Exploring the Country Through Travel Therapy with Emily Ann Becker


Episode Summary

Travel therapy is a unique practice area that consists of traveling to different parts of the United States in order to provide therapy services to places in need. Usually, rotations last about 13 weeks and then the therapist moves on to another placement. Sometimes there can be a potential to sign on for additional time if the services continue to be needed. Emily Ann Becker, OTR/L, is a travel occupational therapist who is currently licensed in 6 states and works in a variety of different settings, including skilled nursing facilities and home health. She discusses the best and worst parts of working in travel therapy and how flexibility is essential. Throughout our discussion she sheds light on the complexities and opportunities that being a travel therapist provides, as well as her passion for helping to inspire others.

Show Notes

Travel therapy is a unique practice area that consists of traveling to different parts of the United States in order to provide therapy services to places in need. Usually, rotations last about 13 weeks and then the therapist moves on to another placement. Sometimes there can be a potential to sign on for additional time if the services continue to be needed. Emily Ann Becker, OTR/L, is a travel occupational therapist who is currently licensed in 6 states and works in a variety of different settings, including skilled nursing facilities and home health. She discusses the best and worst parts of working in travel therapy and how flexibility is essential. Throughout our discussion she sheds light on the complexities and opportunities that being a travel therapist provides, as well as her passion for helping to inspire others.

Emily and Sarah discuss:

  • Being licensed in multiple states and the differences in state law.
  • The trials and tribulations of being a travel OT
  • The variety of settings that travel therapy provides
  • The ability to specify the new jobs you are presented
  • The best and worst parts of being a travel therapist
  • How much the placement companies help you with your placements
  • The personality that you need to be a travel therapist
  • The importance of self-care
  • Tips to becoming a travel OT
  • Tax implications of travel OT placements
  • Possibilities of international travel therapy
  • Choosing one word as a focus for the year

Email: ebecker815@gmail.com

Instagram: @emilyann815

How Deep is Your Love For OT with Michael Roberts


Episode Summary

Dr. Michael Roberts, OTD, OTR/L, is the founder and current program director of the master’s degree program in Occupational Therapy at Regis College, in Boston Massachusetts. He has a strong passion for all things occupational therapy, as well as educating and empowering current occupational therapy students. His clinical background focused on adult physical dysfunction (inpatient, outpatient, and home care) with a specialty in oncology rehabilitation. He has completed research in fieldwork performance and next generation gaming consoles (Nintendo Wii) for health and wellness purposes, as well as presented at numerous state and national conferences, and independent oncology rehabilitation seminars. Dr. Roberts is the creator and host of the “I Love OT Podcast”, a show that highlights what is special, exciting, unique, and rewarding about the field of occupational therapy. His dedication and excitement for our profession pours out through his words as he shares wonderful stories and insightful wisdom from his OT experiences.

Show Notes

Dr. Michael Roberts, OTD, OTR/L, is the founder and current program director of the master’s degree program in Occupational Therapy at Regis College, in Boston Massachusetts. He has a strong passion for all things occupational therapy, as well as educating and empowering current occupational therapy students. His clinical background focused on adult physical dysfunction (inpatient, outpatient, and home care) with a specialty in oncology rehabilitation. He has completed research in fieldwork performance and next generation gaming consoles (Nintendo Wii) for health and wellness purposes, as well as presented at numerous state and national conferences, and independent oncology rehabilitation seminars. Dr. Roberts is the creator and host of the “I Love OT Podcast”, a show that highlights what is special, exciting, unique, and rewarding about the field of occupational therapy. His dedication and excitement for our profession pours out through his words as he shares wonderful stories and insightful wisdom from his OT experiences.

