My former Occupational Therapist from when I was hospitalized at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital, Sheri Sharkey, and I presented last week at the Student Occupational Therapy Association at Tufts and it was so much fun! It was great to see Sheri again and I really enjoyed our presentation.
When I was telling Evan about the presentation afterwards, I remembered one girl’s question and specifically wanted to tell him about it. The student was planning to start a clinical placement in a neuro unit in a hospital and asked Sheri and me for advice about working with her future patients. We had shared with the group that Sheri and I had had a great relationship, and because I liked her I worked harder with her in therapy. The harder I worked and listened for feedback from Sheri, the more quickly I could improve.
This student asked us for advice about working with her future patients, and getting her patients to work hard with her in therapy. I thought about why I liked Sheri so much, and so enjoyed therapy with Sheri and worked hard with her. I liked Sheri because it didn’t seem to me that she treated me any differently when I was in the hospital, slowly emerging from a coma. Even though therapy sessions with Sheri were similar to therapy with any other therapist, Sheri never treated me like a patient. None of my therapists in the neuro-wing at Braintree treated me like a patient, and I think that was why their neuro team was so strong. It made a huge difference to be seen as a person first and as a patient second.