Kelly Rutherford, occupational therapist, is what is known as a “traveler.” She accepts assignments all over the country, with varying lengths of stay.
Kelly started her assignment at St. Mary’s Hospital on Dec. 1, with the goal of establishing an occupational therapy department, providing both inpatient and outpatient services.
“When providing inpatient services, I work on dressing, toilet use, bathing, hygiene and grooming, and medication management,” she explained. “Basically, I work on the things individuals have to be able to accomplish to live alone independently. My goal is to bring patients back to their prior level of independence.”
“For outpatient services, I work to refine individuals’ skills and help them perform higher level activities like cleaning and cooking.
I work with individuals who have had strokes, Parkinson’s, heart attacks, or any-thing that has restricted their ability to function normally,” continued Kelly.
“After I had inpatient and outpatient programs start-ed, my priority was to redesign the hospital therapy gym. Hopefully, you will start seeing changes to the therapy room shortly.”
“My last major project was starting a group activities program for the hospital patients. Due to the varying number of patients in the hospital, we invited the condo residents to join in on the fun. This gives the hospital patients an opportunity to interact with people besides hospital staff. Research has shown pro-grams such as this help to reduce the progression of dementia.”
The program is provided Monday through Thursday at 2:30 p.m.