The individual is assigned responsibility for serving as the subject matter expert in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation and is a consultant to occupational therapy and other medical center staff in evaluating and treating patients in the specialty areas of occupational therapy practice that are beyond the scope of an occupational therapy generalist at the South Texas Veteran's Health Care System. Serves as a subject matter expert to physicians, residents and staff, as well as, other health care specialists in matters concerning occupational therapy management hand and upper extremity dysfunction. Makes self-available to providers including but not limited to: orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and emergency department providers. Evaluates a variety of patients as appropriate for their diagnoses to determine current levels of functioning. Evaluations may cover the following areas: activities of daily living, strength, range of motion, sensation, perception, cognition, vocational and a-vocational aptitudes. Evaluations take into account the patient's lifestyle, culture, social support system, the patient's military, work and leisure history and limitations and abilities related to the patient's age. Based on evaluations, and planning with patient and significant others (when appropriate), and coordination with the multidisciplinary team, establishes treatment goals and discharge plan. Has advanced knowledge of upper extremity splinting, able to fabricate static and dynamic splint for a wide range of hand problems, able to have skill, flexibility and creativity to solve complex splinting issues. Acts a mentor to other staff for hand splinting and provides local in-services to enhance other OTs splinting skills as needed. Maintains wide educational base in splinting trialing new splinting techniques and products to advise OT supervisor of advancing science in the practice of hand therapy. Able to balance wide range of walk in hand patients with great autonomy. For example the therapist must demonstrate the flexibility to accomplish completing and equipment evaluation on one patient and fabricate a dynamic splint for a radial nerve patient next. Responsible for management of more complex cases, effectively and independently develops, implements and modifies the OT treatment plan. Develops and carries out occupational therapy treatment plans with individuals or groups of patients to meet individual rehabilitation objectives. Treatment may include: functional activities which have as their goal the improvement of patient's activities of daily living, strength, range of motion, sensation, perceptive and/or cognitive status. Treatment may include the development of components of executive functioning. Treatment may involve the prescription, fabrication and training in the use of splints, adaptive equipment and assistive technology. Development and implementation of treatment plans take into account the patient's lifestyle, culture, social support system, the patient's vocational and avocational history and limitations, interests, and abilities related to the patient's age. The therapist initiates the ordering, delivery and training in the use of patient specific adaptive equipment in a timely, efficient and accurate manner. This requires that the therapist be familiar with all internal and external processes related to the procurement of prosthetic equipment, including national VA regulations (The "Prosthetic Handbook"), and be familiar with available technology and equipment. Regularly re-evaluates patient performance with appropriate modifications to treatment. Documents initial evaluations, progress, and discharge planning in a timely, concise manner, per section documentation requirements. Participates regularly in multidisciplinary care planning meetings. Is aware of the indications, contraindications and precautions in working with SCI, physical disability and mental health patients, based on area of assignment. Does not proceed with treatment session, if in question as to safety or appropriateness of modality to be used, until question is resolved. Practices infection control. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 7:30AM-16:00PM Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.