Living Life One Day at a Time with TaeJun Lee




Episode Summary

A car crash left TaeJun (TJ) with an incomplete C4-C5 spinal cord injury and less than a 5% chance of ever walking again. But with support from his family and friends and his willingness to put in the work, TJ was determined to not let his injury hold him back.

In the show today, TJ Lee, COTA/L shares his journey from accident to recovery and how that led him to the field of occupational therapy. He reflects on how his experience has impacted him as a practitioner and has influenced him towards various interests within the field including working with fall prevention, pain and movement, assistive technology, ergonomics with video gamers, and working with a team of specialists in a healthcare collective to work with dancers.

Through his work as a certified occupational therapy assistant, advocating for disability awareness through his blog, and being an adaptive athlete who competes in obstacle course races throughout the country, TJ truly lives his life to the fullest, one day at a time and works to instill the same mindset for his clients.

Show Notes

Sarah and TJ discuss:

  • His interest in obstacle course racing
  • 9/13/2003- The day of his accident
  • What his life looked like before
  • The extend of his injuries from the accident and then once in the hospital
  • The perspective of going through inpatient care
  • Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center: http://dhs.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dhs/rancho
  • Coping with medical professionals, his family, and friends thinking that he might also have a brain injury
  • Getting better one day at a time
  • Why he preferred to go to physical therapy over occupational therapy
  • Progression of his recovery, sensation, and movement
  • His willingness to work and fail in order to make progress in therapy
  • Spent about 5 months with little to no movement
  • Overcoming the trauma and the injury
  • Transitioning to going home
  • Continuing his therapy and rehabilitation on his own
  • His path into becoming a COTA/L
  • How his accident and personal experience with therapy has influenced him as a therapist
  • Finding a job with a disability
  • Recognizing his physical limitations and using other ways to manage his treatment sessions
  • His progression of interests in fall prevention, pain, kinesiotaping, movement, soft tissue, technology and apps, assistive technology, ergonomics of video gamers
  • Importance of collaboration
  • His healthcare collective
  • His blog- One Day at a Time 365: http://www.onedayatatime365.org/

Connect with TJ:

Email: taejun.lee@gmail.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teejaylee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taejunlee

Twitch: Twitch.tv/jeetsu

Sensory Integration and the Transformation From Clinic to Home with Laura Petix


Episode Summary

People are sensory beings and all day everyday our bodies are hard at work processing the sensory stimuli that exists in our world. Some of us are sensitive to sensory input and may shy away from certain types of stimuli, while others might crave input and go out of their way to seek it out. Problems within the sensory systems occur when people have difficulty processing and integrating the information which leads to negative effects on how people function within their daily lives.

Laura Petix, MS, OTR/L joins the show today to talk about all things sensory. She shares her role as an occupational therapist working within a sensory gym and the importance of educating parents to explain what sensory integration is and how it affects development. We dive deep into how to bridge the gap between providing therapy in a sensory clinic and how best to facilitate carry over for the clients at home, school and in the community.

In addition to her work as an occupational therapist working in pediatrics, Laura also shares her personal journey as a mom with a child who has sensory needs and how this has impacted her practice. To hear more from Laura, you can follow her @TheOTButterfly.

Show Notes

Sarah and Laura discuss: 

  • Her favorite weekend occupation 
  • The lack of lunch breaks as a pediatric OT
  • My secret to hot lunches on the go: https://amzn.to/3212ums
  • Laura’s favorite food 
  • Our sensory quirks
  • How she explains sensory processing to parents
  • Facilitating parents to be validated with their feelings
  • The importance of education for the caregivers in order to carry-over techniques at home
  • Bridging the gap between working in the clinic environment and home or school
  • Using the just right challenge for the kids and when providing strategies for the parents
  • How she structures her sensory treatments
  • Following the child’s lead
  • Celebrating the small wins
  • Her path into OT 
  • Her journey with sensory difficulties with her daughter
  • How she navigates being an OT and a mom
  • The impact of being a parent of a child with sensory needs on her practice as an OT
  • Advice for therapists
  • What is the meaning behind the name The OT Butterfly?
  • Teachers Pay Teachers- The OT Butterfly: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Ot-Butterfly
  • Classroom Sensory Strategies Guidebook: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Classroom-Sensory-Strategies-Editable-Guidebook-for-Teachers-4704627

