Fewer situations have brought to light the importance of our medical professionals than the current COVID-19 situation. April is Occupational Therapy Month, and we would be remiss if we didn’t honor our occupational therapists, who are continuing to serve our patients in their critical role.
What OTs do
In a skilled nursing setting, occupational therapy helps patients improve their activities of daily living, their daily self-care tasks that they do at home. These ADLs can range from the basic brushing teeth and getting dressed to cooking meals.
The life of an occupational therapist
Sunni Bullock, director of rehabilitation services at Life Care Center of Vista, California, is one of our many stellar and experienced occupational therapists. An OT since 1997, she has been at Life Care Center of Vista for 23 years.
Sunni had no idea what occupational therapy was until she was in high school and her brother was involved in a bad car accident that left her brother a quadriplegic. She saw firsthand the impact that OT had in helping him to achieve independence again with modifications.
Her brother’s experience set Sunni on a path to therapy school at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. She did internships in a psych unit and a hospital.
“I did not think I’d be working with the geriatric population, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Sunni shared.
When she moved to southern California, “Life Care just kind of fell into my lap,” Sunni said. “I love it here. I love my rehab team and my building. They are my extended family.”
What OT is to Sunni
As far as her job goes, here is how Sunni describes occupational therapy: “It’s trying to get the person as independent as possible after illness or injury. It takes adapting their environments a lot of times.”
Sunni thinks sometimes occupational therapy gets overlooked in helping patients achieve their goals, but their role is vital.
“We make a big difference in people’s lives,” Sunni said.