University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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OS/OT Student Blog


Winter Break! →

Dec 17, 2014, by Leila · email · Leave a comment

Last week was our final week of the Fall Semester, and as exciting as it is to be one more semester closer to graduation it is also a little sad. As 2nd year students, we have now completed our final immersion in our cohorts. The Entry-Level Master’s program focuses on three different immersions: mental health, pediatrics, and adult physical rehabilitation. During our first summer semester we were split into cohorts (A, B or C). My final immersion was in pediatrics, which meant it was also my last class with cohort A-mazing. smile It has been a great experience getting to know the great individuals in my cohort and see them grow. I know our immersions and complementary classes have done a great job thus far in preparing us to become amazing occupational therapists.




Next semester will be our final semester of classes. We will have the opportunity to take electives of our choice, as well as participate in a Leadership Externship. All 2nd year students will complete the externship in their final semester as part of the Leadership Capstone course. The externship is a two-week experience where students have the opportunity to build on their leadership skills. Students are responsible for finding and coordinating these externships. The places that you can choose to go to are diverse! I’m planning to complete my externship in a Spanish speaking country- possibly Costa Rica or Peru! I’m beyond excited and I can’t wait to share with you all about this amazing opportunity. Until then I will be enjoying my four-week winter break!



We love our cohorts! →

Dec 17, 2014, by Claire · email · Leave a comment

Third semester of the Master’s program.. check! Only one more semester to go before commencement!

The first three semesters of the Entry-Level Master’s program focus on three different immersions: mental health, pediatrics, and adult physical rehabilitation. Our entire Master’s class rotated through these immersions in smaller groups, called cohorts (A, B, C).

This semester was our last rotation—adult rehabilitation (as you may have gathered from my previous posts). Last Friday, our last final also meant that it was our last time as a cohort. SEPARATION ANXIETIES.

Coming in as a Bachelor’s-to-Master’s student, I met everyone in the fall semester. I learned so much from everyone in my cohort and loved working with each person! Our cohort Facebook group included SOAP note samples, cute baby videos, and much more! From potlucks to group google docs, these people are seriously the best.

Here are some pictures from our Cohort B(est)! And feel free to check out some other cohort pictures here on OTSC’s Facebook page.

This was us in our first semester together, mental health immersion!

And this is us just last week, at our post-finals celebration!

PC: Caitlin Ito!

Cohort Buddies forever!


‘Tis the season to relax! →

Dec 16, 2014, by Brenda · email · Leave a comment

The first semester of our second year has come to an end. Mine came last Friday at 3:00pm to be exact. This semester was definitely a challenging one. Nevertheless, I am ready for this holiday break. Let the festivities begin! I plan to catch up on sleep and enjoy my time with loved ones. Hope you all have a safe and relaxing holiday season!


End of First Semester! →

Dec 14, 2014, by Bindi · email · Leave a comment

The last few weeks of the end of the semester was a busy busy time! Hence I apologize for the late blogging. It was assignments, presentations, exams, and paper submissions in a random and recurrent order until the last day! What a relief that day was.

Of course the completion of my first semester called for a celebration and as a foreigner in America I had to do the Cheese Cake Factory at a fancy mall ☺. I thoroughly enjoyed the food and a scrumptious pecan pumpkin cheesecake. 

Yummy Cheesecakes
Yummy Cheescakes

Lettuce Wraps
Lettuce Wraps

Fancy Mall

The day after finals most people sleep in, but then again I am not most people! I woke up early to study again for my Californian driving test, which didn’t happen due to several reasons that I shall not dwell upon. Followed by running around town completing errands such as returning borrowed books.

Friday evening was well spent at the San Antonio Winery (another first) for our Recruitment/Admissions Team holiday dinner. It was a wonderful laughter filled dinner with all the student ambassadors and Sarah Kelly, Helen Merseidi, Liz Carley and Kim Kelton! We exchanged gifts, and our most memorable and funny moments of this semester.

It has been a special semester for me and USC and LA has exceeded my expectations! It’s the holidays and I am in Summerville/ Charleston, South Carolina with the only and very special family I have in America, with the promise of putting on weight and recharging to fight on harder in the next and sighhh… my last semester.

Beautiful Summerville Sunset
Beautiful Summerville Sunset


Finding the Occupation in Occupational Therapy! →

Dec 8, 2014, by Claire · email · Leave a comment

What makes an occupational therapist a good occupational therapist?

The past few weeks, I have been so inspired by all the different kinds of activities that an occupational therapist can do to help individuals improve their participation in daily life activities!

One of my favorite highlights of this semester was working with a patient at my Level I Fieldwork site. He was referred to occupational therapy after a motor-vehicle accident that broke his right arm and and left leg. When we first met him, we interviewed him using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure and found out that he wants to get back to his hairdressing job! We also learned about his interest in cooking. During our treatment sessions, we would review some exercises in preparation for an occupation-based activity, which included making mashed potatoes (I learned his recipe—absolutely delicious. It’s all about adding a lot of butter) and braiding hair! As a Level I fieldwork student, our role includes observing the occupational therapists and also possibly participating in some of the treatment process. In this case, it meant that I volunteered my hair to be braided during the treatment session, and I also ended up receiving a free head massage! Besides all the laughter, our patient was able to practice standing for longer periods of time without crutches (important for one hair-cut session!) and using his muscles in ways that he would for doing someone’s hair. We learned a lot about both occupation-as-ends and occupation-as-means, and I felt like this treatment session really showed that. Our patient was participating in a purposeful activity which he was motivated about, but the occupational therapist was also analyzing his movement and problem-solving with the patient regarding challenges that he was facing while doing the activity. That’s super cool! I look forward to his recovery so that he can keep changing people’s lives—one hairstyle at a time.
Here’s a couple pictures of me with my new hair after the treatment session:

In class, we have been learning about developing treatment plans that help improve the daily functioning of our clients. We also looked at different kinds of adaptations that may be used in the kitchen. Here are some things that we did—a pie in time for Thanksgiving and a big brunch potluck in our occupations lab.

We are moving into our finals week—best of luck to all students, and I will update again soon!

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