Sarah and Michael discuss:

  • Michael’s current OT life
  • Scope of working as a clinician vs being an educator
  • His journey from clinical OT to being in academia
  • Working in the home environment with children and adults
  • The importance of being a fieldwork educator and what it provides for students, practitioners, and clients
  • His research in fieldwork education
  • Setting up an open communicate and a reflective process during the fieldwork process
  • How student’s own ideas and activities foster the therapeutic process
  • Thinking outside the box for each individual client
  • Importance of occupation based practice within the natural environment
  • Challenging aspects of OT/ getting knee deep in our client’s lives
  • Memorable stories from the field
  • How OTs have keen observation skills within their practice and in their personal lives
  • Why Michael got into podcasting
  • What he loves about OT
  • Staying curious and continuing to learn within our profession

Find the I Love OT podcast here: http://iloveotpodcast.libsyn.com/

Twitter: @otdaddy

Instagram: @realotdaddy

Crafting Your Life for Success with Intention and Purpose with Andy Nielsen from OT Growth


Episode Summary

Andy Nielsen, OTS, is a current OT student at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona who comes to our profession after many years in tech sales and business. He has designed his life with purpose and intention in order to maintain a family-friendly lifestyle, as well as to serve others and contribute to society in a meaningful way. Over the years he has developed a strong passion for entrepreneurship by creating things to help others and assisting people achieve success. Currently, he runs OT Growth, a website aimed at helping pre-OT students, current OT students, and OT practitioners succeed within the career.

Show Notes

Andy Nielsen, OTS is an business innovator having founded products like the patented 8Scape folder and a Facebook advertising company called Big Ocean Commerce. He currently attends A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona and is completing his masters in occupational therapy. Integrating his background in business and his holistic approach to healthcare, Andy started OT Growth, a website aimed at helping pre-OT students, current OT students, and OT practitioners succeed within the career. He is a family man who strives to lead a balanced life serving others and contributing to society in meaningful ways.

Sarah and Andy discuss:

  • Andrew’s early life as an entrepreneur
  • “Just Start” cause there is always more to learn
  • The book “The Power of Starting Something Stupid” by Richie Norton
  • Using OT’s creative skills to develop life changing ideas
  • Finding your calling in your life
  • Taking risks to find what keeps you engaged
  • Changing your mindset to handle failures
  • Setting up your life to prioritize your time
  • Considering the worst case scenario
  • Pushing through adversity to get to your goals
  • Setting yourself apart for your applications
  • The importance of advocating for OT

He graciously created a list of resources just for the OT 4 Lyfe Tribe, which can be found here: https://otgrowth.com/ot4lyfe

Link to the Design Your Freedom video

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyknielsen

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andy.nielsen.355

Incorporating Dogs into Animal Assisted Therapy with Karen Ni from Sun Dog Therapy


Episode Summary

Dr. Karen Ni, OTD, MA, OTR/L, CPDT-KA is passionate about using animal assisted therapy as a meaningful and powerful therapeutic tool.  She uses her dogs, Dottie and Tater, as her canine co-therapists to assist in her therapy sessions and provide a different perspective and aspect to therapy interventions.  She has also opened her own private practice, Sun Dog Therapy, that offers occupational therapy services, dog training, and other types of services related to caring for and learning about dogs.

Show Notes

Dr. Karen Ni, OTD, MA, OTR/L, CPDT-KA is passionate about using animal assisted therapy as a meaningful and powerful therapeutic tool.  She uses her dogs, Dottie and Tater, as her canine co-therapists to assist in her therapy sessions and provide a different perspective and aspect to therapy interventions.  She has also opened her own private practice, Sun Dog Therapy, that offers occupational therapy services, dog training, and other types of services related to caring for and learning about dogs.  Sarah and Karen discuss:

  • Clarifying and defining terms that pertain to Animal Assisted Therapy.
  • Understanding the animal’s well-being during therapy and thinking of them as co-therapists.
  • The need for certification and training for animal assisted therapy.
  • Designing your schooling to emphasize your interests.
  • How dogs are incorporated into a variety of therapy sessions.
  • The difference in training for therapy rather than obedience.
  • Empowering the client by allowing them to train the dog and show others their results.
  • Transitioning skills from individual skills to generalized skills.
  • Starting SunDog Therapy as a private therapy practice
  • Lessons learned while starting a new business
  • Becoming involved with service dogs through other facets than specifically OT

