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Could Your Occupational or Physical Therapist be Treating You Incorrectly?

Could Your Occupational or Physical Therapist be Treating You Incorrectly?
Could Your Occupational or Physical Therapist be Treating You Incorrectly?

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While medical professionals are often at a loss with long working hours, challenging patients, and little to no sleep, such working conditions often lead to medical errors. While all errors are sanctionable, some errors are worse than others.

Treatment errors include incorrect diagnoses, improper treatment techniques, and inaccurately recorded patient charts. Occupational and physical therapists alike are known to make these common errors and mistakes.

While there is some overlap between occupational and physical therapy, there are a number of differences between the two professions.

A physical therapist (PTs) tends to work on major limb rehabilitation (larger body parts), while an occupational therapist (OTs) tends to specialize in smaller limb rehabilitation such as wrist and finger injuries. OTs will typically provide a patient with tips on self-care and will guide a patient in maintaining correct body movements that are critical to safety and rehabilitation. Occupational therapists also focus on injuries related to gross motor and fine motor skills.

PTs will often assist with helping a patient improve their physicality and improve activities of daily living (ADL).

Could Your Occupational Therapist be Treating You Incorrectly?

Before discussing the ways in which an occupational therapist may be causing more harm than good, it is important to note the medical duties of an OT.

An occupational therapist is responsible for improving and evaluating the extent of a patient’s injuries. OTs also work with patients without injuries. Generally, it’s an occupational therapist’s job to assist with optimizing a patient’s physical capabilities. OTs typically work with athletes such as football players, tennis players, professional golfers, and other sports professionals.

Occupational therapists are known for enabling athletes to reach their full potentials, but there are also ways in which even the most seasoned occupational therapists treat patients incorrectly.

Common Treatment Errors Made by an Occupational Therapist

OTs can worsen- or even cause greater injury to patients. Treatment errors caused by occupational therapists include:

  • Performing an inaccurate on-site assessment
  • Providing unsuitable adaptations to how a patient might achieve his or her goals
  • Providing incorrect advice on training programs
  • Advising on incorrect equipment to use (either at a gym or at home)
  • Misreading the results of an ultrasound

Physical Therapist Treatments

PTs treat patients with physical injuries and patients with prosthetics. PTs will often treat patients involved in work accidents, vehicular accidents, slips, and falls.

Physical therapists also treat specific injuries such as hand therapy,

Common Treatment Errors Made by a Physical Therapist

PTs, like OTs are known to make a number of treatment errors. Common treatment errors include:

  • Misdiagnosing a patient’s personal injury
  • Misclassifying injured tissues
  • Failing to properly rehabilitate a patient
  • Incorrectly developing splints

While it’s a physical therapist’s job to help a patient regain functional movement with regular movement patterns, this is not always the case.

If you have recently been treated by an OT or PT and you believe you have received incorrect or inadequate treatment, it’s important to seek legal counsel. A personal injury attorney will be able to provide experienced advice and knowledge on injuries caused by injurious treatment and malpractice.

Med League provides medical expert witnesses to trial lawyers. Please call us at (908)788-8227 or contact us today to discuss your next case.

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