OT Month Feature: Beth Robertson

Occupational therapists help patients prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, and disability

October is Occupational Therapy Month. Occupational therapists, or OTs, enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, and disability.

At The Neuro, OTs like Beth Robertson help patients recover from and adapt to their neurological conditions.

Robertson is in her twenty-first year working as an OT. A McGill graduate, she fell in love with The Neuro as a student and upon graduation was hired here and never looked back.

"I love working in the clinics,” she says about her job. “You never know who is about to walk through your door, what challenges they may have and ultimately what you can strive to do to help them. Whether it is teaching a young mother with multiple sclerosis energy conservation techniques, assessing an Alzheimer's patient for driving safety, helping a brain tumour patient with strategies to deal with memory loss or teaching fall prevention to a patient with Parkinson's disease, OT is key to keeping our patients safe and optimizing their functional autonomy."

To be a good OT, Robertson says you have to be flexible, a creative thinker, compassionate, have patience, and be a good listener.

“You have to take the time to listen to your patient and their caregiver to truly help them and set goals that are client-centered.”

Robertson says she’s faced some misconceptions about what an OT does. One person asked her to find a patient a job, thinking “occupation” meant employment.

“The ‘occupation’ in occupational therapy refers to all the tasks that one does in their day,” she explains. “Essentially, we assess skills for the job of living!”

OT has become more well-known and respected by the medical community over the years, Robertson says, and she’s proud of the contribution she makes to patient care.

“I love being an OT because I feel that we truly make a difference in people's lives. I have said it before: ‘Doctors put more days into your life, while OTs put more life back into those days!’"



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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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