Sierra Jenks, OTR, CHT, has been practicing occupational therapy for nearly a decade, and still her favorite part of her job is when patients are able do tasks they need to or can get back to doing the things they love. “That’s the best part,” she says, “when the patients get excited about being able to do something that they couldn’t do due to their injury.”
Occupational therapists work in Springfield Clinic’s Rehabilitation Services Department, helping their patients compensate for an injury or disability, because those injuries affect all aspects of a person’s life, not just how they do their job. Sierra is also a certified hand therapist, meaning she has specialized training and experience treating hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders.
“Having this service available to our patients is huge,” says Director of Rehabilitation Services Stephanie Olysav. “It’s an important component of rehabilitation for many patients, and I’m excited that we are able to help patients recover necessary function in this way.”
When she works with a patient, Sierra is helping them strengthen muscles in the hand and fingers, get motion and fine motor coordination back and perform the daily tasks that person needs to do. She says that some of her techniques involve relieving pain for those patients who have undergone surgery or have an injury, but sometimes therapy requires a little discomfort in order to make progress.
“I try to motivate them throughout the process and show them how far they’ve come,” she says. “But I also want to show my patients what deficits they may still have and how they can be addressed with therapy in order to reach the patients’ goals.”
Sierra is excited to join the Springfield Clinic team because of the close proximity of the orthopedic physicians in the Springfield Clinic 1st – 800 Building. She enjoys being able to run upstairs to discuss a treatment plan or get a consultation on a patient. To Sierra, this convenient collaboration makes her feel she is giving her patients the best treatment possible.
Sierra received her graduate degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Ga. She is located at the Springfield Clinic 1st – 800 Building at 800 North 1st Street in Springfield. Learn more about Sierra and the rest of the Rehabilitation Services team at www.SpringfieldClinic.com/pt.