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Functional Cognition: Lower-Level Mental Functions in Acute Care

presented by Judy Hamby, OTD, MHS, OTR/L, BCPR

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Judy Hamby is an employee at Wellstar Health System. She is a continuing education presenter at AOTA and is also an author at AOTA Press. She receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Judy Hamby has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 39 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 45 Minutes

Occupational therapy (OT) practitioners can contribute to a thorough assessment of cognition in the acute care setting by determining cognitive deficits, how they could impact functional occupational performance, and strategies to mitigate the ramifications. Deficits in functional cognition can impede a safe and complete return to the community, including returning to work and driving or living independently. In this course, lower-level mental functions, including levels of arousal, attention, memory, and direction following, will be discussed. Each area will be discussed in a scaffolded manner, providing an acute care-focused description of functional implications, evaluation, intervention, and documentation strategies using a performance-based lens.

Meet Your Instructor

Judy Hamby, OTD, MHS, OTR/L, BCPR

With more than 33 years of experience, Judy Hamby has worked with adults across the continuum of care, dedicating nearly 23 years to full-time service in acute care. She is a recognized expert in the field, having authored multiple chapters in the Occupational Therapy in Acute Care textbook (editions 1-3), covering topics such as discharge…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Functional Cognition and Level of Arousal

This chapter will discuss foundational concepts of functional cognition and arousal. Utilizing strategies to evaluate and elicit improved arousal will facilitate all other mental functioning.

2. Attention and Memory

This chapter discusses evaluation and intervention strategies for attention and memory in the context of the acute care setting. After arousal is achieved, attention is the next foundational skill for all other mental functions and facilitates task performance. Memory then connects the patient to experiences and facilitates learning.

3. Direction Following

Scaffolding directions will elicit the patient’s best ability to participate in functional tasks. It is important to determine the best ability to follow instructions, so a specific multimodal method will be described.

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