Occupational therapy school is quite a journey. From the multitude of classes, to Level 1 fieldwork experiences, all the midterms and finals, and the practical exams along the way. Just making it through the program is a feat in itself. Then comes the Level 2 fieldworks which take people from being students in the classroom to becoming entry level OT practitioners by the end of their first rotation. Needless to say, a lot of learning occurs during this entire process.
In this episode, Sarah chats with Bianca Callier, Kathleen Kanegawa, and Celia Parra, three occupational therapy doctoral students from West Coast University, as they make the transition from being a student in the classroom to embarking on their Level 2 fieldworks. They discuss their experiences in OT school so far, how to be involved in leadership and advocacy as an OT student, and what excites them most about our profession. They also share some great tips and strategies on how to thrive and excel within an OT program. Their passion and enthusiasm for our profession will be sure to inspire any current OT students, future OT students, fieldwork educators, and OT practitioners.
Bianca, Kat, Celia and Sarah discuss:
- What their OT lives look like currently
- Excitement about starting Level II Fieldwork
- What is an OT pinning ceremony?
- Being a part of the inaugural doctorate program at West Coast University: https://westcoastuniversity.edu/programs/doctor-occupational-therapy.html
- Finishing up their didactic work for their program
- Hardest parts of their school program
- Finding occupational balance between life and school
- Transitioning into Level 2 fieldwork
- Getting along well with their classmates
- Importance of having faculty as leaders
- Addressing occupation-based and evidence-based challenges in fieldwork
- Being involved in leadership and advocacy as a student
- Student Occupational Therapy Association: https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Students/SOTAs.aspx
- Assembly of Student Delegates: https://www.aota.org/Students.aspx
- Committees: https://www.otaconline.org/community/committees (for those not in California, check your local state association website for their committees)
- Occupational Therapy Association of California Student Delegate: https://www.otaconline.org/community/committees/student-leadership
- Volunteering: https://www.aota.org/AboutAOTA/Get-Involved/Leadership.aspx
- Attending conferences: https://www.aota.org/Conference-Events/annual-conference-2020.aspx
- What excites them the most about occupational therapy?
- Where they think they will be in 10 years?
- Best advice that they were given
- Their advice for other students