Friday, April 1, 2016

What I LOVE about being an OT - Let's Celebrate the first day of OT MONTH!

The list is endless, but I truly love my job as an Occupational Therapist. Recently, I've also had a friend, and also a mom of a little boy that I treated talk to me about becoming an OT because they have seen what I do and think it's pretty amazing  :)

I'm a random case knowing the career direction that I wanted to take in high school. It was initially either PT, PA, or AT. Then, my cousin, who is an OT, introduced me to the field. She loaded me up with years of AJOT (American Journal of Occupational Therapy), told me what she loved about being an OT, and the rest is history.  I received my degree from Springfield College, and I was lucky enough to be accepted into their graduate program as a senior with an awesome class of wanna-be-OT's! 15 years later, I've never looked back and wouldn't change anything for a moment - as an OT, the possibilities are endless! 

Here's my list - I'm sure that I will miss a few!

  • We MAKE A DIFFERENCE in a million ways! 
  • The populations we work with span the lifetime. 
  • OT's treat the WHOLE person. In my case, I always look at the WHOLE child and it never fails me in helping the family and child succeed :) 
  • You get to take the patient's lead making therapy motivating and fun (even though challenging), all while making progress towards improving one's "occupations" of life.
  • I am passionate about nutrition (okay obsessed), and as an OT, healthy meal planning and working with families on changing a child's diet is in my scope of practice - BONUS!
  • Going a little bit further, I have become a holistic OT taking courses and integrating more and more holistic strategies into my practice - changing how I have done things over the years, constantly growing and making a difference in my clients lives.
  • There is absolutely no risk of boredom - as I mentioned, we work with the span of a lifetime from the NICU to nursing homes. From developmental delays to burn victims, to trauma and neurological patients to mental health. There is a niche for every OT out there! 
  • I LOVE SENSORY INTEGRATION - we develop, learn and grow through our senses, so why wouldn't treating through a sensor motor approach be beneficial? It's amazing actually! Now, we just need to get Sensory Processing Disorder in the DSM, which OT's have been fighting for years now. You can check out previous posts that I have written to learn more about Sensory Integration.
  • Continuing education and expanding knowledge as an OT are never-ending. I think that it helps to remain passionate and not get stuck in a rut. It is so fun to learn new therapy techniques, methods of treatment and collaborate with others to make you a better a OT throughout the years.
  • You get to be a part of helping OT students begin their career by supervising them through their fieldworks, which also makes you a better OT and really gets you on your game as well!!
  • The people that you get to work with are pretty amazing.
  • In general, OT's are flexible, easy-going, friendly people. 
  • You can make a living doing something good - we all need to survive and feed our families, and OT's make a decent salary.
I'm sure that there are many more reasons that I love being an OT, but I think that this is a pretty good list to start. Happy OT month to all my colleagues, students, and anyone thinking about OT as a career!

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