Instagram: https://instagram.com/theotbutterfly

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theotbutterfly

Website: https://www.theotbutterfly.com

From OT School to New Grad OT with Jordan McCauley


Episode Summary

OT school is over. All assignments have been turned in, fieldworks have been completed, and graduation has come and gone. The transition from OT student to new grad OT is a busy time, full of challenges, learning, and pushing oneself outside of their comfort. Jordan McCauley, OTR/L joins the show today to share his journey from finding out about the occupational therapy profession, to his time as an OT student in the classroom and during his fieldwork, and then to his current role as a new grad occupational therapist.

He discusses how he balances life with fieldwork and studying, challenges that he faced during his OT program, and the importance of having a community around him to support him through this process. Listen to the very end of the episode to hear about his amazing capstone project working in Guatemala.

Show Notes

Sarah and Jordan discuss: 

  • Today is a big day, why is that?
  • Experiencing back to back fieldworks
  • When did he find out about OT?
  • How the Level 1 Fieldworks were integrating within his program
  • One thing he wished he knew going into his level 2 fieldworks
  • Realization of balancing life with fieldwork
  • Challenges he faced during his rotations
  • Managing self-care
  • Resources for Level 2 students
  • Importance of community 
  • OT Exam study resources
  • What’s next for him?
  • His capstone project trip to Guatemala

Find more Resources here: https://ot4lyfe.com/resources/

Follow Jordan on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jordanot_/

Fieldwork is Over: Now What?- OTA Fieldwork: Part 4 of 4


Episode Summary

Fieldwork is over. So much as happened. Lots of observing, learning, researching, preparing, doing, reflecting, and the list goes on and on. In eight short weeks, the students, Ijeoma Ikpeze and Chantal Sendall, went from students to entry level proficient within the mental health setting.

In the last episode of the OTA fieldwork series, the girls reflect on their experience and everything that has happened in their last fieldwork rotation. They discuss the biggest hurdles they faced and skills that they feel they need to continue to work on. They also share tips and tricks, as well provide advice for current students to excel in their fieldwork.

Show Notes

Chantal, EJ, and Sarah discuss:

Midterm Evaluations and the Final Weeks of Placement – OTA Fieldwork: Part 3 of 4


Episode Summary

During the middle of fieldwork, students and their supervisors complete the midterm evaluation and discuss progress over the first half of the student’s placement. They address any areas that need continued growth and set goals for the student to successfully complete their level II fieldwork. The students begin managing full caseloads and taking over responsibilities necessary for entry level practice.

This is the third episode of the OTA student series where we follow two occupational therapy assistant students Ijeoma Ikpeze and Chantal Sendall throughout their last level 2 fieldwork placements. In this episode, the girls share how their midterms went, what their schedules look like now, as well as assess their feelings as fieldwork is ending.

Show Notes

Chantal, EJ, and Sarah discuss:

  • Their current feelings heading into the last 2 weeks of fieldwork
  • Feelings about midterm scoring
  • What going through the midterm looked like
  • Importance of self reflection during fieldwork
  • What their day-to-day looks like in fieldwork
  • The importance of having other students with you on fieldwork
  • Practice supervision for OT and OTA students
  • Reflections on expectations and managing the role of the student
  • Becoming your own therapist and not just an imitation of your supervisor
  • The last two weeks of fieldwork and beyond
  • Finding a job as a new grad

From Observation to Taking the Lead – OTA Fieldwork: Part 2 of 4


Episode Summary

During the first few weeks of fieldwork, OT and OTA students get exposed to the practice area, common diagnoses, treatment activities and modalities, as well as the team that they will be working with throughout their placement.  Students start with observing their supervisors and other therapists at the site, then begin assisting in the treatment sessions and evaluations, and ultimately start taking the lead for their assigned caseload. 

This is the second episode of the OTA student series where we follow two occupational therapy assistant students Ijeoma Ikpeze and Chantal Sendall throughout their last level 2 fieldwork placements. In this episode, the girls share how their experience is going in the first three weeks, including what their days and supervision looks like, as well as specific challenges that they have encountered. This episode is for any OT and OTA students or future students, practicing clinicians, and fieldwork educators. 

