Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Occupational Therapy Month highlights pros who give everyday help

Military health personnel wearing face mask attending occupational therapy Army Staff Sgt. William Cox, an instructor in the occupational therapy assistant program at the Medical and Education Training Campus at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, observes a student practicing convective thermal therapy (Photo by: London Prince / Medical and Education Training Campus Protocol Assistant, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston).

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | Physical Fitness | April

April is Occupational Therapy Month, a chance to highlight a profession that helps people to accomplish the everyday tasks they need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities.

Occupational therapists often work with people with disabilities, injuries, and mental illnesses to help them get their lives back on track, working on tasks such as learning to walk and strength recovery.

Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) help people who are struggling by providing treatment to improve motor skills, balance, and coordination. OTAs can help anyone at any stage of life and work in settings such as skilled nursing facilities, school systems, children's clinics, rehab facilities, and orthopedic clinics.

Occupational therapy (OT) dates to 100 B.C. when Greek and Roman physicians including Asclepiades and Celsus used it for the treatment of patients with emotional and mental disorders. Recommended therapy would include travel, therapeutic massages, exercise, conversation, and music to soothe the mind.

"OT month is a time when we can share the awesome work that we do and showcase that OT is here and we can help no matter the issue; from healing wounds and recovering strength, to finding new hobbies and new work interests," said Army Staff Sgt. William Cox, an instructor in the occupational therapy program at the Medical and Education Training Campus (METC) at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

"It is a time to not only let the community know who we are, but it also provides awareness to other health care providers by allowing them to offer another resource to their clinics that could help patients in their recovery," he added.

The METC OTA program trains Army and Navy students to become occupational therapy assistants.

The eight-month program is broken into two phases. In phase one, students are in the classroom learning general studies of occupational therapy and the required skills needed to be an occupational therapy assistant. Students also get to practice skills in practical labs.

In phase two, students work in two different clinical settings, putting their skills and knowledge to the test in local hospitals and clinics around the city and around the country.

After graduation, active duty Army students are assigned to a military medical treatment facility (MTF) or a holistic health and fitness unit, while National Guard and Reserve students go back to their hometowns and begin working as OTAs. Navy students are assigned to inpatient/outpatient MTFs. Navy OTAs are also stationed at overseas MTFs providing school-related services as part of the Education Developmental Intervention Services team.

"Our program is nationally accredited, and graduates of the program earn an associate degree from the Uniformed Services University as well the privilege to sit on the national board for certification as an OTA," said Cox.

Army Spc. Zachary Berdan, a student in the program, said that he was happy that he chose occupational therapy as a career.

"This field grabbed me because I wanted to help people recover," he said. "What I enjoy most about the training is that there hasn't been a block of instruction that I thought was boring or unnecessary."

Berdan added that all the instruction has intrigued him, even inspiring him to do more research in his free time.

"I have been learning how emotionally and spiritually rewarding occupational therapy can be," he said.

You also may be interested in...

Tips for How to ‘Train Right’ and Avoid Injuries During Sports and PT

Article
10/13/2021
Military personnel in physical threapy

Physical training, recreational activities, and sports are key to service members’ health but musculoskeletal injuries due to sudden incidents and repeated stress or overuse are the biggest health problem in the U.S. military.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Injury Prevention

As Fitness Tests Resume, Troops Seek Post-COVID Exercise Routines

Article
8/31/2021
Military personnel physically training

Keeping fit during pandemic proves hard for some.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Coronavirus

How Good Diet and Exercise Prevent Injury and Disease

Article
8/30/2021
Photo of group doing pushups.

A proper diet and exercise regimen can ward off disease and aid in maintaining your health.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness

AJ-Maste Yoga: Tips for a Healthy Deployment

Article
7/13/2021
Military personnel doing a yoga pose

Yoga comes in many forms and fashions, and has proven health benefits.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Total Force Fitness

Ask the Doc: Fitness Freaking Out

Article
5/26/2021
Integrating healthy snacks like fruit into kid’s diets will teach them healthy eating habits. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sabrina Fine)

Dear Doc: It seems like every time I go to the commissary, my daughter, 6, and son, 7, tend to gravitate toward the sugary cereals and frozen pizzas, and always want candy bars and sodas at the checkout. As far as I know, and as has been proven by their regularly scheduled check-ups, they are both in great health. The mother in me wants to give them what they want, but the former college athlete and current fitness freak in me is afraid that this might become a problem. For me, eating healthy has become a normal part of my life, and I've come to enjoy things that are healthy and taste good. Aside from tricking them, what can I do to get my kids to eat (and enjoy) more healthy foods? — Fitness Freaking Out

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Ask The Doc

Support for victims of sexual violence, trauma continues year round

Article
5/13/2021
Military personnel for a teal ribbon on a flight deck

Resources and support for survivors of sexual assault and military trauma.

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Recovery and Treatment | Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | Sexual Trauma

At MHS pharmacies, every day is ‘Drug Take Back Day’

Article
4/22/2021
Photo of empty pill bottles

With National Drug Take Back Day on April 24, MHS pharmacists remind patrons of 24/7 options to dispose of prescription drugs.

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | April

Laboratory professionals play important role in fight against COVID-19

Article
4/21/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask prepares COVID-19 test samples

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 18-24, recognizes the behind-the-scenes work laboratorians do to generate clinical lab results and, ultimately, guide the courses of treatment for patients.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | April

Sexual assault awareness and prevention a DHA, DOD priority

Article
4/16/2021
Infographic about Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

Sexual assault awareness and prevention is at the top of the Department of Defense’s priorities.

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Recovery and Treatment | Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance

A Month of Prevention and Intervention for a Lifetime

Article
4/14/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask writing messages with chalk on the ground

In April, the Department of Defense focuses on ‘Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission’ For Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | Sexual Assault Recovery and Treatment

Do sports / energy drinks enhance individual performance?

Article
4/12/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask discussing food options

While there are many energy sports drinks are available, their overall value varies.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

Public health remains an integral part in the fight against COVID

Article
4/9/2021
Infographic featuring health personnel wearing face shields and mask with "National Public Health Week" across the top of the picture

The pandemic has highlighted a need to provide more advanced training on infection prevention and control.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Be proactive in looking for early signs of testicular cancer

Article
4/9/2021
Military health personnel giving and examination

While the diagnosis of cancer can be frightening, testicular cancer can usually be cured.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health | April | Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit

BAMC Women's History Month honors women past and present

Article
3/31/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks, standing on a stage and holding an award

Women will always play a critical role within our military.

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | April | Women's Health

WRNMMC’s kidney transplant program ranked as 5-star

Article
3/31/2021
Military medical personnel in an operating room, wearing full PPE

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland has the best organ transplant outcomes in the greater District, Maryland and Virginia region.

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | April
<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 2

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.