All in a Day's Work: Louise Montague, OTR/L, of ErgoResults, Inc. in Brooklyn Park, an occupational therapist and certified ergonomics associate who works at job sites, talks about her job. She discusses why she became an OTR/L, what a typical workday is like, and how his role fits into the bigger healthcare picture.
Q: What's a typical workday like for you?
I have been involved with office jobs, manufacturing, assembly and construction. I prepare the proper tools, equipment and forms. On site, I watch how employees work, ask questions, make measurements and try to figure out how they can do the work differently. This may involve changing their work habits, the setup, repairing tools or rearranging the work space. A job can last an hour to several days. I research how others have solved similar problems, and then report my findings and recommendations to the company. I also set up work-break stretching exercise programs and train staff on the principles of ergonomics.
Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?
I help the other healthcare providers (and the employer) better understand the job and the relationship to the symptoms. I supply ideas and information to reinforce the treatment plan and to modify the job to lead to improved health and productivity of the employee.
Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?
I interact with employees, human resources, health or safety staff, engineers, supervisors, health care providers and insurance companies.
Q: Why did you become an OT in the workplace?
The hospital I was working at started doing work-related therapy and realized you can't simulate what a person does on the job without going out and seeing it. I went into private practice in 2004.
Q: What do you like about your work?
I enjoy the freedom of making decisions and the variety. I do the parts of occupational therapy that I really like, figuring out how a person can succeed at that life occupation of being employed.