If you’ve ever asked “What exactly is occupational therapy?” you’re not alone. Occupational therapy (OT) gives people the skills for the job of living necessary for independent and satisfying lives. Ministry Door County Medical Center has 10 occupational therapy professionals ready to serve the community. They work in settings as diverse as elementary school classrooms, skilled nursing facilities, clinic and hospital rooms, and places of employment.
For Stephanie Whitley, an occupational therapist in Ministry’s hospital setting and Skilled Nursing Facility, it’s fulfilling to help patients achieve a safe discharge. “Recently I worked with a patient with a fracture to get him to the point that he could get back home. He made it, and celebrated a milestone birthday the next day!”
Katie Rockendorf provides OT in the Sturgeon Bay Schools. She helps students with sensory issues use various strategies to improve their focus and participation, thus enabling them to remain in the regular classroom with their peers. Rhawn Lampkins also works with students. “The other day I worked with a young boy, helping him with his handwriting and eye-hand coordination. We’re helping kids get the education they need,” says Lampkins.
For many patients, getting back to the activities of daily living is the reason they seek OT care. Ann Rankin is a hand specialist who works with everyone from employees who suffer tendonitis from computer work, to patients recovering from acute injuries. “I enjoy helping people get back to doing what they like to do, whether it’s writing, or gardening or playing an instrument,” she says.
Ministry also provides occupational therapy services to residents of Scandia Village in Sister Bay, and therapist Carol Shabbit enjoys the variety of care she is able to give. “One of the services we provide is driver screenings to help determine if someone is still safe behind the wheel. It’s often a relief for the patient, the family and even the doctor to have our objective evaluation for a patient.”
Kim Kavanaugh works with the Home Health program and Ministry’s Memory Clinic helping patients with cognitive issues and providing practical ways to make life easy through organization, sequencing and compensatory techniques. “One of the most important things we do is educating families about cognitive and memory issues. It’s such a comfort to them to have the information they need to help their loved ones cope.”
A physician’s order is needed for reimbursement of occupational therapy. For additional information about OT, call us at (920) 746-0410.