Image: Celebrate OT MonthMeet Our OT Team!

Occupational therapists and therapy assistants are part of a vitally important profession that helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Their holistic and customized approach to evaluations, interventions, and outcomes assist a person recovering from injuries to regain skills as well as aid an older adult to remain as independent as possible.

In recognition of #OTmonth, we want to introduce you to some of members of the Accel Rehabilitation Hospital of Plano team!

Image: Jacquelyn Buitron

Jacquelyn Buitron | Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

Jacquelyn Buitron

Jacquelyn graduated from Parker University’s Occupational Therapist Assistant program in December 2020 and has officially been working as a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant for a little over a month.

I chose the OT profession because OTs/COTAs are creative healers with the ability to help others relearn and adapt to tasks they need or love to do.” She adds that it is a job that seemingly gives back each day. “It never lets you get comfortable in the same routine.”

Jacquelyn shared that she is interested in obtaining a specialty certification in Stroke Rehab, Mental Health, or the Kinesio® Taping Method (therapeutic tape is applied on the body to reduce pain and inflammation). My favorite part of being a therapist in Inpatient Rehab is getting to treat people with all types of diagnosis in one setting and creating interventions that are unique to each individual. “I have learned so much in my short time here at Accel and I look forward to what’s to come.

Image: Kim Hunter

Kim Hunter | Occupational Therapy Assistant

Kim Hunter

Kim Hunter has served as an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) for 21 years. Prior to obtaining her OTA degree, she worked at Enid State School in Oklahoma where she said she enjoyed working with adults and children with special needs.

It was from this experience, I became interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy.”  Upon graduating from Oklahoma City Community College, she began her career by initially working with children. She says she loves being an occupational therapist because she enjoys meeting new people and seeing their progress as they heal and achieve their goals.

Image: Elaine Irwin — Occupational Therapist

Elaine Irwin | Occupational Therapist

Elaine Irwin

Elaine Irwin has been an Occupational Therapist for 22 years and has worked in various settings, including outpatient and inpatient rehab. She began her formal education at the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Sociology. She then went on to attend the Texas Woman’s University, obtaining a master’s in Occupational Therapy.

I became a therapist because I have a passion for helping people get better and return to their highest level of independence.

Elaine also said that her favorite part of the job is observing patients who admit to our hospital at a bed-bound level and then can walk out the door for discharge. Elaine’s specialty is lymphedema treatment, a niche therapy that helps people decrease excess fluid in their arms, legs, and even the trunk.

Image: Christina Sutton

Christina Sutton | Occupational Therapist

Christina Sutton

Christina Sutton graduated from Texas Woman’s University (Dallas) with a master’s in Occupational Therapy two years ago. While studying to obtain her OT license, she completed one of her required student internships here at Accel Rehabilitation Hospital of Plano.

“As a student intern at Accel, I enjoyed working in a collaborative team environment that works hard to help patients make progress and become more independent so they can return home with their loved ones.

She added that when a full time OT position became available, she jumped at the opportunity. I enjoy working in a facility where we see patients with a variety of diagnoses, but I particularly enjoy treating patients with neurological conditions. As a therapist, she explains that her goal is to simulate the home environment, create adaptive techniques and provide new strategies for increased independence functional mobility.

Image: Jennifer Cunningham

Jacquelyn Buitron | Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

Jennifer Cunningham

Jennifer Cunningham has served as a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant and a Registered Nurse for 27 years. She earned her degree from Boston University, and she says that chose Occupational Therapy as a profession because it is a career in which she could help others and to make a difference in their lives.  “I love developing connections with patients and cheering them onto independence,” adds Jennifer.

Her area of specialty is in LSVT BIG® Treatments, a highly structured exercise and activity program that empowers people with Parkinson Disease (PD) by utilizing the “bigness” of motions to improve overall movement quality.

When asked what she likes most about inpatient rehab, she said: “It allows you the time to develop connections with your patients and impact their quality of life in profound ways.”