August New Grad of the Month: Kelli Meer
Kelli Meer is not your typical new grad. She found her calling as an occupational therapist as her second career and has never looked back. Her recruiter, Andrew, has only the highest praise for her, stating, “Kelli is a true professional. Her two best qualities are integrity and transparency, which is noticeable in her conversations with me, recommendations from her supervisors, and also notes from her patients. She received one of the best evaluations I have ever seen from her current Home Health assignment in the bay area of California.
In this evaluation, her supervisor noted multiple times when she had gone far above her normal call of duty in terms of patient care and also job responsibilities. She is also a great go-to person if I have a question about anything therapy related. She is a total open book and her openness makes it very easy for myself as a recruiter to find her the best possible positions! When she came to Advanced Medical fresh out of OT school, it was clear from the get go that she had a high level of integrity and that has only increased as she has taken more assignments with us. She is a total asset to our company and has all the qualities we look for in a traveler.” We are so proud to be able to feature Kelli as our August New Grad of the Month! Congratulations Kelli, and thank you for your hard work!
Here’s more about Kelli and her travel experience:
Occupational therapy is your second career. What made you want to make the change?
I was a pre-med student as an undergrad, and, ever since I could remember, wanted a career in medicine, and over time grew greatly concerned by the intensity of the profession: the long hours, the stress, the lack of face-time with patients. I used my undergrad to first work as a lab research scientist, switched to being a part-time direct care staff at community-based homes for children and adults with disabilities for 2+ decades while raising a family and volunteering in my community, and yet I KNEW I wanted to return to medicine, but maybe in allied health. A mom-friend, who was also an MD, told me that I reminded her of her son’s OT. I didn’t even know what “OT” was just 10 short years ago. And, now here I am. Amazing.
Why did you decide on travel therapy as a new grad?
In my adult life, I have moved with my husband’s job opportunities: WI–CA–UT–IL–OH. I was no stranger to change nor fearful of new experiences. As a new OT grad, I had a wonderful opportunity to remain “home” in Ohio, a land I love. My home health fieldwork job site actually created a position for me! However, at the SAME TIME, my husband had a fantastic opportunity at a Silicon Valley startup, so back to CA he returned. Now, what would I do? I was overwhelmed by the idea of travel at first, so my amazing recruiter helped me stay in my home state for my first 3 assignments, and when the time was right, I went to CA, 9 months after my husband began his new job. ❤️
What has been your favorite experience as a traveling OT?
I keep a mirror in my wardrobe. On it are nicknames of patients who have meant a great deal to me, and they have reported to me that I have changed their life in some meaningful way. My work (my identity) is REFLECTED in those names! Travel OT offers me the diversity of experiences through geographic change, time to recharge between assignments, and perspective to meet each new contract with wonder and awe: who will I have the pleasure to meet/treat today?
What states have you traveled to, and what has been your favorite location?
I’m eager to add states to my current licensure list: OH, CA, WI. I have friends around the country, and anywhere the sun shines, I will probably be happy. If the sun doesn’t shine, I’ll grab a full-spectrum light! ?. My favorite place to work: undecided. I just love my job and anywhere I have worked, people are genuinely happy to be offered patient-centered, holistic care.
One fun fact about yourself:
I love MBTI-typing. I’m an ENFP and this may help explain some of the reason I go for spontaneity! Not everyone loves an ENFP, but don’t tell my patients!