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Washington Occupational Therapy Scope of Practice 

Definition of Occupational Therapy

"Occupational therapy" is the scientifically based use of purposeful activity with individuals who are limited by physical injury or illness, psychosocial dysfunction, developmental or learning disabilities, or the aging process in order to maximize independence, prevent disability, and maintain health. The practice encompasses evaluation, treatment, and consultation. Specific occupational therapy services include but are not limited to:

    • Using specifically designed activities and exercises to enhance neurodevelopmental, cognitive, perceptual motor, sensory integrative, and psychomotor functioning; administering and interpreting tests such as manual muscle and sensory integration;
    • Teaching daily living skills;
    • Developing prevocational skills and play and avocational capabilities;
    • Designing, fabricating, or applying selected orthotic and prosthetic devices or selected adaptive equipment;
    • Wound care management; and
    • Adapting environments for persons with disabilities.

These services are provided individually, in groups, or through social systems.

Advanced Practice

"Sharp debridement" means the removal of loose or loosely adherent devitalized tissue with the use of tweezers, scissors, or scalpel, without any type of anesthesia other than topical anesthetics. "Sharp debridement" does not mean surgical debridement.

"Wound care management" means a part of occupational therapy treatment that facilitates healing, prevents edema, infection, and excessive scar formation, and minimizes wound complications.

Treatment may include:

    • Assessment of wound healing status;
    • Patient education;
    • Selection and application of dressings;
    • Cleansing of the wound and surrounding areas;
    • Application of topical medications;
    • Use of physical agent modalities;
    • Application of pressure garments and nonweight-bearing orthotic devices, excluding high-temperature custom foot orthotics made from a mold;
    • Sharp debridement of devitalized tissue;
    • Debridement of devitalized tissue with other agents; and
    • Adapting activities of daily living to promote independence during wound healing.

Citations

RCW 18.59.020



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