Interview with an OTA: Stacie Doan
Stacie Doan is an Occupational Therapy Assistant, COTA/L, SCLV-A, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and Associate’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. She has been in the field of occupational therapy for 7 years, with 3 and a half years at VisionCorps.
How did you end up at VisionCorps?
I came to VisionCorps looking for a full-time position when my position suddenly went part-time at the hand clinic I was working at. I had a background in neuro-rehab so this was a good fit for me given my previous experience with low vision. Working here has broadened my OT toolbox and allowed me to become specialized in low vision therapy.
How did you get into OT (occupational therapy)?
I originally wanted to be a teacher, but was not challenged. Then, I looked into being a physical therapist, but quickly turned to OT when I realized how it incorporated both teaching and therapy. It has been a great fit ever since as I’ve been 7 years strong in the field, with 3.5 years at VisionCorps.
What’s the most rewarding for you when working with patients?
I enjoy helping clients do tasks around their home that they otherwise thought they could not accomplish. I love instructing meal prep tasks and educating clients about the various assistive equipment they can use to complete their preferred tasks. It’s most rewarding when a client states with a smile, that because of the instruction we’ve given them; they can do what they once thought was lost.
What does your position entail?
As the OTA, it is my job to provide treatment sessions to OT clients based off the OT Plan of Care (POC). I work closely with Taylor to make sure all client’s needs are met. I also work heavily with technology to assist OT and non-OT clients alike. Overall, my job is to help people perform their daily living tasks as independently as possible despite their low vision diagnosis.
What is something that you do, or VisionCorps rehab services does, that you don’t think the average person understands?
Blind etiquette. I don’t think the average person realizes how important it is to push in chairs, close cabinets, etc. so as to keep those who cannot see that safety hazard safe. Also, another big thing is announcing who you are when you speak to a person. I can’t tell you how many times clients complain (especially those in retirement homes) that folks will just start talking to them and forget to say who they are. These are little things to the sighted person, but huge in the low vision community.
Is there anything else interesting we should know about what you do?
Although we provide OT with a focus on low vision here at VisionCorps, I am trained as an OTA through and through, which means you can always ask me questions about other aspects of OT besides low vision. I have extensive experience in rehabilitation as a whole, specifically; orthopedics and some hand therapy. The only dumb question is the one never asked!