In honor of National Occupational Therapy Month, we’ll be highlighting a new OT every week throughout April. Today’s spotlight is on Nikki Riviello, an OT in Magee’s NeuroRehabilitation Center.
Nikki Riviello OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, Advanced Clinician
Tell us a little about your background.
I have been an OT for 12 years, and have been at Magee for 11 years. I received my education at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Why did you decide to become an OT?
I was first introduced to occupational therapy in high school when I volunteered at a local hospital, and was placed in the rehabilitation unit. I immediately gravitated toward OT because they were always engaging their patients in different and creative activities. I was amazed at all the various daily activities that they incorporated into the session.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Teaching patients to become more independent and watching how they improve throughout their stay.
Tell us about an experience that solidified for you that you made the right career choice.
There have been so many experiences that have solidified my career choice, that it is impossible to narrow it down to just one. I am reminded of why I made the decision to be an OT on a daily basis. Every time a patient is excited about their progress and every time a patient or family member expresses their gratitude, it becomes abundantly clear to me that I made the right career choice.
What are some of your passions outside of OT?
Shopping in downtown Philly and on QVC, spending time with family (I have 2 brothers, 1 sister, 3 nephews, 1 niece and 40 first cousins), going to the gym, and reading gossip magazines.