Podcast

The Ins and Outs of the AOTA Conference


Episode Summary

Attending conferences is a great way to learn new things and connect with people within the occupational therapy community. And one of the biggest events each year within the United States is the American Occupational Therapy Association conference. This episode details specifics about what the AOTA conference looks like, how to prepare, and tips on how to make for successful conference experience.

Show Notes

What it looks like?

  • Four days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday are full days, Sunday is a half day)
  • Pre-Conference institutes on Wednesday
  • Workshops, Short Courses, Research presentations, Conversations that Matter, Posters, Expo Hall, Alumni receptions
  • Presidential Address, Eleanor Clark Slagle Lecture, First Timer’s orientation, Fitness Events
  • Blood Drive and Book Drive this year

Benefits of going as a practitioner:

  • Continuing education units (up to 24)
  • Exposure to new research/ practice areas
  • Networking/ meeting like minded people
  • Inspiration and motivation

Attending as a student:

  • Some schools offer a conference scholarship
  • Student specific courses and presentations
  • Networking with other students and practitioners
  • Winning a free NBCOT exam

My favorite parts:

  • International Breakfast
  • Opening Ceremony
  • Keynote address
  • Grand Opening of the Expo Hall
  • Tweet Up
  • Meeting new friends and reconnecting with old friends

Tips to Prepare:

  • Business cards
  • Notebook and pen or notepad on phone to write down notes/ contact info for people you meet
  • Water bottle
  • Extra battery & charging cords for phones/ computers
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Bring a sweater or coat
  • If going with a group, split up for courses and then share notes
  • Connect with people online beforehand
  • Be prepared that you can’t do it all

Other Resources:

If you have questions or comments, hit me up on social media:

The Business Side of Occupational Therapy with Brandon Seigel


Episode Summary

Understanding the business side of occupational therapy is pivotal for any therapist and practice owner to know. In order to be successful within our profession, we must be aware of the state of healthcare and be solid within our purpose as a clinician.  Our guest today, Brandon Seigel, is a private practice business consultant and executive director of Wellness Works Management Partners with years of experience helping practitioners start, run, and advance their practices to the next level.

Brandon recently published a book called The Private Practice Survival Guide, outlining highly useful information for therapists and practice owners alike.  He presents all over the country at local and state conferences and has an online course and private practice podcast launching soon. His goal is to help therapists in creating a business model that ultimately helps them excel both on a business side and on a clinical side.

Show Notes

Brandon and Sarah discuss:

  • Brandon’s current professional life
  • Wellness Work Management Partners- Consulting Firm
  • Works with private practices all over the country and internationally (OT, PT, SLP & physician)
  • Consultation services and management services
  • Executive Director at Every Child Achieves in Southern California
  • Speaking all over the country, including 3 courses at American Occupational Therapy Association
  • New book just released called The Private Practice Survival Guide
  • Creating a new private practice podcast
  • Importance of prioritization
  • Why he does what he does
  • His start business and then how occupational therapy came into play
  • Struggles in school as a child and how that played a role in his desire to help others
  • Going to community college, then the University of Southern California, and graduating from California State University Northridge
  • Starting the workforce after college with entrepreneurs and managing other companies and multimillion dollar projects
  • His company was moving to a different state as he was marrying an occupational therapist whose mother had a successful therapy practice which needed some business support
  • Revolutionized that company and then branched out to start his own consulting company
  • Always felt a calling to purpose
  • His willingness to help his clients at any time and any day
  • How Brandon and Sarah met
  • Power of clinical integrity
  • Our current state of healthcare
  • The most asked question that he gets from private practice owners
  • Recognizing a therapist’s cost to a company
  • Shifting the employee mindset
  • Knowing the responsibilities of the employer and of the employees
  • Tips for therapists to stand out when being considered for a job
  • Resume building strategies
  • Importance of writing a cover letter and quickly responding to any correspondence for a job that you apply for
  • Self-awareness and his biggest perceived weakness is something that is not self-aware
  • Be specific in your skills and attributes
  • Discussing financials upfront
  • How to cut ties with an employee?
  • Upcoming online course coming in 2019

Find his book here: The Private Practice Survival Guide

Contact Him:

Email: brandon@wellnessworksmp.com

Web: http://www.wellnessworksmp.com

Twitter: @wellnessworksmp

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

The Power of Play in Clinic Based Therapy with Francesca Avalli


Episode Summary

We all discover occupational therapy through different ways and it is always fascinating to hear how each therapist is first introduced into this wonderful profession. Our guest today is the whole reason that our host Sarah became an occupational therapist in the first place after meeting her while she worked at a local preschool. Francesca Avalli, MS, OTR/L has a wealth of knowledge from her years working in pediatrics, both in the school and clinic setting, and has a passion for the profession of occupational therapy that is undeniable. She runs her own pediatric clinic in Los Angeles, California and created an awesome product called Handee Band to facilitate her client’s strength and growth.

Show Notes

We all discover occupational therapy through different ways and it is always fascinating to hear how each therapist is first introduced into this wonderful profession. Our guest today is the whole reason that our host Sarah became an occupational therapist in the first place after meeting her while she worked at a local preschool. Francesca Avalli, MS, OTR/L has a wealth of knowledge from her years working in pediatrics, both in the school and clinic setting, and has a passion for the profession of occupational therapy that is undeniable. She runs her own pediatric clinic in Los Angeles, California and created an awesome product called Handee Band to facilitate her client’s strength and growth.

Francesca and Sarah discuss:

  • Francesca’s current OT life
  • How her professional life has shifted since having a child
  • Working in the clinic setting
  • Starting a pediatric private practice
  • Her goal of mentoring and teaching newer occupational therapists
  • How Sarah and Francesca met
  • How Francesca inspired Sarah to become an occupational therapist
  • The difference between working for yourself and working for a company
  • The power of saying no and realizing boundaries as a therapist
  • Playing within the clinic setting
  • Her favorite treatment strategies and pieces of equipment
  • Teaching confidence to kids
  • Multiple uses of lycra within the clinic setting
  • Her most memorable moment as an OT
  • Managing client/parent relationships
  • How and why she created Handee Band
  • Who Handee Band can be used with

Find Handee Bands Here: Handee Bands

Email: ot@therapyworksla.com

http://www.handeeband.com

Twitter: https://Twitter.com/handeeband

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

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

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