By: Nancy Marin OTR/L, C-NDT, IYT
“What is your conceptual model of OT?” I will never forget this first question by the dean of OT upon entering into OT school. I believe my answer at the time was “Helping individuals function as independently as possible regardless of disability.” I almost failed my first semester, crying over having to learn and remember 52 origins and insertions in neuroanatomy to understanding physics from my professor whose primary language was Chinese.
Thirty six years later, after working in a variety of settings to include nursing and rehab center, school system, private outpatient clinic to owner of a small private practice, who would have ever imagined that this ‘ol’ time therapist would be providing Telehealth services, learning and understanding the lingo, technology, screen sharing, various platforms, and understanding the laws and regulations for insurances and what is or isn’t a HIPPA compliant platform. My mind continues to race, but as a seasoned therapist, an OT all the way down through to my very core, I’m working hard to keep a balance of work, play and rest. I share what knowledge I think I have with others so we can remain healthy and whole.
One of my favorite shows WAY back in the day was the Jetsons. I feel as if I am now the main character in this cartoon (except without Elroy), only now living this is in real time. Who would have ever imagined thirty six years later in my career, that I would be treating children of all ages and disabilities through a computer? After these past three weeks, I am getting into some kind of routine. I am teaching yoga to adults through Zoom, helping my 91 year old mother stretch and keep her brain active through Alexa, and a variety of therapeutic activities to my clients through a HIPPA compliant platform. I am reflecting on my past life as an OT to what is now the new norm of treating. However, as a certified NDT therapist, who is used to handling and facilitation of babies, toddlers, children and teens to adult CVA’s, I am having to figure out how to be creative (although I have to believe I’ve been a fairly creative OT) and let me tell you, it’s exhausting.
Emotionally and spiritually, my heart is aching for every single citizen. Missing out on major milestones, life’s events, graduations, weddings, travel, conferences, seeing grandchildren be born and celebration of birthdays. For our senior citizens who are isolated in nursing homes and ALF’s. For all staff members who are trying to stay afloat and care for our seniors including my own 91 year old mother who I cannot see, other than through a small little box named ‘Alexa’; which in my mother’s own words is our life line!!! For the grocery store workers, truck drivers and sanitation workers. My prayers are incessant for those that are suffering from this horrible virus, for the physicians, nurses and other essential workers who care for them and us, while putting their own life at risk.
For all of us therapists who are trying to maintain some kind of normalcy for our families we serve, who are barely surviving with home who are barely surviving with home schooling, on line learning, running their own business or trying to keep their job in some way, shape or form. To be able to pay their bills and still manage to sit there with their child while I guide them to do therapy.
I am just a mother of 2 grown children, a grandmother to 2 beautiful grandsons, an aunt, a great aunt, a sister, a daughter, a wife and friend to many. I feel that my life as a pediatric OT has come full circle, allowing me to truly treat across the life span.
Nancy Marin, OTR/L, C-NDT, IYT, a graduate of FIU, is a pediatric OT with over 36 years’experience is originally from South Florida with a career spanning from senior rehab, to school system and pediatric outpatient center (Pediatric Therapy Associates in Plantation) where she developed a strong foundation and love of NDT (from great mentors). Nancy relocated in 2001 when she began a private pediatric practice, Occuplay, Inc. in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida. Nancy is certified in NDT, Baby treatment, Integrative Yoga Therapy and The Listening Program-with Bone Conduction and teaches an Adaptive Yoga/ NDT course extensively through the United States with Ciao Seminars. Nancy incorporates evidence Nancy incorporates evidence based practice utilizing NDT, Yoga and other holistic approaches both within the clinic and natural environment settings. She is passionate about individuals with neurological differences and always ‘Presumes Competence’ with each and every individual she works with. In addition to her full time pediatric practice, Nancy teaches adult yoga class and see’s the ‘Oh-mazing’ benefits across the life span.