Occupational Therapist Receives Specialized Certification

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WHEELING, W.Va. – An occupational therapist at OVMC recently gained certification through the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association and is one of only two occupational therapists certified through the association in the Northern Panhandle in adult neuro-developmental treatment (NDT).

Nicole LaRue completed the intensive certification process this spring and is currently scheduling patients in need of NDT, which is an advanced therapeutic approach used in working with people who have central nervous system complications that create difficulties in controlling movement. Examples of people who benefit from NDT are those with cerebral palsy, stroke and head injury.

“My goal is to help patients become as independent as possible,” said LaRue. “As a NDT-trained therapist, I work collaboratively with individuals, family, caregivers and physicians to develop comprehensive treatment that provides hope and opportunity to those with neurological challenges.”

Individuals who have neurological challenges from cerebral palsy, stroke, or head injury want improved quality of movement that improves daily activities, therefore, people with severe motor difficulties can benefit from NDT. As a NDT therapist, LaRue uses a hands-on approach to assist patients in performing these functional tasks and measures their progress in coordination, strength, endurance, and functional control.

“Our program works with clients and families to establish long-term and short-term functional goals that are meaningful for a patient's lifestyle,” said LaRue.

LaRue said the overall treatment and management is to enhance the individual's capacity to function, minimize impairments, and prevent disabilities.

LaRue is a graduate of West Liberty University with a bachelor's degree in exercise physiology and a graduate of Chatham University with a master's degree in occupational therapy.

Rehabilitation services at OVMC and East Ohio Regional Hospital is designed to meet unique health care needs and has locations in Wheeling, Martins Ferry, and St. Clairsville. The department's team is comprised of occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists. Ohio Valley Medical Center, located in Wheeling West Virginia, and East Ohio Regional Hospital, located in Martins Ferry Ohio, are a 340-bed combined organization with more than 1,600 employees on both sides of the Ohio River.