Animal Assisted Intervention International – https://aai-int.org/

SunDog Therapy – http://www.sundogtherapy.com/

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

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

Email: karen@sundogtherapy.com

Leading From Where You Are with Ijeoma Ikpeze


Episode Summary

Ijeoma (EJ) Ikpeze OTA/S is an OTA student at Erie Community College who recently finished her school work and is about to embark on her first Level II fieldwork. She is also the only current student and only OTA accepted into the prestigious AOTA Emerging Leaders Development Program.

Show Notes

Ijeoma (EJ) Ikpeze OTA/S is a OTA student at Erie Community College who recently finished her school work and is about to embark on her first Level II fieldwork.  She has a passion for leadership and profound interest in promoting the profession of occupational therapy. EJ is currently the only student and only OTA representative in the AOTA Emerging Leaders Development Program.  Sarah and EJ discuss her experiences, including:

  • OTA school workload and her interests for fieldwork
  • Learning and getting comfortable with practicing in early intervention
  • Getting exposure to a variety of practice settings
  • Going back to get an Associates Degree after getting a Bachelor’s degree
  • Being accepted into the AOTA Emerging Leadership Development Program
  • Going to “Hill Day” at the Capitol Hill in Washington DC to lobby for OT
  • What defines a leader and being a leader as an OT
  • Getting involved state legislature to make a difference

More info about the AOTA Emerging Leaders Development  Program:

https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Advance-Career/ELDP.aspx

Contact her at: ijeomaikpeze@gmail.com

Happiness Through Movement, Education and Volunteering with Elizabeth DeBlasi


Episode Summary

Elizabeth DeBlasi, MS, OTR/L has developed her passion in pediatric occupational therapy into international travel and volunteer work.  She immediately took action to make her dreams about volunteering internationally come true. She has since become an integral part of the new non-profit Therapists Without Borders.

Show Notes

Elizabeth DeBlasi, MS, OTR/L is a professor at Long Island University who woke up one night with a passion for international volunteer work.  Within two weeks she was on a plane to Cape Town, South Africa to learn more about Therapists Without Borders. She and Sarah discuss their passions for pediatric therapy and how much they value sharing their knowledge around the world.  They discuss:

  • How many hats OTs seem to wear on a regular basis
  • Getting to Cape Town with 2 weeks notice for WFOT
  • Finding your calling in OT and combining your passions
  • Empowering parents to make the primary difference in their child’s life
  • Passion for teaching and training students
  • Getting inspiration in the middle of the night
  • Balancing work with passions outside of work
  • Using yoga with sensory stimulation for young children
  • What happens at a Silence Retreat
  • Volunteer work within traveling, positive and negative experiences
  • Advocating for yourself and skills when volunteering
  • What makes Therapists Without Borders a great organization
  • How volunteering affects both the therapist and the client

Contact Elizabeth:

Instagram: @the.ot.movement


Find out more about Therapists Without Borders:  http://twbinc.org

Notes From the OT School House with Jayson Davies and Abby Parana


Episode Summary

Jayson Davies, MA, OTR/L and Abby Parana, MS, OTR/L are pediatric occupational therapists that work in a school based setting.  They have a unique view on how to provide treatment and advocate for their clients. They also host their own OT podcast: OT School House.

Show Notes

Pediatric occupational therapists work in a variety of settings which present their own challenges and advantages. School Based OT’s have their own distinct perspective on working in pediatrics and working in conjunction with teachers and school administrators to provide the most benefit to their clients. Jayson, Abby, and Sarah discuss a variety of topics relating to school based therapy.

