DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is professional occupational therapy (OT) work providing clinical services to seniors or adults with disabilities in a home based setting. The work includes the conduct of in-depth OT assessment of an individual's physical and cognitive skills and deficits, analysis of the environment for risks, and development of an intervention plan to enhance the individual's functional independence in a home based setting. Contacts include social work case managers and other professionals, private physicians, representatives of medical supply companies, care givers, representatives of private support organizations, and contractors for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information, planning appropriate intervention, and acquiring/training in the use of techniques and assistive devices. An incumbent in this class provides individual assessments to determine a person's physical and cognitive skills and deficits and conducts demonstrations of OT techniques, devices, and compensating skills to individuals and/or their caregivers that will enhance the individual's functional independence.
An employee in this class applies knowledge of the concepts, principles, and practices of occupational therapy to provide clinical assessments and intervention plans to seniors and disabled individuals who have impaired capacities for independently performing daily living functions. The work requires knowledge of the structure and function of the human body, environmental influences, human development, physical and psychosocial dysfunction, and skill in developing treatment plans that assist the client in achieving optimum functional independence. The employee works under the general supervision of a health care administrator who sets overall objectives and resources available. The employee plans and carries out the OT intervention process for referred individuals, devises or adjusts the approaches to meet intervention objectives, keeps the supervisor informed of progress and problems through reports and occasional discussions. Results of the work are considered technically authoritative and are normally accepted without significant change. The employee is guided by established OT principles, standards and techniques; professional journals and literature; individual case histories of clients; and policies and administrative practices of the department/service area to which assigned. Judgment is applied in modifying the intervention plan to the client's specific needs and environment. The work is made complex by the various conditions and elements that must be identified and analyzed to develop an intervention plan (e.g., clients with multiple and complex disabilities; constraints present in the physical home environment; roles, resources, and/or availability of family members and care-givers; availability of personal and financial resources; and, unique cultural factors). The work involves making many decisions concerning the refinement of the intervention plan as conditions and factors change. The purpose of the work is to develop treatment plans to assist seniors and disabled adults remain independent in the community, with specific focus on home modification and fall prevention measures. The work has a direct impact on the well-being of referred seniors and disabled persons. The work requires light physical exertion on a recurring basis (e.g., demonstrating self and/or care-giver activities such as wheelchair to bed transfers). Work involves occasional exposure to some risk as a result of aggressive and unpredictable behavior from customers.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Conducts initial intake and OT assessment of referred seniors or disabled persons; interviews the individual, family members, and/or health care providers; obtains and reviews case history information; observes the individual and the home situation; assesses cognitive and physical ability of the individual; assesses current levels of self-care, hygiene, socializing, family support, and personal characteristics such as interpersonal skills and tolerance for change.
Develops an intervention plan adapted to the unique characteristics and conditions of the individual client; identifies problems and obstacles that present environmental risks; develops recommendations for adapting the environment (e.g., assistive devices and/or home modification); identifies/provides training to customers and/or caregivers; assists customers with acquiring assistive devices and/or home modifications via vendors - paid for by customers or 3rd party insurance.
Maintains customer case files, including goals and objectives of individual intervention plans; evaluates progress towards achievement of goals and objectives, makes appropriate modifications and refinements; prepares reports; makes appropriate referrals, as needed; develops strategic outreach and recruitment efforts to reach targeted populations; and, may be required to design/deliver educational presentations to educate the community and stakeholders about available OT services.
Coordinates purchase and implementation of assistive devices and/or home modifications via vendors that are paid for by the County; submits appropriate procurement documentation; maintains required records.
Experience: Three (3) years of licensed, professional work as an occupational therapist, one (1) year of which involved the provision of occupational therapist services to either an elderly or disabled population.
Education: Graduation from an educational program in occupational therapy that is recognized by the Maryland Board of Occupational Therapy Practice. (This requirement is met by all holders of a current Maryland State license to practice occupational therapy).
Equivalency: No equivalency.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Professional knowledge of the concepts, principles, and practices of occupational therapy to develop intervention plans that enhance the functional independence of seniors and disabled adults in home settings.
Considerable knowledge of the physical and cognitive impairments typically associated with the senior and/or disabled adult population and the accepted methods for evaluating their physical and cognitive abilities to determine their capacity to perform basic daily living activities.
Knowledge of assistive devices and home modifications specifically targeted to adapting the home environment for seniors and disabled adults.
General understanding of County government programs and other public/private sector programs that provide assistance to the aged or disabled adult populations in the County. General understanding of County administrative requirements, methods, and/or procedures related to record-keeping, purchasing, and other administrative activities.
Ability to train individuals in the utilization of assistive devices and/or in the application of OT techniques and procedures.
Ability to communicate clearly and effectively verbally and/or in writing to a variety of audiences (e.g., professional health care administrators, professional health workers and case workers, customers and care-givers, and vendors).
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with officials, managers, and employees.
Ability to plan, set priorities, and organize numerous work assignments.
Ability to attend meetings or perform other assignments at locations outside the office, as necessary.
Current license to practice occupational therapy issued by the Maryland State Board of Occupational Therapy Practice.
Individuals appointed to a position in this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months and, if promoted to a position in this class, will be required to serve a probationary period of six months. Performance will be carefully evaluated during the probationary period. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core Exam with Alcohol/Drug Test
Class Established: April, 2008