Occupational therapist Shana Mohr chose OT because she feels it has the ability to touch so many aspects of a patient’s therapy and recovery.
“Occupational therapy is a blend of both physical therapy and speech therapy,” she said. “While those two may stand on their own, occupational covers an assimilation of both.”
Watching her grandfather undergo therapy sealed the deal.
“I found the whole thing so fascinating,” she said.
As executive director for RehabCare in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Shana sees about 10 to 13 patients each day but that’s about the only thing that is the same from one day to the next.
“You read the patient’s medical history and then you go into his room not knowing anything about who he is as an individual,” she said. “Then, a friendship develops. The patients have lots of stories to tell you.”
Shana especially loves to hear about marriage longevity.
“Most of my patients have been married for 30, even 40 years, and I love to hear their stories,” she said. “And I like to know their key secrets!”
According to Shana, helping patients reach their goals is the most rewarding part of her job.
“As an occupational therapist, you’re working on getting the patient back to her normal life,” she said. “And in order to do that, you have to know what was normal for them and what their life was like in the first place. Then we both can work toward the same goal: getting them back home and to their lives.”
Shana, who has been with Kindred for ten years, starting as a student and working her way up from an OT position to a multi-site directorship in Dallas, says that nothing is more rewarding than seeing a patient return home.
“I love when I get to see our patients go from being so medically complex to returning home to their loved ones,” she said. “Our patients influence me, they impact all of us.”
To young occupational therapists just starting out, she has this advice: “If you have finished school and want to be an occupational therapist, you have to realize that you get to go home at the end of the day, and your patients don’t. It’s certainly a sentimental thing, but you have to be prepared for whatever hits you when you’re going into the business.”