Occupational therapy is a multifaceted type of rehabilitation that restores the independence of ill or injured patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.
At Bacharach, we have a team of expert therapists who help patients restore their function so that they are able to complete everyday tasks. One such individual, Patricia Chichester, OTR-L, works at Bacharach as an outpatient occupational therapist with a specialization in the upper extremities.
Patricia sees both adult and pediatric clients and treats a variety of diagnoses, including upper extremity injuries and neurological impairments such as stroke, brain injuries and multiple sclerosis. She has extensive training in upper extremities rehabilitation and has developed OT programs in a variety of satellite clinics. “Bacharach is very supportive. They trust each person’s clinical skills and know you are constantly working to move in a positive direction,” she said.
One of her favorite things about her job is that every day is different. Patricia said, “In a typical week, I’ll work with a child on skills like how to tie their shoes or with an adult on brushing their hair or using a hammer. It’s constantly varying because the treatment is so patient-specific. Regardless of what each patient needs, I love monitoring their progress and helping them achieve their goals.”
Patricia majored in occupational therapy at Towson State University in Towson, Maryland. Upon graduation, she enrolled in Hahnemann University Hospital’s upper extremity certification course. The yearlong class left Patricia with a mastery of the upper extremities.
Her first experience in the occupational therapy field was at Bacharach’s inpatient facility. According to Patricia, “It was the best first job ever. The environment provided a wonderful place to develop skills and learn about the different types of patients who could benefit from occupational therapy. Therapists were offered the opportunity to switch departments, going from brain injury to orthopedics to pediatrics. There were many mentors who could share their expertise with a new therapist like myself.”
Even after 25 years of working in occupational therapy, Patricia wakes up every day loving her job. She shared, “I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Every day is different, I get to problem solve and Bacharach gives me the freedom to really focus on my specialties. It’s a very humbling experience to work with people at a really challenging point in their lives, and then see them gain back independence. I have the opportunity to be a part of that process and make a difference in people’s lives. How could I not love that?”