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Chelsea Esken is Going Places

February 9, 2018

Chelsea Esken Travel OTDr. Seuss’s book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, is practically a graduation gift requirement. A fun story about discovery and the decision to leave one’s setting and have adventures, experience new people, places, and things. This story rings especially true for Chelsea Esken, who graduated Saint Francis with a Master of Occupational Therapy degree in 2017, and is now in Hutchinson, Kansas working as a Traveling Occupational Therapist. Below, Chelsea discusses the ways the OT Program prepared her for an incredible journey.

 First off, what is a Traveling Occupational Therapist?
Being a Traveling Occupational Therapist is a fantastic job. I work with an agency called Delta Healthcare Providers. I tell them what states I would like to work in, they then they pitch me facilities in those states to accept or decline. So far, I’ve worked in Texas, Idaho, Kansas, and I'm not sure where I'm off to next! I move every 13-weeks to start new assignments. This allows me to travel the country, meet new people, and network with others in the field. I even had the opportunity to work for one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the country, TrustPoint Rehabilitation Hospital.

When did you realize you wanted to be an occupational therapist?
I always knew I wanted to have a career in the healthcare field but nothing touched my heart like occupational therapy did. Seeing people who were completely dependent on someone for their daily activities becoming independent again is such a great feeling. Every day, I am so thankful I picked occupational therapy as my career.

How did the SFU OT Program prepare you to enter the workforce that set you on this adventure?
Where do I start? The program prepared me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I learned the skills that employers want in the OT Program. I applied for a lucrative position and during my job interview, I began discussing the learning experience I received, and the director was shocked. The multidisciplinary approach, the ability to work with other healthcare professionals, as well as the field work and research opportunities I had through the SFU OT program are the reasons I am successful today.

What advice would you give to a person considering the Occupational Therapy Program at Saint Francis?
Do it. The faculty and staff truly care about each and every student. I never thought I was alone and they were always available to answer any questions I had. Occupational therapy is a very diverse field and you can work in a variety of settings. Whether you choose to work in a hospital or a school, nursing home or private home, you can go forth with the confidence knowing that you were prepared to work any place you would like.

More about Occupational Therapy at SFU >