The role of an occupational therapist is to help patients participate in the things they want and need to do in their everyday lives. Inspiration is an integral part of an OT’s work, as is the passion for serving others. Dedication isn’t something that comes naturally to many people; but when someone has a passion for something, that commitment comes easily.
Catherine Brooks has been dedicated to occupational therapy for over a decade and she would tell you that the impact OT’s have on their patients is why she elected this career. “I chose occupational therapy because I enjoy helping people return to their lives following surgery, injury, or illness—leaving them better from when I found them.”
Introduction to Occupational Therapy
“When I was young, I always knew that I didn’t have the attention span to sit behind a desk. I first thought about going into the therapy field when I met a new in-law who served in the military and was severely wounded by an explosion. He ended up losing the lower half of his dominant arm. While undergoing intensive therapy on his path to recovery, he loved occupational therapy. As part of his treatment, he played ping-pong with his non-dominant arm which inevitably abled him to regain function in his everyday life. Ironically enough, my very first home health patient was a WWII veteran—a D-Day survivor. It was incredibly humbling to work with him and to accomplish everything we did so he could function at home with his wife. There’s great joy in teaching people how to recognize their potential then develop the skills and adaptations they need to achieve that potential.”
Occupational Therapy is Rewarding
Catherine worked in the home health setting for ten years before joining the Therapy Center family. She is now the treating occupational therapist in two nursing homes, Bayou Vista Community Care Center and Hessmer Nursing Home. “I was ready for a change and ready to serve more patients in a day. I was also ready to be a part of a team. With home health I would only see my co-workers once a week. I’m really enjoying the team approach and collaboration with other professionals each day. Working in the nursing home setting has allowed me these opportunities. My favorite part of the job is when a patient comes to therapy in the morning unable to accomplish a task for him or herself, but can go to bed that evening either able to handle the task on their own or help their caregiver do so using the skills we practiced early that day. I love making people smile—both patients and caregivers. Having worked for a few other companies, both really large and really small, I really appreciate the structure and support of Therapy Center. I really love being an active and present part of a team with a group of people whose company I enjoy every day.”
Dedication Affects Others
At Therapy Center we pride ourselves on exceptional patient care, and we could not achieve that without recruiting amazing therapists. “I met Catherine when she was my grandmother’s home health OT. What struck me about Catherine was her genuine interest in connecting with her geriatric patients. She shared a Cajun French therapy cheat sheet that she and my grandma made during their time together.” – Rachel Manuel, Director/Mentor/SLP.
With her many years of experience, Catherine also specializes in low vision and vestibular rehabilitation. She even incorporates her own hobbies into her therapeutic practices. “One of her stipulations on taking the position with us was the provision of a piano so she could play for the residents. Therapists like Catherine, who go above and beyond to connect with their patients, are few and far between. I’m honored to have her compassionate, genuine spirit on our team.” – Rachel Manuel.
If you are interested in a therapy career with Therapy Center, keep up with our job openings via our Team Text program..
Learn more about the job outlook for occupational therapists by reading this article.