Employee Spotlight: Lauren Kettlewell

How long have you been working at Grafton? 

I have been working at Grafton for a little over two years. I work at both the Ruth Birch campus in Winchester and the Berryville Campus.

Can you please give a brief summary of your career path at Grafton?

I came to Grafton with 8 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist. However, I had not worked in a school setting or pediatrics. My background was in acute care prior to working for Grafton. When beginning at Grafton, I was given the opportunity to take courses to expand my knowledge for the school setting as well as the population we serve.

What inspired you to get into this field?

I have always been interested in science, healthcare, and being creative. I had a friend in college get into an accident. When I went to visit her in the hospital, I met her Occupational Therapist and immediately knew it was the career path for me.

What are some things you hope to accomplish as an Occupational Therapist at Grafton?

As an Occupational Therapist at Grafton, I hope my biggest impact is giving students the tools and skills they need to accomplish their academic/future goals, as well as improve their quality of life. I want the students to know that all of their feelings are valid and they can use different strategies to self-regulate in order to stay on the path they want for their lives.

What is your favorite thing about being an Occupational Therapist?

My favorite thing about being an Occupational Therapist is being individually creative with each client I have the privilege to interact with.

What makes Grafton a special place to work?

Grafton is a special place to work because it is a place that is accepting of all students and staff. They want the best for each individual who walks through their doors and are more than willing to help work with you to accomplish your goals. 

What makes Grafton’s person-centered approach unique?

Grafton truly views each person as an individual and does not put people into one specific category. There could be multiple clients with the exact same diagnoses. However, they will all be treated/viewed individually because they are unique in their own way.

What would you tell someone who is considering working at Grafton?

Grafton is an excellent company to work for. They are willing to give you the opportunities and tools to succeed if you are willing to put the work in to be the best version of yourself. 

Teamwork is so important at Grafton. Can you please share with us what your team means to you?

I am very privileged to work on an amazing team within my direct department. I look forward to working with them everyday. I also am fortunate to work on a larger team at each campus.

How has Grafton leadership supported you during your time at Grafton?

My direct manager has been extremely supportive with assisting in furthering my education/knowledge on school-based occupational therapy. I have been given multiple opportunities to take courses and get a certification that has allowed me to gain knowledge to assist in providing therapy services to my clients at Grafton. I have also received support for additional individuals within leadership roles at Grafton who have supported me by advocating for my needs to accomplish the duties of my position as an Occupational Therapist.

How has Grafton helped you reach your goals?

Grafton has supported me in having a healthy work-life balance and has realistic expectations of their employees.

What skills have you learned since working at Grafton?

I believe there is never a point in our lives as clinicians where we have perfected every skill. There is always room for growth. Grafton has allowed me to continue working on the skills of –  problem solving, active listening, adaptability, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

What does Ukeru’s philosophy of Comfort vs. Control mean to you?

Ukeru’s philosophy of Comfort vs Control means that as a provider we need to work with students on their level to assist in whatever their needs are. We are not supposed to be controlling a person. We are supposed to be working with them within the areas they are seeking.

Can you share with us the importance of using a trauma-informed approach and explain how it has influenced your work?

I had the honor of using a trauma-informed approach in my previous work experience as an Occupational Therapist in an acute care setting where people came in due to experiencing immediate trauma. That previous experience came with me to this company as we all need to remember that everyone has trauma we might not know anything about, a little bit about, or everything about, and we can’t begin to understand how that trauma makes an individual feel or react. We need to be mindful of others’ experiences and offer grace to those initially.

What would you tell a parent who is considering sending their child to Grafton?

I would tell them to get informed about what the Grafton experience has to offer to their child and to them as well. Take the opportunities provided to them by Grafton to get the most out of their experience and be realistic with themselves,as well as Grafton, on what their goals are. Grafton is willing and wanting to work with families to provide the best care to their children.

Can you share a favorite story that you have from working at Grafton?

There are a lot of stories I could share but one that means a lot to me is from when I first started. When I initially started I had limited knowledge of school-based services. I knew I could work with clients because I have worked with clients for years in different capacities but the administrative work, i.e. the paperwork, was completely different than anything I had done in different settings. My lovely OT counterpart had made me a how-to document in addition to training me, so that I would have everything I needed at my fingertips. This gesture, along with other actions she did to make my transition to this setting, showed me that I made the right decision in coming to Grafton.