Why Work Anywhere Other Than Eskenazi Health?

Growing up in little Lizton, Indiana, Haylee Ottinger never expected to work at a large hospital in a major metropolitan city, but so far her entire career has turned out exactly that way with three distinctive jobs that couldn’t be more dissimilar from one another.

After her first year of undergraduate studies at the University of Indianapolis, Ottinger accepted a job as a barista at the Starbucks at Eskenazi Health where she took orders at the counter and prepared a wide variety of coffee, tea and other drinks to precise customer specifications.

“I was at Starbucks for about six months before I transitioned into a registrar for the outpatient specialty clinic,” Ottinger said. “I was there for about two years before I went to occupational therapy (OT) school.”

Ottinger chose occupational therapy as a career after having a front-row seat to watch what OTs do and how they can dramatically improve the lives of their patients.

“I first got introduced to OT because my little brother had an occupational therapist, so that whole time I wanted to do pediatrics, and then I just got placed here (at Eskenazi Health) randomly with the inpatient therapy team as I was going to OT school,” Ottinger said. “I didn’t think I would ever come back to work at Eskenazi Health, and then I was here for 12 weeks, and I loved it, so I talked Rachel McFadden (occupational therapist inpatient therapy team leader) into keeping me to do my capstone and get my doctorate here as well. I guess they decided I was here long enough so they may as well hire me.”

The owner of a five-month-old border collie puppy who she enjoys going hiking with, Ottinger’s passion for what she does at Eskenazi Health assures that she’ll never work a day the rest of her life.

“I love my job, and I don’t feel there’s a lot of people who can say that,” she said. “I do really love being an OT. I think especially here with our patient population, I get the best of both worlds where I’ve seen the most serious trauma patients and others who stay for a really long time, and I have to pull out some outpatient therapy skills to help them. I’m just very passionate about serving the populations here and really helping them through multiple phases of their lives.”

Ottinger, who enjoys cheering on her younger brothers at their sporting events, is proud to have never worked anywhere besides Eskenazi Health … and that arrangement may never change.

“One of the things I love about Eskenazi Health is just how not only our patient population is, but also the employees that work here,” she said. “This place is very open to all people and all walks of life. Not only am I seeing traditional disability patients, but I’m also working with gender affirmation patients. I see lots of trauma and spinal cord patients, and not just the everyday arm fractures and things like that, which really keeps my job interesting. I think there’s a great respect for therapy at this hospital in comparison with other hospitals. We’re constantly working directly with the doctors and the nurses to do what’s best for the patient, and I actually feel that I have an impact on my patients because they do tend to be here longer than at other hospitals. I feel like I have really good backing and support from my management team and from the hospital as a whole to do what’s best for our patients.”

For information about occupational and rehabilitation therapy at Eskenazi Health, please click here. To explore career opportunities at Eskenazi Health, please visit the careers page here.

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