Fernando Colon, OTR/L researched graduate programs and chose occcupational therapy
Growing up, Fernando Colon, OTR/L imagined being a nurse, doctor or police officer. “I always knew I wanted to help people,” said Fernando. “I was lucky to come across occupational therapy when I was researching graduate programs at Stockton University.”
Fernando was intrigued by a career in occupational therapy (OT) so he did some research and discovered that OT was originally established during World War I, and a major role of therapists back then was to help the overwhelming amount of soldiers returning with physical and psychological war injuries, especially those with what we now know as PTSD . “I had no idea that OT also had a focus on mental health. I had experience working in a psych unit and was very excited about incorporating that experience with the physical treatment of OT.”
In order to decide if OT was a good fit for him, Fernando decided to shadow a therapist at Bacharach and he immediately fell in love with the work. He went on to complete a fieldwork placement at Bacharach while he was an OT student and is now completing his first year as an Occupational Therapist at Bacharach.
“I love working at Bacharach because of the culture of the entire facility,” said Fernando. “Everyone from the nurses to the therapists to the administrators truly cares about our patients and works together as a team to make sure our patients achieve their goals.”
Fernando demonstrating the Tyromotion Pablo at the Klinghoffer Opening
While Fernando works primarily with neurological and orthopedic patients, he has developed a passion for working with patients recovering from a traumatic brain injury. “It has become a career goal of mine to specialize in traumatic brain injuries,” said Fernando. “I like being able to treat the whole person – both their physical and cognitive limitations. I have been inspired by seeing my brain-injured patients work to recover and re-enter their communities.”
As Fernando reflects on his first year at Bacharach, he notes that he came to Bacharach at the perfect time. “I have been very fortunate, not only to get to learn from the great therapists around me, but I have also been able to work with the new neuro-recovery equipment,” said Fernando. “The equipment has been a game changer because it adds a different and dynamic component to our patient’s rehabilitation. I love working with the equipment and being able to use to help my patients overcome the obstacles they are facing.”