Kim – Lymphedema Therapist

Kim_MainerKim Mainer, OT, Certified Lymphedema Therapist, LANA

For the past 10 years Kim has primarily practiced in lymphedema therapy working with a variety of causes of lymphedema: compromised vascular systems, cancer related, primary and injury-related. The Lymphadema expertise began after working in skilled nursing facilities for 4 years. In this facility, Kim had the opportunity to start a lymphedema program. Wanting a change but not knowing much about lymphedema, she did a lot of research on the internet and spoke to other lymphedema therapists in the Atlanta area. Though she loved working with older adults, she felt she could make a bigger difference to offer assistance in an area where specialists were scarce.

Certifications

  • 10 years practicing lymphedema therapy, Atlanta,Georgia
  • Low Vision Certificate, University of Alabama, expected August, 2011
  • Medical College of Georgia School of Occupational Therapy, Augusta, Georgia
  • Valdosta State Nursing school, Valdosta, Georgia

 

Kim’s Bio

From an early age Kim learned to be the family consoler and comforter after her parents’ divorce. She often found herself at the center of school bullying, defending kids being picked on. As her great-grandmother’s health declined and she entered hospice, Kim found herself the family spokesperson to ensure her great-grandmother was well cared for. Through these experiences Kim decided to work at local nursing home as a nutrition assistant during high school to begin her career in the healthcare field. This is where she first learned that helping others was a two way street. As a teenager, the older adults she assisted gave so much back through their wisdom, life experiences, and tenderness. Through caring for older adults Kim was being healed too.

Kim attended Valdosta State to get the prerequisites for nursing school and had some exposure to current nursing students. She often volunteered to be a patient for the nursing students. Exposure to various student groups Kim began to feel there was more to helping others than administering shots and medications. Thinking back to her experiences of working in the nursing home, she realized she wanted to empower the people she worked with by simply being a tool for them to get better, feel better, and regain their independence.

Her first exposure to occupational therapy was from a family friend. She learned that occupational therapists help their clients work towards a more independent life with the feeling of accomplishment. They want their clients to have the chance to live well and accept whatever problems they have to overcome, by finding new ways to manage them.  Kim felt this was the direction her life belonged in so she changed her course and applied to the Medical College of Georgia School of Occupational Therapy in Augusta.

This experience opened a whole new world to Kim. After working in skilled nursing facilities for 4 years, Kim had the opportunity to start a lymphedema program. Wanting a change but not knowing much about lymphedema, she did a lot of research on the internet and spoke to other lymphedema therapists in the Atlanta area. Though she loved working with older adults, she felt she could make a bigger difference to offer assistance in an area where specialists were scarce. For the past 10 years Kim has primarily practiced in lymphedema therapy working with a variety of causes of lymphedema: compromised vascular systems, cancer-related, primary and injury-related.

Kim found that many of her older patients experienced low vision that impacted their quality of life and independence. In 2009 she had the opportunity to take several courses in low vision and decided to pursue a Low Vision Certificate from the University of Alabama. In August of 2011 she will complete the 2 year program and looks forward to offering another specialty service to help older adults remain as independent and at home as long as possible.

Through these years, Kim has not only gained new and advanced skills to help others but her greatest reward is what she gets back from the clients she works with on a professional and personal level. Every day she is reminded that life is precious and nothing should be taken for granted.

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