Occupational Therapist- Spine Center (FT)

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

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The Role of the Occupational Therapist – Center for Pain and Spine


Functional Restoration Program (FRP) (approx. 70-75%)

Goals and Physical Capacities Evaluation (GAP)

Identify appropriate candidates for intensive rehab program (FRP), or recommend treatment alternatives as appropriate; identify patient functional goals and complete physical testing protocol; identify facilitators and barriers to participating in intensive rehabilitation

Functional Restoration Program (FRP)

Occupational Therapy component of FRP

  • Identify patient work history, educational and training and experience, functional goals and return to work plan; translate functional goals into necessary physical capacities
  • Measure and track functional outcomes using identified outcome measure (Canadian Occupational Performance Measure)
  • Develop and oversee functional conditioning exercises using a quota-based exercise progression approach, to meet general and specific physical capacities to accomplish functional goals (e.g. lifting capacity, positional tolerances such as sitting, standing , walking, squatting, bending, climbing, balancing)
  • Provide individual and group therapeutic interventions related to vocational planning, work feasibility and job readiness; strategies for accomplishing daily activities and pain management techniques; psychosocial issues related to living with chronic pain, return to work concerns such as financial and legal issues (e.g. workers compensation, disability, and insurance claims), and other psychosocial barriers to attaining/maintaining increased levels of functioning
  • Coordinate with other team members, vocational rehab counselors, attorneys and case managers, as appropriate to ensure seamless re-entry to work, leisure and daily living activities.
  • Participate actively in FRP annual retreat and assigned goal achievement
  • Provide supervision and support to assigned OTA and to OT/OTA students

Center for Pain and Spine Clinic (approx. 25-30%)

Work Readiness Assessment / Plan (WRAP)

    • Evaluate patients’ physical capacities against their current job description to provide referring providers with objective information related to work capacity, and make recommendations for return to work, vocational planning and/or rehabilitation as indicated; may also be used to document physical capacities for applications for employer-based short/long term disability benefits.
    • [NOTE: WRAP referral is NOT appropriate for application for SSDI or total/permanent disability nor documentation of limitations to work capacity other than physical limitations.  A referral to Occupational Medicine or outpatient rehab for FCE or Residual Capacity Evaluation is needed for these situations.]


Program Development and Other Pain and Spine Center Responsibilities

  • Participate in team planning and program development activities as appropriate, including defining the OT role in the Active Pain Care Service, and development of the OT component of the Community FRP through the RETAIN grant
  • Attend and participate in department Grand Rounds as appropriate; present on occupational therapy topics related to FRP, work readiness, functional outcomes, etc. as requested.
  • Advocate for expanded OT role, as appropriate, including necessary training (for example obrain Graded Motor Imagery certification for chronic pain patients who may not be appropriate for intensive rehab), that does not conflict with services currently provided by the Outpatient Rehab Dept.



Minimum Qualifications:
 Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy required

Required Licensure/Certification Skills:
 New Hampshire licensure required
 BLS certification required

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