Occupational Therapy Month with Anne Sabourin

By Chiara Marcello

October is Occupational Therapy Month. This month is dedicated to the healthcare professionals that specialize in occupational therapy and assist others in maintaining and resuming their day-to-day activities. Anne Sabourin, one of the Occupational Therapists at Humber River Hospital, shares the importance of recognizing her field within the healthcare industry.

What is your official role and how long have you been at Humber?
I am an occupational therapist on the Humber Elderly Assess and Restore Team (HEART) at Humber River Hospital, and have been part of the team since November 2020. HEART identifies and provides daily therapy to senior patients (65+) newly admitted to hospital who are at risk of functional decline during their hospital admission.

What are some of the duties and responsibilities you have as an Occupational Therapist?
As an Occupational Therapist (OT) on HEART, I work quite closely with my physiotherapy colleagues throughout the therapeutic process. Together, we complete a comprehensive geriatric assessment when a patient is first admitted to the hospital. As an OT, I assess how the patient moves around in their environment and how they complete their daily living activities, such as getting dressed, going to the bathroom, and personal hygiene. After assessing how a patient’s physical and cognitive function impacts their ability to complete their activities, I work with the patient to set goals and design a patient-specific plan to help them achieve these goals. During therapy, patients learn new or modified ways to complete their everyday activities as independently as possible. When a patient is getting ready for discharge, I make equipment recommendations and provide education to patients and families in order to promote a safe and successful transition back to the community.

Why is Occupational Therapy beneficial to patients?
Occupational Therapy is beneficial to patients because it promotes health and wellbeing through the engagement in everyday activities. Occupational Therapy enables patients to be as independent as possible while participating in the important activities of life that they need, or want, to do.

Why is Occupational Therapy important to Humber River Hospital?
Occupational Therapy is an important department in the hospital because it equips patients with the skills, strategies, and resources they need to return to the community safely, and live as independently as possible.