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Other OT-Related Information Advice please!! OT/PT life

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Rayatbh

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Hi everyone !
I'm a senior in high school and I'm in a dual credit program so I'm also a freshman in college. I have been trying to figure out what I want to do as a career as time is running out but I AM SO CONFUSED!
I originally always saw myself as wanting to do pre-med but I'm just now realizing that I don't want to live a doctor's lifestyle (although I love the job!). I've been looking into similar careers that would allow me to have a more flexible lifestyle.
Occupational therapy peaked my interest (with a plan to major in psychology) and physical therapy seems cool too, although it seems like I'd get burnout and it allows for less creativity.
Are there any OTs or even PTs that can share how a day in their life is like?
Pros and Cons?
What other kinds of careers could I look into (or should I give medicine a try)?
Also my ultimate goal is to be a professor, how would I go about that? And what is the wage like?
I know this is really long but I'd truly appreciate any input!
 

sportschick21

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Hi everyone !
I'm a senior in high school and I'm in a dual credit program so I'm also a freshman in college. I have been trying to figure out what I want to do as a career as time is running out but I AM SO CONFUSED!
I originally always saw myself as wanting to do pre-med but I'm just now realizing that I don't want to live a doctor's lifestyle (although I love the job!). I've been looking into similar careers that would allow me to have a more flexible lifestyle.
Occupational therapy peaked my interest (with a plan to major in psychology) and physical therapy seems cool too, although it seems like I'd get burnout and it allows for less creativity.
Are there any OTs or even PTs that can share how a day in their life is like?
Pros and Cons?
What other kinds of careers could I look into (or should I give medicine a try)?
Also my ultimate goal is to be a professor, how would I go about that? And what is the wage like?
I know this is really long but I'd truly appreciate any input!




I had the same problem my senior year of high school & even some in college. My best advice to give you would be to shadow a PT & OT each for a week (or longer) to see what kind of diagnoses they are treating, what their schedule is like, and compare to see which one you are more interested in. I am a rehab aide/tech now and when comparing the two, PT's see more of sports related injuries (shoulders, knees, ankles, hips, lower back pain, etc.) while OT's deal with a lot of neuro type patients (strokes, Alzheimer's, and ADL's in general). I do have to admit though that OT does have a lot more creativity in their treatment than PT, but thats only because of the type of patients/diagnoses they are treating. I know there is a dual enrollment program at St.Augustine which lets you graduate with both a doctorate in PT and OT which is pretty cool, but very overwhelming. For the professor comment, you can always be a PT/OT and always go back and be a professor. If you want more information take a look at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/ it helped me a lot!
 
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Shadowing is your best bet. It is hard to describe either occupation in words. I disagree that OT does neuro and PT does sport injuries. The approach the treatment is the difference. Not the types of patients we see. OT is function and occupation based. We work on both physical and mental symptoms that are preventing individuals from optimally performing tasks in their everyday lives. While it is a broad description it is representative of the broad range of career options that exist in the field. We work everywhere from pediatric units and clinics, to retirement home and skilled nursing, to acute care and the ICU, and in mental health clinics and homeless shelters. Any time someone has a mental health issue or physical issue that prevents them from being able to work, perform hobbies, live independently, cook, dress, express themselves, they should come see an OT. It is an incredibly flexible field that pays well. To be a professor, most go on to get a research degree on top of their OT degree. Being a PT and OT would be a waste of time. You'll end up being one or the other. I've never heard of anyone being hired to do both jobs and it won't help you become a professor. Most of my professors have multiple degrees in a variety of areas and almost all have research doctorates.
 

beestrng

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I know there is a dual enrollment program at St.Augustine which lets you graduate with both a doctorate in PT and OT which is pretty cool, but very overwhelming. For the professor comment, you can always be a PT/OT and always go back and be a professor. If you want more information take a look at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/ it helped me a lot!

USA does not have it anymore.

If you get it you will only be practicing either OT or PT.

I know of one person who is both but practices PT in outpatient ortho and hand therapy. He does like 70 hours a week and makes a lot lol.
 
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beestrng

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@Rayatbh You will need to observe different medical professions and research them in depth to find out what is good for you. Curriculum for med school is waaaaaaaaay different compared to PT/OT.
 
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ncOT9

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@Rayatbh
If you're interested in medicine but don't want a doctor's lifestyle, why don't you look into being a nurse practitioner or a physician's assistant? I have a NP friend and a PA friend that have jobs that allow them to be pretty autonomous.
 

Bokonomy

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You say you don't want a doctors lifestyle, but you realize that professors have a crazy busy schedule too, right?
 

brisa2004

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I'm an OT that works in home care but also worked in the nursing home/transitional care unit setting previously. My typical day is that I see 4-5 patients a day doing Lymphedema (I am trained in this specialty and do this full time). Just FYI, you can be either an OT or PT to do Lymphedema as well. When I'm not treating patients, I'm calling/emailing/texting nurses and other team members including doctor offices to coordinate care. Of course, there is always documentation including putting in orders etc. But I like home care because I'm more or less more autonomous and can set up my own schedule. If I were working in traditional home care OT, I would be focusing more on home safety/access, cognition, upper body strengthening and self cares at home. I disagree that PTs see more of orthopedics, ie joint replacements. PT/OT both see the same things--I've seen plenty of hips, knees and shoulders but your focus is different. While the PT might help with the walking and stretching say in the case of a hip, the OT might work on dressing with the use of adaptive equipment because one of the contraindications from the surgery is to bend past 90 degrees. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.:)
 
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brisa2004

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futurechicagoOT said:
@brisa2004 could you explain how you specialized in lymphedema? Did it entail continuing education courses only or was it something you did during OT school? Also, could you elaborate on an OT's role in lymphedema treatment?

Sure thing. I was already an OT when one of my jobs paid for me to do the 30 hour certification class. There isn't a central regulation of how much education you need to do Lymphedema. So it can vary from 30 hours to 135 hours. Lymphedema is a rapidly growing area and there is currently a shortage of therapists that are trained in this specialty. I worked as a contractor for about a year and a half through the job that initially paid for me to go and when I expressed interest in the company with whom I was contracted in doing home care services, they hired me on the spot. The new job is now paying entirely for me to go into the 135 hour certification class. You should consider doing Lymphedema especially since it is such a marketable skill.

Lymphedema is specifically focused on reducing the swelling in the body but you work most with the arms and legs because it tends to settle there. In fact, most of the work that I do relates to the legs so I sometimes feel like a PT lol. What I do specifically is massage, exercises to move the fluid around, wrapping the arms and legs with bandages and then I eventually try to find them some kind of a garment or stockings that they can wear to keep the area free from swelling back up. I see all kinds of diagnoses just like I would in traditional OT but the emphasis is on the swelling aspect. I really like my job and people are happy to see you because they want help.☺
 
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