Occupational Therapy. There is a big lack of occupational therapy professionals in Lithuania. In Denmark there is 74 OT professionals to 100 000 inhabitants, in Belgium – 49, in Latvia –just 3. Occupational Therapy – is the use of assessment and treatment to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental, or cognitive disorder. Occupational therapists also focus much of their work on identifying and eliminating environmental barriers to independence and participation in daily activities. Occupational therapy is a client-centered practice that places emphasis on the progress towards the client’s goals. Occupational therapy interventions focus on adapting the environment, modifying the task, teaching the skill, and educating the client/family in order to increase participation in and performance of daily activities, particularly those that are meaningful to the client. Occupational therapists often work closely with professionals in physical therapy, speech therapy, nursing, social work, and the community. The term “Occupational therapy” can often be confusing. It carries the misconception that the profession’s focus is on vocational counseling and job training. The word occupation as defined in Webster’s Dictionary is “an activity in which one engages.” Occupational therapists promote skill development and independence in all daily activities. For an adult, this may mean looking at the areas of self-care, home-making, leisure, and work. The “occupations” of childhood may include playing in the park with friends, washing hands, going to the bathroom, cutting with scissors, drawing, etc.
Physical Therapy – also known as physiotherapy, is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialty that, by using mechanical force and movements, remediates impairments and promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention. It is performed by physical therapists (known as physiotherapists in many countries). In addition to clinical practice, other activities encompassed in the physical therapy profession include research, education, consultation, and administration. Physical therapy services may be provided alongside, or in conjunction with, other medical services. Physical therapy attempts to address the illnesses, or injuries that limit a person’s abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTs use an individual’s history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management plan and, when necessary, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies like X-rays, CT-scan, or MRI findings. Electrodiagnostic testing (e.g., electromyograms and nerve conduction velocity testing) may also be used. PT management commonly includes prescription of or assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy and manipulation, mechanical devices such as traction, education, physical agents which includes heat, cold, electricity, sound waves, radiation, rays, prescription of assistive devices, prostheses, orthoses and other interventions. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles, providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. This includes providing therapeutic treatment in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease or environmental factors. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy. Physical therapy is a professional career which has many specialties including sports, neurology, wound care, EMG, cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, orthopedics, women’s health, and pediatrics. Neurological rehabilitation is in particular a rapidly emerging field. PTs practice in many settings, such as private-owned physical therapy clinics, outpatient clinics or offices, health and wellness clinics, rehabilitation hospitals facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial and this workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities. Physical therapists also practice in the non-patient care roles such as health policy, health insurance, health care administration and as health care executives. Physical therapists are involved in the medical-legal field serving as experts, performing peer review and independent medical examinations.
The Programme of Complementary and Alternative Medicine is designed to prepare competent rehabilitation specialist by developing his/her professional qualification limits in the field of complementary and alternative medicine. The specialist of complementary and alternative medicine will be able to form a team of complementary and alternative medicine and other medical area professionals, integrate their team‘s activities into patients treatment and rehabilitation process, ensure a fully patient – oriented rehabilitation services that involves the use of routinely rehabilitation procedures with inclusion of complementary and alternative medicine.
The aim of the second cycle Complementary and Alternative Medicine degree program is to prepare rehabilitation masters who meet the requirements that are acknowledged by the World Health Organization, the European Union and Lithuania.
The goal strategy of the MSc programme combines two important components of rehabilitation as a practical activity and as a development of study and science:
1) absorpt and improve the competence of a vocational rehabilitation specialist;
2) consolidation and development of research work competence.