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Occupational Therapists work with TRIA/Hilton Recovery Program Patients


As patients recovery from surgery through the TRIA/Hilton Recovery Program, they are in contact with a number of TRIA medical providers – including occupational therapists (OT).  Kevin Guiney, MOTR/L; Nicole Hasson, MA, OTR/L; and Connor Roach, MS, OTR/L share advice, and discuss their roles in working with Hilton Recovery Program patients. 

How are occupational therapists involved with TRIA/Hilton Recovery Program patients?

OTs evaluate and treat patients the day after surgery. Our role is to educate patients on home safety and activities of daily living (ADLs).  A few examples of ADLs are getting dressed, showering, toileting, meal prep, car transfer, etc.

How is an OT involved with TRIA/Hilton Recovery Program patient’s caregiver?

OTs provide education to the personal coach as well.  This type of education is on assistance with ADLs, how to modify the house to promote safety and independence for the patient.

What difficult activities will a patient face after surgery?

Patients will face a number of activities they will find difficult such as:

  • Lower body dressing – putting on pants, socks and shoes
  • Getting in and out of the bath tub/shower
  • Getting on and off the toilet
  • Getting around multi-level homes
  • Cooking – specifically around transporting items while using crutches or a walker

Our role is to make the patient and personal coach’s transition from the Hilton to home as seamless as possible, all while helping patients maximize their independence and get back to their job of living.

How can a patient or personal coach prepare their home or lifestyle prior to surgery?

A few way for patients to prepare are:

  • Homes should be accessible for crutches or a walker
  • Remove loose rugs
  • Remove cords or trip hazards
  • Move commonly used items to waist or chest height spaces to prevent low reaching or step stool use
  • Have easy to prepare meals
  • Child and pet accommodations should be made as needed.

TRIA provides patients an informative video and handouts with recommendations on home modifications, adaptive equipment (that may be purchased or borrowed from family/friends), and physical therapy exercises. Patients are encouraged to watch the video and read through the information.

Explain the difference between and hand therapist and occupational therapist?

A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is either an OT or physical therapist (PT) specializing in upper extremity rehabilitation and has received an international board certification in this specialty.

One way to think about this is, all hand therapists are OTs or PTs, but not all OTs and PTs are hand therapists. 

All TRIA hand therapists have training and earned their college degree in occupational therapy – making all hand therapists eligible to evaluate and treat patients through the TRIA/Hilton Recovery Program.

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