During Occupational Therapy Month last April, I had the opportunity to ask Registered Licensed Occupational Therapist Verna Campos a few questions about occupational therapy. Verna Campos is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist from Georgia who currently works in an outpatient setting where she serves children, and their families, from birth to 21 years of age.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is a method of treatment through the use of meaningful activities, which we call “occupations”. These occupations vary between person to person and are influenced by their environment, personal skills, and values.
Where does an Occupational Therapist work?
An Occupational Therapist can help people with disabilities of ages throughout the entire lifespan from birth to the elderly and in multiple settings including clinical settings (acute care, inpatient care, and outpatient care), in the homes of families, in their workplace, in the community, and in specialized settings (i.e. deaf & blind, low vision, mental health, driving rehab, etc.).
What is your favorite thing about being an Occupational Therapist?
My favorite thing about being a Pediatric Occupational Therapist is witnessing the results of educating individuals to embrace their challenges, enhancing their skills, and empowering them to independently live a meaningful life. Nothing is more rewarding than knowing I was a critical piece to their journey towards independence.
Last year we had the opportunity to interview Sarah Tuberty, an occupational therapist with a congenital hand difference. She shared what inspired her to go into the field of occupational therapy.
"I was volunteering at a summer camp that was affiliated with the hospital I went to as a child. They have a summer camp specifically for kids with congenital limb differences called “Camp Winning Hands”. I had volunteered for the camp and started doing programming around that. There was this moment at camp where this teen was trying to figure out how to put up her hair on her own, but her arm anatomy made it a little bit difficult for her to bring her hair up back behind her head and navigate the ponytail holder. So, we sat down. I showed her how I do it and we went through several different strategies and I just thought that was the coolest thing. I then became introduced to Occupational Therapy through my volunteer work at Shriner’s Hospital where I was a patient, and that’s where I encountered the word “OT” [Occupational Therapy/Therapist] and I really liked it. So I come from a science background and I liked that it continued on through the sciences and that we were being creative. I liked that those were required aspects of the job and that we worked with people on the things they cared about. We helped them do what they wanted to do, and need to do throughout our lives. I felt that a lot of those qualities very much fell in line with what I care about."
Experience Occupational Therapy
Able ARTS Work Occupational Therapy Capstone intern, Gabby, collaborated with art instructor Daniela, to create this instructional guide on how to create your own sensory tools.
Able ARTS Work Occupational Therapy Capstone Intern Gabby shares recommendations from an occupational therapy perspective on how to set up an optimal virtual workspace.
Happy Belated Occupational Therapy Month to all the Occupational therapists out there!
Want to learn about other types of therapy?
Sydney Davis-Campos is the Virtual Learning Coordinator at Able ARTS Work, Learn for Life. She has a B.A. in Studio Art and Art History. Sydney has worked at Able ARTS Work for 5 years where she has also held the positions of Art Instructor and an Assistant Program Manager.