Utilizing Clinical Reasoning In Occupational Therapy

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Utilizing critical reasoning is vital when providing occupational therapy. It is a thought process that is used to implement the best plan of care for each individual person as a whole (Neistadt, 1996). Clinical reasoning is not a new topic in occupational therapy, but the way the thought process is taught is new. Therapist are taught to improve clinical reasoning skills by using tools in order to increase their confidence within their decision-making skills, ability to explain their reasoning for implementing the plan to the patient, family, insurance, etc., and how to respond in complex situations (Neistadt, 1996). There are several types of clinical reasoning that are used within occupational therapy. The clinical reasoning types include:…show more content…
When a therapist has a general knowledge of the disease or condition, they have a better understanding of what to focus the intervention on (Schnell, 2014). Diagnostic reasoning incorporates scientific reasoning and client-based information. The therapist is able to explain why and how the disease or condition is affecting the client’s occupational performance (Schnell, 2014). Procedural reasoning requires the therapist to create intervention plans based on the complications of the disease or condition. This approach may be scientific based, or it could relate to client’s habits and cultural beliefs (Schnell, 2014). Narrative reasoning focuses on a client’s personal life story. Understanding a client’s life story helps a therapist gain a greater understanding of the client as a whole, rather than just categorizing client’s based on their disease or condition. Client-centered care is the primary focus of occupational therapy, and you achieve this by reflecting on an individual’s narrative. It allows you to determine what activities and roles were important to the client before the injury or illness, what valuable activities the client can perform after the injury or illness, and what activities are achievable in the future (Neistadt, 1996). Pragmatic reasoning considers the best treatment options based on the client’s condition, but taking practical matters into consideration as well. The therapist would have to consider the client’s insurance coverage, equipment availability, scheduling options, available time allotted, and their competencies (Schnell, 2014). Ethical reasoning is important when ethical dilemmas arise. Therapists would have to utilize alternative approaches when determining what the “right” thing to do is. The client is the main focus when providing therapy, and it is vital that their safety and

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