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Occupational Therapy in the ICU: Essential Skills for Clinical Practice

On-Demand now available!

$55 per participant

Contact us for group rates

Course Description

Occupational therapists have been treating patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) for decades. With ongoing advances in medical care, more people are surviving critical illness, resulting in an increased need for rehabilitation services.  ICU culture has shifted, and medical teams are more readily introducing rehabilitation services, regardless of the stage of illness or medical acuity, to improve long-term outcomes for the patient. Early participation in rehabilitation services has been demonstrated safe and feasible in all ICU environments. Occupational therapy interventions in the ICU setting are wide-ranging, and have contributed to reduced rates of delirium, reduced number of days spent on the ventilator, reduced ICU-acquired weakness, decreased use of sedation, improved functional recovery, and increased quality of life. 

                The focus of this course is to prepare the Occupational Therapist to safely and competently treat medically complex patients. The material in this course is intended to deepen the Occupational Therapist’s clinical reasoning skills. Complex concepts will be explained in a streamlined, useful manner. Therapists will learn how to perform thorough and efficient chart reviews, recognize and monitor changes in medical status, and develop effective treatment plans for ICU patients. There is emphasis on evidence-based practice, hemodynamic monitoring, respiratory devices including mechanical ventilation, interpretation of lab values and medicated infusions, and review of commonly encountered lines, tubes, drains, and other medical equipment. The level of this course is intermediate. 

Course Instructor

Megan Meringolo has been a practicing Occupational Therapist within the acute care setting for the last 15 years. Megan specializes in program development for rehabilitation of the medically complex and critical care patient populations. She developed and implemented an OT-specific ICU Competency model within the NYU Langone healthcare system. Her specialty areas of practice include Disorders of Consciousness, Delirium, and Face Transplant. In 2020, she helped lead a team of Occupational Therapists through the COVID-19 pandemic. Megan is an author and continuing education speaker. Notably, she is the primary author of the Transplantation chapter in AOTA’s text, Occupational Therapy in Acute Care, as well as numerous OT Practice and AOTA Specialist Interest Section articles. Most recently, she was published in Neurocritical Care for her work with rehabilitation from Disorders of Consciousness after COVID-19.

Course Schedule
  • 7:15pm Zoom will open

  • 7:30pm Course starts

  • 9:30pm Course ends

Course Outline
  • Review history and current trends of Occupational Therapy practice in the ICU

  • Review a model for developing therapist competency

  • Discuss commonly-encountered respiratory devices (including mechanical ventilation), medical equipment, laboratory values, and medicated infusions, and implications for practice

  • Discuss the role of Occupational Therapy in delirium screening, prevention, and treatment

  • Review standardized assessments appropriate for use in the ICU

  • Review evidence-based interventions for medically complex patient

  • Review an ICU safety screen checklist that can be adapted into practice

Continuing Education Credit







Gold Standard Seminars, LLC is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. PD activity approval ID# 11249. This distance learning-independent activity is offered at 0.2 CEUs intermediate, OT service delivery. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.


This course offers 2.0 contact hours of category A, formal courses with direct upper extremity content for OT or PT towards the Certified Hand Therapists (CHT) recertification.

This course meets the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Standards of Quality for Continuing Education Offerings (BOD G11-03-22-69). Please save your course certificate and outline to submit for CE credit to your state and/or local licensing board.

For other professions, this course counts as 2.0 contact hours of professional development. Please save your certificate and course outline to submit to your national, state or local agency for continuing educating credit. 

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Course Locations
  • Wednesday, September 20, 2023 7:30pm-9:30pm (EST) via Zoom

  • Contact us at if you would like to host this course at your facility

Learning Outcomes
  • Review history and current state of Occupational Therapy practice in the ICU 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of oxygen delivery system and other medical devices and implications for the Occupational Therapist

  • Develop strategies for efficient chart review and treatment planning

  • Choose appropriate evaluation and intervention techniques for different types of medically complex patients

Recommended Course Participants
  • Occupational Therapists

  • Physical Therapists

  • Occupational Therapy Assistants

  • Physical Therapy Assistants

  • Physicians

  • Physicians Assistants

  • Nurse Practitioners

ADA and Special Requests

Please contact Gold Standard Seminars  prior to purchase to discuss any particular needs and/or requests.

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