Well, a pediatric school based occupational therapist that is.
When I first started blogging I was convinced that I should keep my "professional" life and my "blog" life separate, mainly for privacy. The truth is, very few people at my work know about my blog, and honestly.. that's how I'd like to keep it. =P
Then I wrote this post and this post and began receiving a lot of emails from people asking me about my job and my educational background.
So I started thinking,
I really love being an occupational therapist (OT),
Work is, obviously, a huge part of my life..
My blog is a huge part of my life..
I guess I can merge the blog world and my work world a teensy bit to help spread the word about OT
I Give You..
A Little Bit About Me, and OT.
1) First things first, What the heck is occupational therapy?
- Let's just get this out there first. No, I don't help people find jobs.
- Basically, occupational therapists help people participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.
Ok, what the heck does that mean? Well, I work in a school for kids who have very severe disabilities. During therapy sessions I do anything from teaching a child how to color, play Twister, ride a bike, play Wii bowling, or use colored shaving cream as finger paints. Basically, I help our students learn how do fun kid stuff (that's where the everyday activities part comes in), all while working on their motor skills and sensory needs.
(Soooo I play a lot, it's a good time)
That is not to say that I don't spend a lot of time writing reports, consulting with teachers, getting assaulted by kids (cough), and meeting with parents..... because I do =P
2) Do All Occupational Therapists Work In Schools?
- No way, I have friends who work in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, physical/occupational therapy clinics, and pediatric sensory clinics (remember going to Discovery Zone when you were kid? Ya, that's basically what those private clinics are like)
3) Where Did You Go To School? Do You Have A Masters Degree?
- I went to UCLA (yay Bruins!) for my undergraduate degree, and majored in psychology and minored in education. I then went to USC (boo Trojans..once a bruin always a bruin) and earned my masters degree in occupational therapy. Yes, I did take a lot of science-y classes, and they were tough but really worth it.
4) I'm Interested in OT, But I'm Not Sure...
- My advice? Go observe OTs in various settings (school, clinics, hospitals) and try to picture whether or not you could see yourself doing occupational therapy in the future. Then read some OT books like The Out Of Sync Child (by the way if you are a parent of a child with sensory needs this is a MUST READ!) and see if you're interested in the material and if you feel inspired
I first found occupational therapy while working at a preschool with a little boy who has autism. He would go see an OT twice a week. At first, I was so impressed with how much fun had at OT, and then I was amazed by his progress. Told you, OT is cool
5) But Will I Be Able To Find A Job
- Yes, Yes, andddd Yes
There is a huge need for occupational therapists right now. The truth is, very few people know about occupational therapy, and as a result very few people choose OT as a profession. There are lots and lots of jobs, and yes... they pay quite well =P
So there ya go,
now you know a lot about what I do.
Have a happy day