In this month’s DHT Physical Therapy Team Member Spotlight we’re putting the spotlight on Occupational Therapist, Charlotte Milas. Learn about her passions and what her top health tip for living a healthy lifestyle is.
DHT Physical Therapy Team Member Spotlight: Charlotte Milas
Position: Occupational Therapist – Phoenix Gateway location
What was the light bulb moment for you where you knew you were supposed to be an occupational therapist?
My aunt had a stroke and I went in to visit her and see how her therapy was going and I met her occupational therapist. That meeting really inspired me to want to be an occupational therapist as well.
What’s the best part of your job?
First of all, patients getting better! It’s always cool to see the progress – especially after 1 or 2 treatment sessions. It shows you that they’re working hard but also that the plan you’ve given them is effective. I also love being able to meet so many interesting people – it really puts life in perspective!
What is it that excites/motivates you on a daily basis?
My co-workers of course! I really enjoy spending time with them at work. Honestly? I just really enjoy what I do – I’m a people person and I love getting to interact with everyone every day.
What do you think the biggest misconception about occupational therapy is?
The biggest misconception is that everyone thinks we (occupational therapists) are physical therapists. A lot of people also think that we do is just job searching… I’m mistaken for a job recruiter a lot! People don’t realize that our job is actually to help you get back to your basic functions, such as bathing and grooming and the daily life skills that you need.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an occupational therapist?
Getting my patients to comply with their home program. It’s difficult to motivate people to do something that might be painful or unfamiliar to them on their own. The work you put in when you’re by yourself – that’s when you really start to see results.
What’s the biggest success story you’ve seen?
I have a patient who was burned on 75% of his body, and now he’s 9 months post op and his attitude is absolutely amazing. His motivation to get better and the results that we’ve seen with him are so inspiring. He’s really put in a lot of work and gotten his upper body moving again – he’s truly a success story.
What are you passionate about other than occupational therapy?
I play a LOT of sand volleyball. I really just enjoy being outside and active, in general. I play a lot of sports – I played basketball in college. My boyfriend and I do a lot of hiking together. I’m also a big social person, so I like hanging out with friends too.
Tell us about a memorable moment, recovery or advancement you’ve seen during your time as an occupational therapist?
A former patient of mine came in because she had accidentally caught her fingers in a blender and had to have surgery to repair the damage to her fingers. She was a great example of a patient who was committed to her home program and saw awesome results – she came back in about a year after her initial surgery and she had full function of all of her fingers again. We love seeing results like that!
What’s your top tip for living a healthy lifestyle?
Just keep movin’ – find hobbies and activities that you enjoy. Once you find something you really like, it’ll be really easy to stick to.
What are you currently listening to/reading/watching?
I’m currently watching The Office for the first time! It’s such a good show. I also watch Game of Thrones, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder.
If you could pick one song to be the theme song to your life, what would it be?
I really like the Eagles’ song “Take It Easy”. I think because my dad listened to the Eagles a lot when I was little so I have good memories associated with that song.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
It’s between the Greek Isles and I’ve always wanted to go to Australia and visit the Outback.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
I would be invisible or… I would love to be able to read minds! But only if I could turn it on and off so it wouldn’t get too overwhelming.
What is your special talent?
My endurance is really good. I guess my special talent is that I don’t stop moving – I’m able to run marathons and participate in triathlons and stay focused.
Would you rather sky dive or bungee jump?
I’d rather sky dive – to me, bungee jumping seems terrifying because you go head first with just a little cord wrapped around your ankles!
Which TV show do you watch that is your biggest guilty pleasure?
Definitely The Bachelor – it’s kind of embarrassing, but totally addicting.
If you could play any sport professionally, which one would you play and why?
Either swimming (free-style) or sand volleyball because it’s a team sport but you can also get the spotlight if you do something really great in a game!