OT Sarah Dickes inspired for therapy career after high school sports injury

Outpatient occupational therapist (OT) Sarah Dickes was in high school receiving physical therapy treatment for a sports injury when she observed something that pushed her in the direction of a career in rehabilitation. “I looked over to the patient next to me who was a child receiving occupational therapy. The OT was helping him learn to tie his shoes. I thought ‘wow, here am I getting PT so I can do flips again. He’s getting therapy so he can do a basic task that we all take for granted.’ That stuck with me as I thought about what I wanted to do for a career.”

Sarah finds rehabilitation very rewarding. Doing just what she observed that day - helping people do things we can take for granted - helps people gain independence, a feeling of success, and gives them hope. “People who have lost function due to an accident or illness often feel hopeless and dependent. Helping them relearn how to do things for themselves or learn a new skill inspires me.”

Kayna (in the photo) is a great example of how mastering a small, simple task, can be a big deal to the patient. “Kayna has an infectious smile, but she would be quite tentative and a little scared when trying something new after her accident. But she’d do it, and then we’d see that big smile again.”

Sarah’s newest professional challenge is developing her skills in seating and positioning. “Helping to figure out all the pieces and parts involved in a wheelchair evaluation allows me to problem-solve. I love problem-solving. And a good seating and mobility system is really about the basics – getting a person in the right position to be the most functional. I have the best of the best clinicians to learn from here at LifeScape. Our seating and positioning team members are rock stars!”

For information about LifeScape’s outpatient rehabilitation therapy services, call (605) 444-9700. #RehabRockStars