Meet Christina Flaherty, MS, OTR/L! During her junior year of high school, Christina spent some time shadowing the occupational therapists at Heinz Rehab Hospital in Wilkes-Barre and that’s when she knew OT was the career for her.
Christina earned her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at Duquesne University and completed a residency at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. When the chance arose to return to her home town and begin working in her chosen field, she jumped at the opportunity.
Since October of 2015, Christina has been honored to be a part of the “family” in the pediatric therapy department at Heinz Rehab Hospital. “We are very patient-oriented. All the families know each other and all of the therapists know the families of the patients. Even if they aren’t your patient, you still get to know everyone!” says Christina.
Occupational therapists have a huge impact on our patients’ lives, but the profession can be misunderstood, given its broad ranging application. Occupational therapists promote skill development and independence in all activities of daily living. For an adult, this may mean looking at the areas of self-care, home-making, leisure, and work. For children, the occupations may include playing in the park with friends, washing hands, going to the bathroom, cutting with scissors, drawing, etc.
Since joining Allied Services, Christina has also become certified in the Vision program which helps individuals gain back their functional vision for reading and writing. For her pediatric patients it can help reduce frustrations with their school work.
Christina enjoys working with each individual child, helping them to work towards their goals.
“What I enjoy about occupational therapy is that it’s very personal. You can see so much success with a patient, especially a child, when you find what it is that they love and want to be able to do.” Whether that means being able to tie their shoe laces or play their favorite game, Christina and her fellow occupational therapists will be there to help.
To learn about a career in Occupational Therapy visit www.careersatalliedservices.org