Career Profile: Occupational Therapist - Hanna Hildenbrand
Hanna Hildenbrand, M.S., Occupational Therapist, Senior Staff, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education
I chose this career because…
I chose to become an occupational therapist because of my early experiences, skills and interests. As a teenager, I became a camp counselor with the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP, http://www.ucp.org/) organization. I had always enjoyed babysitting and working with children, but had never before worked with children with special needs. The work was physically and emotionally challenging, but I completely enjoyed the experience. The campers and their families were so appreciative of, and satisfied with, the camp experience. They taught me about how much you can achieve with motivation, perseverance, adaptability and a little support. Experiences at the UCP summer camps strongly influenced my choice of academic and professional study.
During middle and high school, my favorite subjects were human and developmental studies, anatomy and physiology, sociology and psychology. My interest and ability in these areas of study definitely influenced my decision to pursue a health related profession.
As I entered college, I considered other majors. Through observation, I identified most with the professional philosophy and role of an occupational therapist. I choose to major in psychology as preparation for graduate study in occupational therapy.
• Bachelor of Science, Psychology, University of Evansville, Evansville, Indiana
• Master of Science, Occupational Therapy, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois
• Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests, The University of Southern California Department of Occupational Science and Therapy, Los Angeles, California and Western Psychological Services, Los Angeles, California
• Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS), AMPS Project International, Hampton Falls, New Hampshire
• Upper level clinical fieldwork with a pediatric population on the burn, medical and intensive care units and in outpatient programs for brain injury and sensory processing disorders, Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Indiana
• Upper level clinical fieldwork with adults in the brain injury and spinal cord injury programs, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana
• Staff therapist and progressively held positions as senior therapist, supervisor and interim inpatient manager in a community hospital working with a variety of populations in rehabilitation, medical and outpatient programs, Ravenswood Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
• Senior staff occupational therapist participating in research study and clinical care with pediatric behavioral health and physical disability populations of all ages, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland