Candice Young, a Keiser University graduate who is now serving as the university’s West Palm Beach campus Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program Director, recently shared insights with Florida Occupational Therapy Association members in an article titled Lymphedema Basics: Increasing Client Occupations.
While addressing the challenge of lymphedema (or swelling due to a build-up of lymph fluid in the body), Young referred to various published findings and reminded readers that primary lymphedema is a congenital disability of the lymphatic system with no known cause. In contrast, the more common secondary lymphedema is caused by ‘irregular drainage of the lymph vessels resulting from injury, surgery, infections, and cancer.’ While there is no cure for the condition and standards differ from client to client, treatment varies with the phase of the condition as well as the length of sessions, compression, and follow-up care. Young emphasized that the deployment of complete decongestive therapy (CDT) remains critical in most cases, and successful results lead to increased mobility, decreased pain, and a better quality of life.
Young began her healthcare career as a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant after earning her Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy from Keiser University’s Fort Lauderdale campus in 2006. She then went on to earn her University of Phoenix Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administrative/Long-term Care in 2010 and a Master of Science degree in Health Care Administration specializing in Gerontology in 2012. A Post Master’s degree as an Education Specialist concentrating in Curriculum Design from the University of West Florida followed in 2022, and she is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Education at the University of West Florida with an expected completion date of Winter 2024.
Having gained extensive experience working with the geriatric and lymphedema population for over 15 years, Young also holds certifications as a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, a Fall Prevention Specialist, a Certified Lymphedema Specialist, and a Certified Assisted Living Administrator. As a tireless community advocate who awards scholarships and necessities to high school graduates entering their first year of college, she appreciates giving back to the community and educating others about the importance of occupational therapy. As a wife and mother of three, she loves spending time with her family and participating in her children’s extracurricular activities.
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Keiser University’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate of Science degree prepares students to work as occupational therapy assistants under the direct supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. Occupational therapy is the art and science of helping people gain skills needed to become independent in daily living activities. Students learn the therapeutic use of occupations which include self-care, work, and play/leisure activities to maximize independent function, enhance development, prevent disability, and maintain health. Intervention strategies may include adaptations to a task or environment or compensatory approaches to facilitate clients’ achievement of maximum independence.
Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees from associate to the doctoral level. Keiser University is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and was ranked No. 1 in the U.S.in providing Social Mobility by U.S News and World Report in 2023.