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General Admissions & OTCAS OT vs. PT?

Discussion in 'Occupational Therapy [ O.T.D ]' started by getmoving, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. getmoving

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    Hi all,
    I would welcome your advice. Here's my situation:
    In 2009, I began a graduate PT program. I personally had extensive experience as a PT patient and was attracted to a profession that combined healing, helping people and promoting active, healthy lifestyles. As a personal trainer too, PT seemed like a logical progression of my professional and personal interests. However, I was completely unprepared for the demands of the program. I attribute this to:

    1) the fact that I was not a science major (or kinesiology major) and so I came into the program with a disadvantage. Even though I had a fundamental knowledge of anatomy/biomechanics etc as a personal trainer, there is no comparison between what a personal trainer needs to know and what a PT needs to know. Just about all the other students had science/kinesiology degrees and therefore, they were breezing through the material when I was struggling every day to keep up.

    2) I have an equal interest in the psychology of rehab in addition to physical rehab and clearly PT is all about physical rehab (at least in the education of a PT)

    While I was struggling in my 1st semester of PT school, I began learning about OT and how it integrates a lot of psych rehab with physical rehab. I began talking to OT students, OT faculty, I shadowed several OT's in various work places too. I decided to withdraw from PT school as it was not getting any easier for me. My intention was to regroup and then either reapply to PT school when I felt better prepared academically or learn more about OT and then apply to OT school.

    To that end, I've: 1) I'm in my 2nd semester of undergraduate anatomy and physiology (which I didn't have when I went to PT school initially). I love the material and find it very interesting, and feel that if I reapply to PT school, my current courses might well give me the confidence to handle the PT science based curriculum I couldn't handle before

    2) I've also explored more about OT, spoken to more OT's visited more OT's etc.- and the various modalities within the profession. The psych component of OT rehab is a draw here.

    My dilemma: 1) I find that OT doesn't directly incorporate my passion for physical fitness, weight training and rehab through exercise, nutrition, etc. yet, I appreciate the more "human" element to OT rehab compared to PT.

    In the end, I am thinking of applying both to PT and OT schools for next year. I'm wondering if anyone else has been in this situation and if so, I'd welcome your thoughts and experiences. Sorry for the long posting. Thanks to anyone who replies and good luck to all.
     
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  3. ExceptionalSea

    5+ Year Member

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    so i guess my mind is boggled that you got into PT school without having had to take anatomy/physiology? i thought that was a pre-requisite for PT school just as it is for OT? seems to make sense as you're working on the human body...so how in the hell did you get into a PT program without completing A&P before? blows my mind haha and i'm just curious.

    that being said, OT can absolutely incorporate your passion for physical fitness, weight training, rehab through exercise, nutrition, etc. you just haven't found any OTs working in that sort of way yet, although i'm sure there are some that exist. OT is all about getting people back to the activities that are important to them, or into a position where they are living as independently as possible despite any illness, disability, what have you. what that means is, physical fitness, weight training, all of those things you mentioned, are components of independent living, are components of an activity a patient might be trying to get back into, and can be and are incorporated into OT. it's hard for me explain more without writing a huge, long essay...does that help you at all though?
     
    twugal13 likes this.
  4. sb0106

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    You can go for OT and work at a place that deals with more severe injuries. For instance, I shadowed an OT at one of the top rehab hospitals in PA and it definitely incorporated A LOT of physical fitness elements. The OT I was said on many occasions that this was a one of a kind place for OT's, that most OT's don't see these types of injuries. SO I think you just need to realize that there are many different settings you can work in and picking an in-patient rehab hospital setting might interest you more than working in a school or nursing home.

    I witnessed a lot of what you wish OT incorporated more of. We would cook and make healthy treats, we would go over home exercises, the OT would stretch out the patient just like PT's would, both OT's and PT's played games like cards and checkers with their patients while working on balance and posture, weight lifting, arm and leg bicycle. TO be honest, the PT's and OT's did a lot of the same things. I am a psych minor, OT is a lot more appealing to me.

    I just think you need to consider working as an OT in different settings.
     
  5. sb0106

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    But--- to look at it on the flip side.... I feel like you would get that "human" element while working as a PT in the place I shadowed at. Again, they did a lot of the same things, interacted with patients in similar ways. It's just a matter of what kind of facility you will be working at. I honestly think OT will suit you better because of your strong interest in psych but it's your choice.

    I am also puzzled as to how you go into PT school without taking A&P. THAT IS ABSURD.
     
  6. OTStudentSept2014

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    Some PT programs are more holistic, and some OT programs have a focus on physical fitness. Although my program doesn't seem to have any courses devoted to physical fitness/nutrition, that is very much an interest of the faculty and the university as a whole. Health promotion is an OT field, and there are books on the subject. You might look up a couple of those books on Amazon and then see if the authors are professors at any OT schools.
     

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