The story of Occupational Training Solutions
It all Started with Two Sisters Working Together…
In August 2009, sisters and living kidney donors, Patricia and Sarah were out to lunch. Patricia was telling Sarah about the videos she was using in her nurse aide classroom. She was talking about the content being inaccurate, poor modeling of body mechanics, and how she didn’t like always having to tell students to watch only certain parts. Sarah had heard this argument before and had heard enough. “Why don’t you make your own?” Sarah asked. Patricia thought about it and said she’d do it with help from her sister. They formed OTS and began working with a vision to create a product to help people receive better care through proper education.
Patricia Graham MSN RN CNE Humble Beginings…
Patricia Graham began her career in 1993 as a housekeeper in a nursing home. She loved talking with the residents and, at the advice of a CNA, she decided to take a class at the facility.
“The CNA class I took was very short and I was working with patients within days of starting,” said Patricia. “I just followed my peers and did what they did. I made a lot of mistakes when providing care—at the expense of my patients.” After a year in the field, Patricia was fortunate to work with a nurse who would accompany her and point out mistakes. “Not only did she tell me what mistakes I was making, she also told me the reason behind what I was doing and how my mistakes impacted the patients. That was life changing. I knew then that I wanted to teach these basic nursing skills because it was critical for them to be done the right way.”
Climbing the Career Ladder…
Patricia went on to become an LPN, and then an RN. She began working in nursing management, as an Assistant Director of Nursing, a Staff Development Coordinator, and as a Restorative Nurse. For more than 12 years she has been directing the Nurse Aide Program at Front Range Community College (FRCC) in Boulder County, Colorado, where she also continues to work as a nurse and consultant. In 2008, she traveled to the University Of Zambia School Of Medicine to lecture on transcultural nursing. She loves sharing her enthusiasm for better patient care.
Patricia now has 27 years of nursing experience, including 20+ in nursing education. She has earned her Master’s in Nursing Education, has become a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), and has a certificate in positive psychology. In 2009, she was named “Master Teacher” at FRCC. “I was shocked to get the master teacher award because I still think of myself as a nurse first,” Patricia said. “I still put patient care before anything else and I think that my students get that. I want them to realize how important they are in the lives and well-being of others. The bar is set high for a reason.”
Patricia’s dream is to benefit as many patients as possible, by sharing knowledge with those providing care. “It used to be me out there, affecting the patients I had contact with. By providing education, I feel like I can affect many more patients in a positive way, through the caring actions of others. Creating the tools to help others do this is another extension of this dream. I want health care providers to have an extraordinary product that shows how to provide care in a very real way, with real people.”
Patricia is also a certified yoga teacher (CYT), a Certified Health and Wellness coach (CWC), and has a certificate in positive psychology. She believes that in order to provide quality care to others, providers must learn how to care for themselves first.
Sarah Benson BA, CVT
Co-founder Sarah Benson shares Patricia’s work ethic and is also dedicated to the cause of excellence in patient care. “What we have for health-care providers and educators is something more realistic and useful than anything else out there.” While Patricia focuses on product development, Sarah’s focus is on all business aspects of OTS. This interest in business propelled Sarah back to school to major in it at Colorado State University. She loves learning how to create efficiencies in process and workflow systems and brings this and so much more to OTS.
Sarah’s diverse background includes a start in veterinary medicine. She has taught at Front Range Community College in the Veterinary Technology Program and has held many positions in an animal hospital. With a more robust business mind and a patient advocate’s heart, she is bringing her career full circle as part of an administrative team with a nonprofit animal welfare organization that supports the homeless animals in the Rocky Mountain Region.
Another shared passion the sisters have it that they are BOTH living kidney donors. Sarah donated to their stepdad in 2002 and Patty donated to a stranger in 2017. They both volunteer and work to raise awareness about living kidney donation. Here is 5-minute a talk Patricia gave about her kidney donation.
Meet the Team
Patricia Graham MSN RN CNE
Patricia has a Master’s in Nursing Education and is a Certified Nurse Educator. She started her nursing career as a CNA. She has been a Nurse Aide Program Director in the nursing home and college setting, has worked as an Assistant Director of Nursing in Long Term Care, and has taught in multiple nursing programs.
Sarah Benson BA, CVT
Sarah is the business mind of OTS with a degree in Business Organization and Innovation Management, Business Administration and Management. Her team leadership skills, business planning, organization, project management, and problem solving skills make OTS possible.
Bobby McLaughlin BS
Bobby brings a wealth of administrative and team building experience to OTS. He’s been an administrative assistant and office manager in various positions spanning 25 years. In addition, Bobby has team building expertise with a focus on organization, detailed management, and problem solving. Bobby is also a kidney donor!
Fun Fact: The OTS team members are all living kidney donors! Each of them leads with compassion and offer a unique skillset to the group, making OTS a leader in caregiver training.
We Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends.
The sisters couldn’t have started their business without the help and support of many friends. Special thanks to Dan, Shaun, Joe, Geoff, Tammy, Lynn, Val, Quin, Dennis, Brandon and countless others. They would also like to acknowledge their late grandfather, Paul, who is featured on two DVD covers, stars in several videos, and was one of their inspirations.
Nurse & Nurse Aide Training
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