Love OT
Allied News April 19, 2017

By Sam Elhindi

OT Month | The Voice of Advanced’s Traveling OTs

Be Inspired

April is OT Month, and Advanced Travel Therapy is stoked! We have such an awe-inspiring group of talented OTs and new grad OTs. We are honored to shine the light on their contributions and commitment to the profession.

Since 1980, The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has been helping the nation show its appreciation for occupational therapists throughout April. It’s a time to recognize the critical role that OTs play in our healthcare system. They offer holistic, compassionate, and personalized approaches that help individuals gain independence, confidence, and a much-needed sense of security. They help people across the lifespan, from all walks of life, with various disabilities, illnesses, and injuries.

As part of our month-long OT celebration, we asked our traveling OTs to answer any of the following four questions:

  1. What is one thing you wished people knew about being an OT?
  2. What has been your favorite experience as an OT?
  3. What do you think occupational therapy’s biggest contribution has been the last 100 years?
  4. What is your favorite thing about being an OT?

Our OTs sent their answers to their Advanced Recruiters, and the responses were overwhelmingly inspiring. We are proud to have each of our occupational therapists on our team. We are honored to be a part of their personal and professional growth. In the spirit of OT month, we are featuring a number of their responses below. We hope that they move you the way they did us. Go #OTMonth #OTCentennial

This month is for you, and we cannot do enough to thank you!

Be Inspired: The Voice of Advanced’s Traveling OTs

What is one thing you wished people knew about being an OT?

Juli Ranstadler

“One thing I wish people knew about being an OT is that there are no limits. No matter what setting, age, population, or location you prefer, there is a place for you.”

Daniel Stokes

“I wish people knew that occupational therapists work with everyone throughout the lifespan. We can help with almost every disability to maximize an individual’s independence, and it’s awesome!”

Lexy Kauska

“The one thing I wish people knew about being an OT is that the profession lends itself to individuality. No two therapists and no two patients are alike.”

Kelsey Paternoster

“The one thing I really wish people knew about being an OT is that our desire is to help people regain their love for life, not just their daily functions.  The daily functions help people get back to the life they love, to gain something back that they may have lost.  It’s not about what we do or how we do it, it’s about who we work with and focusing on that at all times. My goal is to help people become the person they want to be.”

Brianne Duncan  

“I wish more people knew how broad the scope of OT is. An OT can have an impact on people’s lives, regardless of age, in a variety of settings, while keeping the same focus:  Enabling people to maximize their ability to participate in life activities that are important and meaningful to them.”

Kirstie Hamer

“I am so excited every time I speak with someone who knows what OT is! I feel like I am discovering those people more and more recently; I believe more people are beginning to understand the objective of our profession. Overall, I wish people knew that an individual’s occupations could take many forms. I enjoy working with people to get them back to their daily occupations, like dressing and bathing. However, our patients do so much more than that! They are avid chefs, knitters, bowlers, and sports fanatics and an occupational therapist’s job can incorporate goals in all of those areas.”

Kristi Schellenberg

“I wish others knew the complexity of the scope of practice of being an OT.  The field involves so much more than weak arms, dementia, or balance. I wish others could understand that OT is rooted in the rehabilitation of the whole person not just something specific.”

Lizzy Werth

“Occupational therapy works through a holistic approach. A common misconception about OT is that we help you get back to work, when in fact that is a small piece of what OTs can help you accomplish. OTs work collaboratively with individuals from childhood to older adults to assist them in participating in all everyday activities, otherwise called “occupations.” This may range from basic skills of dressing/bathing/feeding to playing for a child or work-specific tasks for an adult. Not only are the goals of therapy occupation-based, but treatment includes everyday activities in a therapeutic way to meet these goals in an effective and fun way.”

What has been your favorite experience as an OT?

Juli Ranstadler

“My favorite experience as an OT has been building the personal relationships that I have formed with my patients and patients’ caregivers.”