Show Notes

EJ, Chantal, and Sarah discuss: 

  • How they feel after completing 3 weeks of fieldwork
  • Shifting from observing to leading their own groups
  • Distinguishing OTs unique value in mental health services
  • What to do when your treatment plan backfires?
  • Therapeutic use of self
  • Learning to read the patients
  • Daily and momentary goals
  • How their days are structured 
  • Differences in supervision
  • The emotional toll of working in mental health
  • The role of our own biases
  • Changes in responsibilities expected in the next few weeks of fieldwork
  • Advice for students going into fieldwork

Preparing for the Challenge – OTA Fieldwork: Part 1 of 4


Episode Summary

Once all the coursework is completed, occupational therapy students start their level 2 fieldworks to gain hands-on, clinical experience in various practice areas. Over the course of a few short months, students take on the challenge of going from observation to entry-level practitioner. 

This episode is the first in a 4 part series where we follow two occupational therapy assistant students from Erie Community College throughout the last of the level 2 fieldwork placements.  Ijeoma Ikpeze and Chantal Sendall dive deep into their experiences as an OTA student and open up about their excitement and nervousness as their last fieldwork is about to begin. 

If you’re an OT student or future OT student, this series should not be missed.  If you’re a clinician and have been considering taking a student or are a current fieldwork educator, this series will give you a first hand glimpse of what students go through during fieldwork.

Show Notes

EJ, Chantal, and Sarah discuss: 

  • Their previous level 2 fieldwork placement
  • Getting experience in many practice areas as an OT student
  • Hardest parts of their first fieldwork placement
  • Challenges with documentation and relating the treatments to the big picture
  • Transitioning from classroom to clinical practice
  • Learning to take chances and not be afraid to make mistakes
  • Preparing for their next Level 2 placements in mental health
  • Having fieldworks back to back
  • Excitement and nerves going into their last placement
  • What they are most excited about and what they are most nervous about
  • Importance of developing an open line of communication with your supervisors 
  • The students’ perceived strengths and weakness going into fieldwork
  • Being resourceful when not knowing the answers
  • How to be a good student
  • The importance of asking questions 
  • Differences between OTA and OT fieldwork
  • Advocating for yourself as an OTA student
  • Social media resources for OT and OTA students

OT School: From Classroom to Level 2 Fieldwork


Episode Summary

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.

Show Notes

Bianca, Kat, Celia and Sarah discuss:

Minding Our OT Business with Laura Park Figueroa


Episode Summary

Ever wanted to start your own OT business? Or do you have one and want to up your business game? If yes, this episode is for you. Laura Park Figueroa, MS, OTR/L joins the show to discuss all things OT and business.  We discuss the mindset as an entrepreneur, she shares her mistakes and successes on the path to building and running a private practice, and she provides numerous helpful resources throughout the episode. This episode is a must listen for any OT entrepreneurs or aspiring OT entrepreneurs.

Show Notes

Sarah and Laura discuss:

Email: laura@outdoorkidsot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/outdoorkidsot

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lauraparkfig

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mindyourotbusiness

Website: http://www.mindyourotbusiness.com

Podcast: https://www.mindyourotbusiness.com/podcast

Transitions and Reflections of a Millennial OT with Grant Mitchell


Episode Summary

Occupations and views change and transition over time.  In this episode, Grant Mitchell MOT, OTR/L shares his journey through his current occupational transitions: from new grad to full time practitioner, from working in mental health to working in inpatient rehabilitation, from living in Minnesota to living in Florida, and from being single to married with a child and how these changes have impacted his occupations and his view of occupational therapy.  Grant reflects on how his lens of occupational therapy has shifted over the years and the influence that it has had on his personal and professional story.

Show Notes

Sarah and Grant discuss: 

Millennial OT: http://millennialot.com/

Email: MillennialOT@gmail.com

Twitter: Twitter.com/millennialOT

Instagram: Instagram.com/millennialOT

Facebook: Facebook.com/MillennialOT

Youtube: Youtube.com/MillennialOT