April is Occupational Therapy Month. It is a time for us to pause and recognize those special people who help children with physical challenges gain independence. We are delighted to introduce you to the extraordinary Occupational Therapy team at our Northern California Shriners Hospital. These are the individuals who work one-on-one with children so they can dress themselves, feed themselves, bathe themselves, use a computer, hold a pen and so much more. Sometimes it is the job of the occupational therapist to teach the child without hands how to button a shirt using prostheses. Our occupational therapists fit children with adaptive devices, engage patients in play to help them improve fine motor skills. With extensive experience in evaluating patient needs, our occupational therapists recognize that each child is unique, and they chart a course of care based on the individual needs of each patient. The individual paths may be different but the goal is always the same – help put children on the road to independence.
Name: Tiffany Romias
Occupation/Title: Occupational Therapist
Interests / Hobbies: Organizing things; Spending time with my “6 and ¾ year old” daughter and 5 month old son; KAIA (women’s fitness group) and dancing.
When did you start working at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California? 1999
Why did you choose to become an Occupational Therapist? I loved the idea of using the psychology of a patient’s motivation and interests to help them gain independence, despite any challenge they face.
Can you share a bit about what makes your job so rewarding? I truly love having the opportunity to help patients and families get through tremendous physical and emotional struggles. I get to find ways to play all day and help change the impossible to possible. At Shriners, we have the unique ability to see children progress over the years and I’m so lucky that I get to be a part of their journey and watch them grow up and ‘graduate’ from the Shriners system when they become adults.
How would you describe a good day at work? I am able to:
- Give as much time to each of my kiddos and families as they need.
- Help them do something that has seemed too scary or hard.
- Be effortlessly in-sync with the whole care team
- Make all of the hard work feel like fun and play.
What would you like the community to know about Shriners Hospitals for Children-Northern California? We are an amazing hospital that is able to give children and their families the kind of care that they need and deserve, regardless of their ability to pay. We have an incredible gem of an institution in the capitol of California that doesn’t “toot its own horn” enough about all of the everyday miracles that happen here.
Anything else you would like to share about your job? After being an OT for 20 years, I am still surprised that so many people don’t know what we do…people get thrown-off by the word, “occupation.” I love this career because we can work with people across their entire lifespan and help them accomplish anything they want to do for themselves regardless of the physical or mental limitations they face. It’s one of those sneaky professions where we are coaching patients at such a perfect level of challenge, it can often look like we’re doing nothing at all…I love that!
Thank you so much for your dedication and the excellent care you give to your patients!