Submitted by Providence
In a world where precise hand movements are vital to every aspect of our daily lives, injuries or conditions affecting the hands can be devastating. The journey of rehabilitation and recovery is vital to regaining the physical function of our bodies. Occupational therapy focuses on helping individuals engage in meaningful activities or occupations that are essential for daily living. An “occupation” may be play for a child, playing a sport or musical instrument for a young adult, and driving and working for an adult. Along with other rehabilitation experts such as speech and physical therapy, occupational therapists strive to maximize each person’s function while supporting their individual goals.
The Role of a Hand Therapist
Hand therapists are highly-trained occupational or physical therapists specializing in the treatment of rehabilitations affecting the upper extremity, from the shoulder to the hand, depending on the type of injury. Occupational therapists have a unique understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of the upper extremity as well understanding of the psychological impact of illness or injury on their patients. Training in both aspects allows them to consider the whole person and provide effective therapy for a variety of conditions and injuries. Whether it’s a traumatic injury, chronic condition or a post-surgical recovery, hand therapists play a crucial role in helping patients regain their upper extremity function, reduce pain and improve their overall quality of life.
Meet Providence’s New Certified Hand Therapist
Providence St. Peter Outpatient Orthopedic and Hand Therapy clinic in Lacey is thrilled to introduce our new highly-skilled occupational therapist/hand therapist, Mary Kay Arvin. Mary Kay joins us with more than 40 years of experience in occupational therapy. She was born and raised in Southern Indiana and decided to move to Washington to be close to her family. Mary Kay received her undergraduate degree in occupational therapy from Indiana University. She received her hand therapy certification in 2000 from the Hand Therapy Certification Commission and received her Doctor of Occupational Therapy in 2010 from the University of St. Augustine of the Health Sciences.
Mary Kay joined Providence locally in October of last year and has been seeing patients with orthopedic and/or neurological issues. Some of Mary Kay’s interests are chronic conditions, like edema, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. “I enjoy the challenge and meeting different patients. I have a passion for teaching and educating patients on why they are experiencing what they are experiencing so they can take ownership of their health and motivate themselves to get better,” Mary Kay says.
On a typical day at work, Mary Kay helps 9 patients in an 8-hour day. “Providence’s scheduling model is extremely effective in that we see one patient at a time for a 45-minute appointment. Patients have their privacy,” Mary Kay says. During the first appointment, the therapist and the patient develop a plan for addressing problems and meeting goals.
“I hope patients aren’t afraid of therapy. We will meet you where you are at. The patient is the center – we respect and listen to them,” Mary Kay says.
Providence St. Peter Outpatient Orthopedic and Hand Therapy clinic is located at 719 Sleater Kinney Road, Suite 152, in Lacey. Most insurance companies require a referral for reimbursement. Contact your primary care provider for a referral.
For more information, visit Providence St. Peter Outpatient Orthopedic and Hand Therapy.