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By Emily Bontrager
Every year, the month of October helps raise awareness about the benefits of physical therapy. The month also helps celebrate physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, who help their patients with therapy needs.
The Scotland County Hospital provides physical therapy services, and it is a much needed benefit for patients in the area.
Carrie Hamner is a physical therapist at the Scotland County Hospital, and she became the Therapy Service Supervisor last year. Carrie is from Kahoka, Missouri and she started working at the Scotland County Hospital in 1999. Like all physical therapists, Carrie enjoys helping others and getting patients back up on their feet.
“We see the people come in in their worst states. They come in and they are hurting, they’ve just had a surgery, they’ve had a fall or whatever it might be, and we get to see them go from a very low to a very high,” Hamner said.
The hospital provides physical therapy services in Scotland County and this is the only physical therapist service available in the area. The physical therapy department provides outpatient services, home health, and they also work with patients in the hospital.
“We go out to the school district and see kids in the school district and do First Steps which is a zero to three-year-old program which is a state funded program. We serve a very large population and there is no one else in the county that does it,” Hamner explained.
“We are impacting people of all ages, with all disabilities, with all injuries right here in the little tiny small town hospital.”
The hospital provides patients with occupational therapy and speech therapy. Hamner is also trained in the LSVT Big program, which is for people with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological disorders.
Others in the department specialize or work in certain areas to help benefit other patients’ needs as well.
“Anna does a lot of vestibular stuff and Katie does a lot of the rehab side of things, strokes, spinal cord injuries or anything like that. She is kind of the go to on that knowledge base. We all kind of have our little realm,” Hamner said.
The department staffs two full-time physical therapists, one full-time physical therapy assistant, three physical therapy assistants, who work as needed, an occupational therapist, and an occupational therapist assistant.
“Meagan Weber still fills in and helps. We have Kaitlin Stump out of Schuyler County, she does some coverage for us as well,” Hamner said.
“Jennifer McMinn works primarily out at the school. She is also an occupational therapist and then we have Trinity Davis as our speech therapist.”
Physical therapy benefits a lot of people and helps with their balance, coordination, strength training, rehab after surgeries, and much more. Each patient spends time with certain staff, and they get to know each other while they are being treated.
“We really get to know our patients and get to know about their families and their grandchildren and stuff, and I love that,” Hamner said.
“It’s a very family kind of community that we have here, and we have a ton of fun here. We work very well as a team and we work so much with our nursing staff directly. We have a very good working relationship with them as well, so it’s nice to have a close-knit kind of family going on.”
If you might be in need of physical therapy, ask your doctor for a referral for the hospital’s physical therapy department. The staff will help you out in any way they can.
Check out the Scotland County Hospital’s Facebook page this month to see highlights on the department’s staff and what they love the most about working in the therapy department. Don’t forget to thank a physical therapist or assistant and show them your appreciation for all of their hard work and dedication to the health of their patients!