RCBC 3+1 alum tries her hand at hand therapy
Tuesday, Apr 27, 2021

Nicole Barsocchi

When she was 13 years old, Nicole Barsocchi tore a ligament in her finger and underwent surgery. After spending just a few sessions in hand therapy to increase her range of motion, she became fascinated by the treatments performed by each of her therapists. 

“I researched more about the field and found that many certified hand therapists have a background in occupational therapy,” Barsocchi, of Medford, shared. “I learned that occupational therapy is very versatile and is performed in a wide variety of settings. Occupational therapy allows people to perform their activities of daily living and helps to improve the lives of patients and their caretakers.”

Now, eight years later, she’s on her way to becoming one. To get started, Barsocchi chose to enroll in Rowan College at Burlington County’s 3+1 program in psychology because it allowed her to save money while staying close to home. It also provided a relevant foundation for an occupational therapy career. 

“Originally, I chose to pursue a degree in psychology because the courses required aligned with the prerequisites for occupational therapy programs,” Barsocchi said. “As I continued with my psychology courses, however, I began to understand its relevance. Occupational therapy is a holistic field that focuses on the patient as a whole, so a background in psychology will help me to better treat my future patients. I have also taken courses that can help me in my personal life, such as stress management.”

While at RCBC, Nicole played for the softball team, where she made many memories, including being awarded First Team All-Academic for her success in the classroom as a student athlete. This fall, she looks forward to pursuing her graduate degree in occupational therapy at Stockton University. She credits RCBC’s 3+1 program as providing a quality, cost-effective foundation. 

“The RCBC 3+1 program offered me an excellent education and gave me the opportunity to save the money associated with most other bachelor’s programs,” Barsocchi said. “I was able to attend a school close to home and continued to work throughout the program. This truly helped me to build my resume through job and volunteer experiences.”

During her free time, Nicole enjoys going to the beach, playing sports, watching the Phillies and spending time with her friends and family. As she looks back on her adolescent experiences in hand therapy, she can’t wait to pay it forward through a career in the occupational therapy field. 

To learn more about RCBC’s 3+1 psychology program, visit rcbc.edu/3plus1/psychology.