They discuss:

  • Random findings in the laundry
  • Funny stories from the daily life of a pediatric OT
  • Helping kids understand more difficult parts of life
  • The job market for school based OTs across the US
  • The best and worst parts of school based OT
  • Finding and being mentors through your career
  • Advocating for other types of services for clients within the school settings
  • Experiences that led them to their passion in OT
  • Strategies on how to deal with and avoid burnout
  • Why they started their podcast
  • Professional development units by listening to podcasts

Follow Them on:

Contact:

  • Abby: Abby@OTSchoolHouse.com
  • Jayson: Jayson@OTSchoolHouse.com

OT School House Podcast:
https://www.otschoolhouse.com/podcast

Guidelines for OT Practices:
https://www.otschoolhouse.com/ot-practice-map

20% off Promo Code for OT School House Professional Development Credits: OT4LYFE

OT-PT Collaboration in Early Intervention with Jennifer Ogawa, PT


Episode Summary

Occupational and Physical Therapists often work together on clients to achieve similar goals through different lenses. Jennifer and Sarah discuss how they approach early intervention from each of their view points and the benefits of collaborating between disciplines.

Show Notes

Physical therapy in early intervention has a very distinct view. Collaborating with occupational therapists allows each practitioner the ability to see the same therapy intervention from a fresh set of eyes. Jennifer Ogawa joins to discuss collaborating in early intervention.

Sarah and Jennifer discuss:

  • The benefits of collaborating between disciplines
  • How to beat traffic in Los Angeles
  • The advantages of home based therapy
  • Their favorite toys to use in therapy
  • The joys of working in early intervention
  • The benefits of being a well rounded therapist
  • The craziest thing they have experienced in a client’s home
  • How to get into early intervention and what is required

You can find Jennifer on Instagram here: @cookinlovinmomma

OT Round Table: The Best Parts, The Hardest Parts and What We Wish Others Understood About OT


Episode Summary

This is the first edition of the OT Round Table, a casual discussion with OT practitioners from different background about the best and worst parts as well as what we wish others understood about our profession.

Show Notes

As occupational therapy clinicians, our jobs drastically shape our values and perspective on life. We share a unique outlook and approach to meaningful engagement in all of life’s occupations. Today is the first round table session in which Brock and Erika, a few OTs from different practice areas, come together to discuss topics within the field.

Guest Panelists:

  • Brock Cook, BA OccThy – Lecturer – James Cook University – Mental Health
  • Erika Downs, COTA/L, MSG – Geriatrics

We discuss the following topics:

  • The beach
  • Apps & social media: MySpace, Facebook, Marco Polo
  • Structure of our jobs in per diem, home health, mental health, and academia
  • Hardest parts of current jobs
  • Limitations on our jobs as a therapist imposed from our healthcare systems
  • Dealing with tough cases and death of a client
  • What we wish more people knew about occupational therapy
  • Why people do not know what occupational therapy is
  • Our favorite/ last watched TV show
  • Mental health as a practice area in the United States and Australia
  • Our paths to the field of occupational therapy
  • Importance of gaining exposure in numerous practice areas
  • Best parts of being an occupational therapist

Level 2 Fieldwork Mini Series – Part 6 of 6 – Week 13: Reflections on the Experience


Episode Summary

The fieldwork rotation is a vital part of becoming an OT. Follow 2 students as they transition into occupational therapy practitioners. This is episode 6 of a 6 part mini-series.

Show Notes

The student’s first Level 2 fieldwork is over:

  • Feelings during the last couple of weeks
  • Level of growth and now possessing a new prospective
  • Structure of Level 2 fieldworks: back to back or having more schooling in between
  • AOTA Final Evaluation and the Student Evaluation of the Fieldwork Experience
  • Reflections on their perceived strengths and weaknesses from first episode
  • Recognizing their continued challenges and their biggest positive takeaways
  • Balancing self-care with demands of fieldwork
  • Overall feelings throughout their experience
  • Considerations of recording their experience