By Tami Gebel

Occupational Therapist

Veterans Memorial Hospital, Waukon, Iowa



At Veterans Memorial Hospital, the Occupational Therapy Department is celebrating national awareness of its profession throughout the month of April. As occupational therapists, our role is to help people regain function following injuries and illnesses. We treat people who have hip or knee replacement surgery, heart attacks, pneumonia, strokes, diabetes, generalized weakness, skin burns and joint contractures, breathing difficulties, and many other diagnoses. We specialize in treating people who have broken wrists, hands, or arms to regain strength, movement, and independence in daily activities. Other diagnoses that occupational therapists treat are: tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, tendonitis of the wrist, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. The occupational therapists at Veterans Memorial Hospital also offer specialized programs, such as driving evaluations, and therapy to treat lymphedema and incontinence.

Occupational therapy is provided to people of all ages, birth to 100+ years old. We work at the hospital treating those people who are recovering from an illness in the hospital. Many times, injured or ill people are unable to manage living at home. As occupational therapists, we ensure that those patients are safely capable to perform routine activities, such as dressing and cooking, before they return home. People who are at home, yet need therapy, come into the occupational therapy clinic as an outpatient. As an outpatient, occupational therapists work with the person to regain strength and movement so that the person can return to self care, work, and leisure tasks that the person was able to perform prior to the illness or injury. For those people who are unable to leave their homes, but need therapy, occupational therapists go to their homes and provide therapy through Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care.

Over the past years, the occupational therapists at Veterans Memorial Hospital have had the opportunity to work with many people from all over Allamakee and Clayton counties. It has been rewarding to the occupational therapy staff to assist patients in regaining the ability to complete tasks that they want and need to perform. The occupational therapists at Veterans Memorial Hospital look forward to continuing to provide services to others in the many years to come.

For more information on the occupational therapy services offered at Veterans Memorial Hospital, please call Tami Gebel, O.T., at 568-3411.