St. Luke adds 2 new therapists

News editor

St. Luke Hospital has added two therapists — physical therapist Jamee Funk and occupational therapist Nicole Sampson — to its physical therapy department.

Funk always was interested in a career in health. At first she wanted to become a surgeon, but then she had knee and foot surgeries, and the experience gave her an interest in physical therapy.

“I realized I saw my physical therapist more than my surgeon,” Funk said.

She wanted to have more time with patients, and that attracted her to physical therapy.

Funk received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a doctorate in physical therapy from Wichita State University. The work for the doctorate included a pair of four-week clinical rotations after the second year. The entire third year was three 10-week clinical rotations.

While completing one of her rotations in McPherson, Funk made connections with St. Luke, and she learned about an opening at the hospital.

She enjoys being at a rural hospital, because she doesn’t get stuck doing any one thing for too long.

“I get to see a variety of things on a daily basis,” Funk said.

The addition of Funk gives St. Luke two full-time physical therapists for the first time.

Like Funk, Sampson knew before college that she had an interest in health care. While working on her bachelor’s degree in biology at McPherson College, she job-shadowed an occupational therapist, and she liked the experience enough to pursue a master’s degree. She received her master’s degree from St. Francis University in Pennsylvania.

Sampson likes the focus occupational therapy puts on patients’ quality of life. Occupational therapy works hand-in-hand with physical therapy, she said. While physical therapy focuses on things like range of motion, occupational therapy focuses on how those things affect a patient’s daily life. Part of occupational therapy is finding ways to overcome physical limitations that make things like getting dressed difficult.

Occupational therapy also covers memory. If a stroke patient has difficulty remembering emergency contact information, an occupational therapist might put together a list for the patient to keep by the phone, Sampson said.

Both Funk and Sampson said they enjoyed working in St. Luke’s new physical therapy facilities.

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