Solace Blog


Occupational Therapist Realized Her Passion for Helping Others as a Teenager

August 24, 2022
Mike Ralston

Growing up in Cortlandt Manor, NY, Allison realized her passion for occupational therapy at a young age. As a 7th grade student she worked as a mother’s helper, riding her bike down the road every morning to help a local mother with general housework duties and running errands. 

“The mother also had a child with disabilities. I would often watch an in-home physical therapist come in and play with him. I witnessed great results from just her play skills,” adds Allison. 

When Allison became a senior in high school, she witnessed this child not being able to walk to someone who could now run down the block and play with his friends. The impact of seeing him grow and his skills develop over the years led her to become a therapist. 

“The field of occupational therapy and helping others really resonated with me. The idea of assisting others with daily functions and how to help them lead a fulfilling life had the most impact and meaning for me,” adds Allison.  

After completing a 16-week stint of playing college lacrosse, Allison set her sights on a career in therapy and enrolled at Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry, NY), earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in occupational therapy. 

“In New York, they allow you to work under your temporary license so I was able to practice under the supervision of another licensed therapist,” said Allison. 

She later accepted a job offer from one of her field work placements, which is a clinical rotation for occupational therapy students who are pursuing their occupational therapist registered (OTR) degree. During her second 12-week rotation, she accepted a position at a local preschool that included an outpatient sensory clinic.

Ski Trip Leads to Job Offer

It was during a ski trip to Colorado that she first heard about Solace Pediatric Healthcare. After researching them, she discovered that they aligned with her values as a person.

“I was really drawn to them in what they had to offer to new graduates, and their initiatives of giving back to others in the community. It was a great cultural fit for me,” adds Allison.

“It was a quick process. During my ski trip, I had the phone interview with the recruiter on Tuesday, an in-person interview with the therapy director on Thursday, and a job offer the following Monday,” said Allison.

Enjoying a Fulfilling Career at Solace

Allison thrives on new challenges and constant change so when she was met with several responsibilities when joining Solace as an occupational therapist, she embraced all of them. 

Her first role was as an onboarding success coach. From there, she mentored two Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs), which was the start of her leadership development. Allison soon transitioned to a clinical mentor role and led several teams within her region. Nearly two years into her stint at Solace, she applied for the Regional Clinical Manager (RCM) role and was accepted. 

“I’ve been in a management role longer than I’ve been a practicing occupational therapist. I just love supporting others. The impact is greater with 80-100 clinicians to support,” adds Allison.

“As an RCM my day-to-day duties are always changing. Clinicians are most important. I’m here to support families and our clinicians, first and foremost.” 

Allison provides ongoing clinical support, quarterly clinician check-ins, best documentation practices, quality assurance, weekly email newsletter production, new hire training, evaluation training and speciality programs support.

Other duties include conducting annual reviews, performance coaching, regular phone/video calls, in-person meetings, 60-day check-ins, assisting with Health Information and Patient Access teams and ongoing inter-departmental communication.

“I really love our direct impact on our clinicians and direct support for our families. I thrive on relationships and enjoy cultivating them,” said Allison. 

“I believe what makes Solace so unique is the support that we’re able to offer. It truly separates us from other organizations,” adds Allison.

Allison’s three tips for new clinicians include:

  1. Use open communication with family and support networks.
  2. Put trust in yourself and have confidence.
  3. Have fun. Be present.

Solace Pediatric Healthcare is the leading provider of pediatric nursingfamily caregiver, occupationalphysicalspeech and feeding therapy services. Since 2005, our clinicians have provided pediatric care to children from birth to 21 years of age. At Solace, we’ve instilled a culture built on trust, communication, teamwork and accountability. Our mission is to provide pediatric healthcare services to help children and families live their best lives.

Currently serving over 6,000 families in Colorado, Nevada and Arizona, we’re looking for passionate individuals to join our growing team. To view our complete list of clinical and non-clinical job openings, simply, visit the Careers section on our website.

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