Teaching Skills for the Job of LivingA brain that is injured or deprived of oxygen (e.g., from a stroke) can result in a variety of impairments, such as the inability to walk, balance or move a limb.
Occupational therapist Terry Walton, MS, OTR, is dedicated to helping brain-injured patients meet some of their greatest life challenges. A Froedtert Hospital staff member since 1985, Walton is a member of the Neurosciences Rehabilitation Outpatient Program, specializing in occupational therapy for people who have suffered a brain injury or stroke.
“I teach people skills for the job of living,” Walton said. “We look at people's life roles — at work and at home — and the things they need and want to do. If a person can’t do an activity or task, we figure out a way to make it possible.”
Walton works with patients to optimize their functioning so they can be as independent as possible. She works closely with other team members such as speech therapists, physicians, case managers, physical therapists and other staff to discuss the many needs of patients. “We have very close communication,” Walton said.
“The best part of my work is the patients and the staff,” Walton said. “Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin is such an exciting place, with access to the latest innovations and technology. The hospital is extremely supportive of staff; I feel there’s nothing I can’t do for patients.”
Because Walton works with people for several weeks or months, she develops lasting relationships. After therapy is completed, many return to visit Walton and other team members to let them know how they’re doing.
“I get really attached to my patients,” she said. “I put my heart and soul into helping them be the best they can be.”
Source: Froedtert Today
Date: October 2007