Other OT-Related Information Questions and Answers for OTs (with Videos)

sngot

5+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2015
180
107
San Francisco Bay Area
www.youtube.com
Status
  1. Occupational Therapist
Hello SDN members:

While no two experience is the same, perspectives from occupational therapists may benefit many who frequent this group. My cohort graduated in 2016 so conversation covering pre-OT, schooling, and present work setting is very fluid. Several of my peers agree to collaborate on this passion project to share more about OT. They will be sharing their OT journey. Topics will be open-ended to allow the speaker to guide the direction of the conversation.

I want to take a census from those interested:
1) what questions or conversation piece would be meaningful for you?
2) If responding, please share if whether you are pre-OT, OT student, OT practitioner, or maybe even none of the above.
 
Jan 28, 2019
243
164
Status
  1. Pre-Occupational Therapy
Thanks sngot!

I suppose now that I am going to be an OT student I have lots of questions for OT practitioners and other OT students.

-Throughout your time at OT school, do schools help you find your niche? Or I guess what I am trying to say is as OT is a huge field, do you get experience and learn about the fields you can practice in one day? (i.e. hand therapy, school OT, hospital...)
-Is it hard to find a full time job? I noticed most jobs are per diems.
-How important is Fieldwork experience? I heard its best to pick fields you see yourself practicing in so that when you graduate and apply to jobs they see that you have some experience.
-How hard is it to find a job after graduating/pass boards? Would you be so kind to give us your perspective?
-How was it taking boards? Would you be so kind to share your experience and how the exam is? (i.e. M/C, essay)
-What benefits do OTs have joining AOTA and other OT organizations? (i.e. networking)
 
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sngot

5+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2015
180
107
San Francisco Bay Area
www.youtube.com
Status
  1. Occupational Therapist
Thanks sngot!

I suppose now that I am going to be an OT student I have lots of questions for OT practitioners and other OT students.

-Throughout your time at OT school, do schools help you find your niche? Or I guess what I am trying to say is as OT is a huge field, do you get experience and learn about the fields you can practice in one day? (i.e. hand therapy, school OT, hospital...)
-Is it hard to find a full time job? I noticed most jobs are per diems.
-How important is Fieldwork experience? I heard its best to pick fields you see yourself practicing in so that when you graduate and apply to jobs they see that you have some experience.
-How hard is it to find a job after graduating/pass boards? Would you be so kind to give us your perspective?
-How was it taking boards? Would you be so kind to share your experience and how the exam is? (i.e. M/C, essay)
-What benefits do OTs have joining AOTA and other OT organizations? (i.e. networking)
OThopefully183:

I can give a quick summary. Thank you for sharing your inquiry and I look forward to hearing more perspective from my peers as each person have something different to contribute. Please be patient as it may take some coordination to provide something with more substance.

OT SCHOOL

Each person has their own purpose. That purpose is most likely a combination of personal conviction, life experience, and opportunities meshed together. How did you come to interact with occupational therapy, apply for school, and decide to pursue it as a life's calling? The purpose of OT school is for learners to come out as a general practitioner. Graduating with a master's or doctorate OT degree permits taking the exam that deems one capable of practice in the real world. OT school will teach this but many practitioners forget OT addresses occupations. The variability is due to how occupations are accessed. OT truly can support many different things.

Some have a bias to a specific niche even before applying to school. Some people may be undecided and stumbling into something later on. OT school is to prepare learners to be competent clinicians no matter what setting you end up at. It is not to be a master in a niche but a general practitioner. Different schools will meet minimal standards, but how they prepare students may be different. For comparison, my occupational therapy school has level 1 fieldwork exposure in four settings to get familiar with different populations: mental-health, community-based, pediatrics, and adults. My friend who went to a different school has level 1 fieldwork exposure in three settings: mental health, pediatrics, and physical disability.

Level 2 fieldwork is no joke. It is 12 weeks of hands-on work, self-reflection, and personal growth. School is to prepare you just enough so you can make it out alive. An opportunity to get a real feel on using what is taught in school, applying it in the clinical setting, and creating change in the lives of the client. How the OT school establishes a contract with fieldwork location is its own thing. Different schools will permit students different levels of preference in terms of the site. As a general OT one can work in any setting. The fieldwork experience supports the student's ability to work. If it translates easily, then you are fit. Similarly, the non-OT experience can still make you a good candidate for OT school. It just needs to be leveraged and communicated well.

More information on AOTA Fieldwork if interested though I would not stress yourself. Enjoy your time before OT school begins.
 
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sngot

5+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2015
180
107
San Francisco Bay Area
www.youtube.com
Status
  1. Occupational Therapist
Thanks sngot!

I suppose now that I am going to be an OT student I have lots of questions for OT practitioners and other OT students.