Kirstie Hamer

“One of my experiences as an OT (besides getting to travel) is seeing my clients come full circle. I love getting to work with them from the time they come in after they leave the hospital, working to achieve independence during their stay, completing home visits to make sure their environment is safe for them, training caregivers, discharging, and seeing patients come back in weeks later to visit!”

Kristi Schellenberg

“My favorite experience as an OT is hands down the thank you's I occasionally receive from a patient who returns home. It makes the hard work and dedication I always put into my career well worth it.”

Lizzy Werth

“My favorite experience I’ve had as an OT has been watching the progression of one patient go from being wheelchair-bound and incapable of completing simple everyday tasks to walking into the therapy room two months later, completely independent. The smile on their face said it all. It is an incredible feeling to be able to help someone accomplish that.”

What do you think occupational therapy’s biggest contribution has been the last 100 years?

Juli Ranstadler

“I think OT’s biggest contribution has been providing advocacy for patients and the profession itself as we have grown. One of my biggest roles as an OT is advocating for my patients’ rights, and I am glad to see that our profession as a whole has the same mindset.”

Kirstie Hamer

“OT has met a need in the healthcare field in a very important way. Our profession saw a gap and filled it: Helping our patients’ increase their safety and independence, allowing them to live more full, complete lives.”

Kristi Schellenberg

“I think the biggest contribution OT has made to healthcare has been its ability to act as the glue between the medical and spiritual realms of healing. It holistically addresses mind, body, and soul.”

Lizzy Werth

“I think occupational therapy’s biggest contribution has been the field’s unique approach to healthcare. OT is meant to be fun and creative, not cookie cutter. OT includes not only physical rehabilitation, but also adaptations/modifications to facilitate independence and inclusion in society. It is challenging and requires a team effort On the part of the therapist and patient to achieve goals.”

What is your favorite thing about being an OT?

Emily Sibley

“My favorite thing about being an OT is helping people regain their independence! My favorite thing about being a traveler is that it takes me to places I’d never expected. I got to see my first sunflower field (my favorite flower with a tattoo to prove it) in Knoxville, Tennessee while living in Western Carolina!”

Juli Ranstadler

“Hands down my favorite thing about being an OT is my patients. In their eyes, I am helping them, but little do they know how much they have helped and touched my life!”

Sarah Smith

“My favorite thing about being an OT is being able to work with people every day to increase their quality of life. No one wants to have someone help them use the restroom or give them a shower, and I love being able to work with someone so they can regain that type of independence. Independence looks different for everyone, and I enjoy helping people find their own unique path.”

Brett Buckner

“My favorite thing about being an OT is the creativity I get to use with my clients.  More often than not, I blow the client’s mind with a compensatory strategy or assistive device. Sometimes I educate them on the proper performance of ADL/IADL that no one else has told them about. Being an OT ROCKS!”

Kaitlyn O’Brien

“My favorite thing about being an OT is seeing the impact I can make on people’s lives. Nothing feels better than seeing a patient go home more independent than how they came in, and knowing you helped them get that way!”

Brianne Duncan  

“My favorite thing about being an OT is witnessing the progress of my patients. Personally being able to assist them with reaching their goals is very rewarding.”

Kirstie Hamer

“My patients! Working with older adults is a constant learning experience. I love not only helping them achieve their goals, but also, I love how their stories and travels inspire me!”

Kristi Schellenberg

“My favorite thing about being an OT is the uniqueness of my every day work schedule. I have the ability to use my creativity to suit the needs of all of my patients on a daily basis whether through activities of daily living, functional recreational tasks, exercise, or community integration. I enjoy having the ability to utilize any aspect of a patient’s life to create a therapeutic learning environment.”

Lizzy Werth

“My favorite thing about being an OT is getting to know my patients. Building rapport with patients is a very important part of what OTs do. Through building those relationships, you are able to develop the best treatment plan to help them reach their goals in a more enjoyable way. I currently work with older adults and can honestly say I have learned just as much from them as they have hopefully learned from me. The stories and words of wisdom they share from their lives are incredible.”

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