Introduction: OTA Empathy Training

Occupational Therapy allows its therapists to creatively devise an individual treatment plan for their patients more than any other profession. It is our job to understand and adapt the way we treat each of our unique clients on a daily basis. One way for us to better understand what they might be going through is through the use of empathy training, which places us in the shoes of our clients so we can see the effects of their injury or disability first hand, thus allowing us to come up with more creative ways to treat them. In this activity, we will be simulating someone suffering from severe arthritis through the use of some oversize gloves. People suffering from arthritis can have trouble using small objects due to the severe swelling and pain in the joints of their hands. This can prevent them from enjoying many of the things they once did, whether it be playing board games with their grandchildren, or performing needlepoint.

Step 1: Game

To begin the activity, put on the gloves and first try to pick up and place the board game pieces where they need to go in order to play the game.

Step 2: Needle and Thread

Without removing the gloves, try and pull the thread through the needle head.

Step 3: Pill Sorting

Sort the vitamins in groups from smallest to largest, again, without removing the gloves.