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Teresa Mintz

1.) What led you to become an occupational therapist? 
I was looking for a profession that would allow me to help people and have a positive impact on their lives. What I love about occupational therapy is the holistic approach in treating our clients. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability. 

2.) What is the typical day like for an occupational therapist?

In the outpatient hand therapy setting, I start my day at 8 am treating about twelve patients a day. I may be evaluating a new client after a surgery, which may include removing any post-op dressing, fabricating an orthotic, educating the patient on their diagnoses, goals for therapy or instructing on an exercise program. I see my established patients, and see how they are feeling or doing. I treat based on any doctor protocols, or how the patient is doing and progressing. This may include warming up, joint mobility exercises, therapeutic activities, fabricating an orthotic, etc. I document when I can throughout the day. 

3.) What is something that someone would not know about your job? 

It may be surprising to know that occupational therapy has been around since WWI. I think people are surprised to know that we fabricate and make custom splints and orthotics. Occupational therapists are known to be quite creative and crafty. We are masters at adapting and modifying activities. 

4.) What do you do in your spare time? 
I enjoy spending time with my beautiful family. I have two amazing girls, ages 5 and 3 years old, so much of my time is spent doing things with them. We love to be outdoors, riding our bikes, swimming, travelling. My husband and I met salsa dancing and when we get a date night, we love to go dancing. 

5.) What is your favorite movie? 
Can’t think of any favorites. I love all kinds of movies, except horror movies. It seems most of my movies lately are G rated. 

6.) What is the best part about being an occupational therapist? 
I love the quote by Jessica Kensky that reads, "Occupational therapy is where science, creativity, and compassion collide." I think this quotes summarizes occupational therapy so well. I have been an occupational therapist for over 20 years and I can honestly say I still love what I do. I get to know my clients on such a personal level, helping them cope through some very difficult and sometimes life changing events. I get a chance to make a positive difference in people’s lives in a variety of ways. I get to be an integral part in the process of them regaining their independence in daily activities that many people take for granted.