Imagine a brilliant engineer, who is unable to tell time or has difficulty distinguishing between a toothbrush and a comb following a stroke. Consider an elderly patient for whom sitting in a bed is an ordeal due to orthostatic blood pressure and is incapable of transferring to the wheelchair or attending to personal hygiene. Think about a patient who cannot tie his or her shoelaces and get dressed after hip surgery because of short-term, post-surgical restrictions on movements.
Helping such patients achieve independent living, engage in their daily activities, and return to work after re-acquiring pertinent skills is what an occupational therapist does each day.
Driven by her passion to help others, Pradnya trained as an Occupational Therapist and has helped numerous patients achieve and reclaim their previous level of independence. She has been working for the past 20 years at El Camino Hospital, in both Inpatient and Outpatient therapy settings.
Pradnya embraces challenges that can come with treating patients after a surgical intervention; others with limitations as a result of a stroke; and individuals with pneumonia, respiratory issues, and heart conditions. Each patient is unique. After methodically analyzing essential daily-living activities of a patient, Pradnya works to develop distinctive and customized programs to facilitate the patient’s return to a higher level of functioning. Over the years, she has used ingenious assistive devices, trained patients and their families to operate adaptive equipment, and utilized the latest digital tools with touch screens and biofeedback for neuro-muscular re-education.
The crucial factor for a successful therapy session, Pradnya points out, is to earn patients’ trust, and to build confidence and self-assurance incrementally as recovery begins. She emphasizes participation by loved ones, as the patient starts practicing recuperative techniques, adapts to proper body mechanics and follows necessary precautions. Encouragement from family members complements the effectiveness of rehabilitation therapy, and often results in speedy improvements.
Pradnya takes pride in advancing a patient’s well-being and appreciates the support of El Camino Hospital staff members in providing quality care. Taking advantage of the educational opportunities available, while collaborating with her colleagues, she is committed to structuring, organizing and implementing innovative rehabilitation strategies. “Watching patients regain control of their lives fosters my dedication to the profession,” Pradnya affirms.