The Role of Occupational Therapy in The Emergency Department
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SKU: OL8660

Published: 2023

Continuing Education
Basic Member Price
Non-Member Price: $39.95

Product Overview


Julia Smith, OTR/L

University of Colorado Hospital

Aurora, Colorado

Lyndsay Laxton, OTR/L, CBIS

University of Colorado Hospital

Aurora, Colorado


Earn: .15 CEUs (1.5 contact hours; 1.88 NBCOT PDU’s)



        When we consider the role of occupational therapy as part of a healthcare team, we often think of interventions and settings that focus on issues of patients who are past the most acute stages of an injury/condition and have gone on to require rehabilitation for the residual impact on occupation. We are not usually considered first line interventionists whose knowledge and skills can benefit both the team and the client during a visit to the emergency department.  

        However, if we look closely at our skills and move from the idea of rehabilitation, we realize that we are a healthcare provider that looks at the world through the lens of context, maintaining function, nipping disability in the bud and educating patients on what they and their caretakers can do to avoid similar problems in the future.

In other words, occupational therapists can save time, money and preserve the well-being of clients when placed as an integral part of the ED team.

        This course provides an overview of the role of occupational therapy as part of the multidisciplinary team in the emergency department. It will address common conditions that bring people into the ED, evaluation and assessment tools that can be used by OT and discharge planning/risk management considerations using evidence-based resources.


Learning objectives


Following this course, the learner will be able to:


  • Discuss the role of occupational therapy in the emergency department 
  • Explain risk management strategies for emergency department care. 
  • Identify 3 evaluation and screening tools to implement in emergency department practice. 


Audience:  Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants


Level of difficulty: Intermediate- must have a strong understanding of the scope of practice and appropriate OT interventions.


Domain of Practice:  Domain-Context, performance skills and patterns.  Process-evaluation, intervention, discharge