Growing demand for Occupational Therapists as part of the recovery process for coronavirus patients


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – There’s a growing demand for Occupational Therapists, especially during the global pandemic.

Occupational Therapists help patients of all ages, and medical conditions, regain their independence. Working at hospitals, homes and rehab centers, the profession is greatly needed right now for recovering coronavirus patients.

“We are needed more than ever. We’re kind of the MacGyver’s of the rehab field. We do whatever it takes,” said Dr. Robin Steed, Occupational Therapy Director LSU Health Shreveport.

Doctor Steed said their roles require close contact with patients, so being exposed to a virus is just a part of their oath.

“When you enter a health care career you’re taking that risk. You’re saying this is important to me and I want to help people and if that means that my own safety is at risk then so be it. It’s sort of a part of the oath we take,” Steed said.

Abby Hines will graduate from LSUHS and become an OT in the midst of the global pandemic.

“I think it takes brave individuals to go out there and be on the front lines for our country,” Hines said.

She said she wanted to become an Occupational Therapist at ten-years-old when she watched her grandmother in the hospital with a brain tumor that led to a stroke.

“In the short months she had with us she worked with an Occupational Therapist and even at 10- years-old that was the career that stuck out to me in the hospital, was the person who was helping her be more independent. She wanted to be able to put on her makeup. That was important to her and she learned how to do it before she left. So I thought what joy that profession got to bring to her life and I want to be able to do that for others,” Hines said.

Doctor Steed said as Baby Boomers age, more Occupational Therapists will be needed. LSU Health Shreveport is in the approval process to gain a doctorate degree program in Occupational Therapy.

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