Alumni Postcard Profile - October 2018

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and 2007 OT alumna Bethany McCullough Bondura is a strong supporter of this month of awareness. Bethany got her job in the Lehigh Valley after graduating from College Misericordia, and she has been working at the Lehigh Valley Health Network as an occupational therapist for the past 11 years. She saw breast cancer patients with extreme swelling, due to lymph node removal or trauma from surgery, but realized that no one in her unit was certified to help those individuals. Bethany knew that it would be a lengthy process to get certified in lymphedema therapy, but she was extremely passionate about helping these breast cancer patients as well as others who have lymphedema.

After taking online classes and several weeks of hands-on education, Bethany became a certified lymphedema therapist, and she now works strictly with lymphedema patients. She educates the patients, many of those who had breast cancer, about exercises that support the compromised quadrant(s) of the body affected by the lymph node removal or trauma. Bethany develops a treatment plan, including bandaging and massage treatment, that she works through with her patients, and when their swelling has gone down enough, she measures her patients for compression garments so they can return to a more comfortable lifestyle.

Bethany was a part of the last graduating class from College Misericordia. She feels blessed that she had such great professors and classmates throughout her journey. The smaller class sizes allowed Bethany to seek out her niche and her passion in the OT field – this includes Bethany making the decision to pursue a minor in psychology as well as her geriatrics certificate at Misericordia. She strongly believes that Misericordia impressed upon her a sense of community and how to best serve those around her. Every day she sees how her job is both physically and emotionally taxing on her patients, and she is able to take the knowledge, skills, and experiences that she learned while at Misericordia to make a difference in their lives.

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