ALTON - Nancy Robeen, a recent Mission Partner of the Month Award recipient and a physical therapy assistant for OSF Rehabilitation Services in Alton, gave some insight into the daily life of her career on an episode of Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com.

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Robeen said her typical day doesn’t include much downtime - after a cup of coffee, she quickly makes preparations for her patients, and then “it’s go time.” Nancy Robeen

“We get ready for our patients, we peruse through the chart, and then it’s go time - we don’t have a lot of downtime,” Robeen said. “I like to just start with a nice smile, a ‘hello,’ and getting to know the patient - what’s going well for you today and maybe what’s not going well for you?

“Let’s sit down and let’s see what we can do, and just help these people find some comfort in whatever they’re going through.”

Robeen said it’s important to truly know each patient as a whole person rather than one specific diagnosis, whether it’s a condition they’ve struggled with all their lives or

“You really do need to get to know your patient - you’re just not treating their body part or their disease, you are getting to treat them,” Robeen said. “They see us for a longer extended period of time, which we’re grateful for, and you really do get to know those people. You have to understand them down to how they sleep, eat, and drink, and more so.

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“What can’t they really do at home? What is that challenge that could be so small, but to them, it’s huge? They’re dealing with something they have no idea about, so we’ve really got to bring it to light for them.”

Robeen said she became a lymphedema therapist a few years ago and helps patients with the long-term condition manage it through manual lymphatic drainage and some exercise, which she emphasized is low-intensity and focused on maintaining movement.

Acknowledging the high cost of care, Robeen said OSF helps their patients not just physically, but also financially.

“We spend a great deal of time reaching out to our resources and helping patients get some financial accommodations with that,” she said.

Robeen said her favorite part of the jobs is improving lives every day.

“Every day I wake up, I always think to myself, ‘How can I make somebody’s day better, and how can I make their life better?’” Robeen said.

The full interview with Robeen can be watched at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.

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