

Of the households in Monterey County that speak a language other than English at home, nearly a third speak English less than very well, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The consequences of inadequate interpreter services can be dire. In one recent case, Young said, a Mixtec child presented in a Ventura County emergency room with an apparent respiratory infection. It turned out that the child had choked on food and was suffering from a blocked airway. The child died.

“Can you say this was because they weren’t able to give an accurate history?” Young said. “Well, no, I don’t think you can say that – but I think you can ask the question: Would they have suspected a foreign body, is it possibly a language interpretation question? In my mind, yes it is.”

Uneven Access on the Central Coast

In the Salinas Valley and Monterey County, where leaf lettuce and strawberries top the $3.85 billion annual crop, the area’s four hospitals provide uneven access to interpreter services for patients who speak indigenous languages.

Local hospital officials point to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas as the leader in providing language access to indigenous people.

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5 Workers’ Comp New Year’s Resolutions to Contain Your Costs

Happy New Year 2013 round stampDecember 27, 2012 By Michael B. Stack

Throughout the year we have discussed several ways to try and cut costs and exposure. There is no better time to implement these cost savings techniques than at the start of a new year. People almost expect change when early January arrives, starting off with the often-failed New Year’s resolutions. In case you didn’t heed to our advice throughout the year, here is yet another reminder of some ways you can make a difference in attempting to reduce your work comp costs:

1. Healthy employees are less likely to get hurt
Employers are taking a vested interest in the overall health of their employees. Discounts on insurance can be applied for employees that undergo a yearly physical, which can provide early detection of a potential medical issue that may have gone unnoticed without the proper testing. Employers also implement wellness programs, exercise facilities, discounts for local gym memberships, good-natured weight loss competitions, and so on. Anything can make a difference, so give it a shot.
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ATV Safety at Work and Beyond

ATV_safety logo: work smart, ride safeBaton Rouge, LA (WorkersCompensation.com) –

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s) are not used only for recreation any more. These vehicles have become an important tool in many work environments. Since they are designed to handle rough terrain, ATV’s are valuable for persons working in the following professions:

• Mineral and oil exploration
• Pipeline maintenance
• Surveying
• Ranching and farming
• Law enforcement
• Resource management
• Adventure tourism

Because ATV’s are popular for work and recreation, injuries and fatalities are a constant concern that should not be ignored. From 1992 to 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, there were 297 work-related ATV deaths in the United States, and 75% of them were males age 35 and older. Sixty percent of the fatal accidents occurred on farms, and 20% on highways.

“Rollovers are the most common cause of crashes,” said LWCC Director of Safety and Loss Prevention Mike Page. “And those in the animal production industry have the highest risk of injury.”
ATV’s are among the deadliest products under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC recently reported that between 2001 and 2010 there was an average of 659 fatal accidents (both recreational and work-related) per year involving ATV’s nationwide. In that same time frame, ATV accidents were the cause of more than 130,000 visits per year to hospital emergency rooms.

In Louisiana, there have been 246 fatalities (both recreational and work-related) from 1982 to 2010 involving ATV’s. Incidents are generally the result of the following:

• Operating at excessive speeds
• Operating the vehicle on public roads
• Carrying passengers
• Riding on slopes and levees
• Carrying unbalanced loads or exceeding the recommended load limit of the vehicle
• Operator not wearing a helmet
• Lack of proper training

To reduce the possibility of being involved in an ATV incident, you should follow at least the following accepted practices: Continue reading ATV Safety at Work and Beyond