If you ask Megan Bresnahan, OTR/L, the key to successful occupational therapy is helping patients have fun—so that they forget they’re actually doing challenging, painstaking work.
Bresnahan, an occupational therapist, has supported her patients and families at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital for the past 16 years. Earlier this winter, the hospital honored her with a Masonic Mission Award. The award is given to staff members who demonstrate exceptional care or service. Patients or families nominate candidates.
Bresnahan is always doing “little things” to make young patients more comfortable, according to the family who nominated her for the award. They added that Bresnahan “always exhibits patience, and smiles throughout every session.”
We caught up with Bresnahan to ask her about the award and her work with patients.
As an occupational therapist, I evaluate and treat pediatric patients. My goal is to help improve their sensory processing, fine motor and self-care skills, in addition to working with them in many other areas. This work helps them to be more successful at home, at school and in their community.
I love helping kids and their families. Supporting them as they make progress is very rewarding, and it’s a wonderful feeling to watch a child accomplish new things. I’m lucky because I get to work very closely with patients and develop special relationships with them and their families.
I was very surprised, humbled and honored to be recognized. The families and patients I support work very hard to reach their goals as well; we strive together as a team to accomplish success. This honor means that I was able to make a difference in someone’s life. That is very gratifying.
It is important to learn what is meaningful to the patient and family, so that my care is truly centered on them and they can be engaged in it. This also helps to make it fun for the child, so he or she enjoys coming and doesn’t realize that we are actually doing work.
I have worked here for 16 years and I love the culture. Our community seeks to help people heal, learn and grow. I feel like I still experience something new every week, which challenges me and helps me develop my skills as a therapist. I believe that everyone here is excited to learn and help others.