-Throughout your time at OT school, do schools help you find your niche? Or I guess what I am trying to say is as OT is a huge field, do you get experience and learn about the fields you can practice in one day? (i.e. hand therapy, school OT, hospital...)
-Is it hard to find a full time job? I noticed most jobs are per diems.
-How important is Fieldwork experience? I heard its best to pick fields you see yourself practicing in so that when you graduate and apply to jobs they see that you have some experience.
-How hard is it to find a job after graduating/pass boards? Would you be so kind to give us your perspective?
-How was it taking boards? Would you be so kind to share your experience and how the exam is? (i.e. M/C, essay)
-What benefits do OTs have joining AOTA and other OT organizations? (i.e. networking)

Board, Work, Development

I encourage you not to think about the boards so soon. Most do not study until after their level 2 fieldwork. I actually think that is best. It is better to hone into being a good learner. Being willing to participate actively in the classroom, lab, and fieldwork. Learn to be a good OT and the board will just be a small barrier that will be overcome. It is not about the multiple-choice and essay but assessing growth,

Looking for a full-time job will depend on what you want to do. It may be saturated on your location as there are many per diem position in your area, Sometime they may only provide per diem opportunities and encourage per diem workers to apply for a direct position after some time, Occupational therapy is also a profession that can find a niche which is considered nontraditional. Again, OT school is to provide skills for general OT. One needs to understand how OT works in a traditional setting to understand how OT works in a nontraditional setting. I do think OT needs to do a better job advocating for themselves.

AOTA represents the OT profession. While not perfect it does provide free access or discounted resources. It actually has lots of good information for evidence-based practice and decision making. My complaint is that things can be hard to find. Documents exist which I didn't know existed until I went looking for it. There are people who complain about AOTA but I challenge them to be solution-oriented. Not supporting AOTA, not advocating for OT can only harm the profession. Provide constructive feedback and make OT better.

AOTA Students has resources and volunteer opportunity if interested. Some of these things I wish I had known about earlier.
 
  • Like
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Jan 28, 2019
243
164
Status
  1. Pre-Occupational Therapy
OThopefully183:

I can give a quick summary. Thank you for sharing your inquiry and I look forward to hearing more perspective from my peers as each person have something different to contribute. Please be patient as it may take some coordination to provide something with more substance.

OT SCHOOL

Each person has their own purpose. That purpose is most likely a combination of personal conviction, life experience, and opportunities meshed together. How did you come to interact with occupational therapy, apply for school, and decide to pursue it as a life's calling? The purpose of OT school is for learners to come out as a general practitioner. Graduating with a master's or doctorate OT degree permits taking the exam that deems one capable of practice in the real world. OT school will teach this but many practitioners forget OT addresses occupations. The variability is due to how occupations are accessed. OT truly can support many different things.

Some have a bias to a specific niche even before applying to school. Some people may be undecided and stumbling into something later on. OT school is to prepare learners to be competent clinicians no matter what setting you end up at. It is not to be a master in a niche but a general practitioner. Different schools will meet minimal standards, but how they prepare students may be different. For comparison, my occupational therapy school has level 1 fieldwork exposure in four settings to get familiar with different populations: mental-health, community-based, pediatrics, and adults. My friend who went to a different school has level 1 fieldwork exposure in three settings: mental health, pediatrics, and physical disability.

Level 2 fieldwork is no joke. It is 12 weeks of hands-on work, self-reflection, and personal growth. School is to prepare you just enough so you can make it out alive. An opportunity to get a real feel on using what is taught in school, applying it in the clinical setting, and creating change in the lives of the client. How the OT school establishes a contract with fieldwork location is its own thing. Different schools will permit students different levels of preference in terms of the site. As a general OT one can work in any setting. The fieldwork experience supports the student's ability to work. If it translates easily, then you are fit. Similarly, the non-OT experience can still make you a good candidate for OT school. It just needs to be leveraged and communicated well.

More information on AOTA Fieldwork if interested though I would not stress yourself. Enjoy your time before OT school begins.

Thank you so much sngot! I really appreciate your insight and taking the time to answer my questions in such detail. Its nice to have a glimpse to the future haha and yes you are right I should enjoy my time before school starts. :)
 

sngot

5+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2015
180
107
San Francisco Bay Area
www.youtube.com
Status
  1. Occupational Therapist
As promised here is the first of several videos in the hope to shed light on what occupational therapy is.
Part II will be more about school and fieldwork experience.
There is a Google Form on Youtube if you want to share your questions or comments.

 
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sngot

5+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2015
180
107
San Francisco Bay Area
www.youtube.com
Status
  1. Occupational Therapist
This video Lauren shares about occupational therapy school while focusing on the tight-knit class, hands-on learning, and exposure to different fieldwork settings. I want to share information so occupational therapy can be enhanced through our future and present clinicians, researchers, and advocates. Maybe OT is for you, maybe it is not. Reach out if you want to inquire more. Feel free to ask questions or make comments here or on the Google Form via Youtube.
 
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