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

Mari

A Wonderful Day of FUN!

, by Mari

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PTE’s 3rd Annual Occupational Extravaganza!

Last weekend, USC’s Pi Theta Epsilon (National OT Honor Society), aka. PTE, put on our big event of the year—The 3rd Annual Occupational Extravaganza! This is an event that has been hosted every year by the current 2nd year Master’s students in PTE. It was held at USC’s Center for Occupation and Lifestyle Redesign, a beautiful Victorian-style house, just up the street from USC’s University Park Campus. It was a special day to show off our wonderful profession through yummy food, crafts, research projects, speakers, and panelists from Good Samaritan Hospital in LA. As a part of the PTE board, it took a lot of planning and organizing, but the event turned out great, and despite the expected rain, there was a pretty big turn out! Those who attended the event were USC OT 1st/2nd/OTD students, USC OT alumni, CSU Dominguez Hills OT students, USC OT faculty/staff, OT’s from our student’s fieldwork sites, staff from Good Sam Hospital, students admitted into our OT program, and children from ENGAGE. ENGAGE is a volunteer community organization to help children in the area participate in meaningful occupations, and it is run by the residents of the OT House. So, it was definitely a huge OT event and a great way to kick off OT month in April! Our PTE members were able to put together a wonderful day of fun! Here are some pictures!

Crafts

We made Valentine’s Day trinket boxes using tiles and grout.

Here’s Dr. Florence Clark, the head of our OT department, as well as, the President-elect of AOTA (American OT Association), sharing some of her wisdom with us as we make beautiful origami cranes.



And we also made stress balls using balloons and flour.

Research

Here’s a small view of the research that was displayed. Research projects were done by current USC faculty (Well Elderly Study, PUPS), OTD students, and current Master’s students.

Speakers/Panel

We also had three wonderful speakers, each owning their own private practice (Susan Harris, Tammy Richardson, and Erna Blanche), and below, is our interdisciplinary panel from Good Sam, consisting of an OT, OT student from CSU Dominguez Hills, a rehab director, a nurse, two PT’s, and a SLP. Using a case study of an actual patient they all had treated, they discussed the treatment plan and role of interdisciplinary care with this patient.

Here’s a picture of me with Dr. Jeanne Jackson (a faculty advisor of PTE) and Phoebe (co-president of PTE).

Overall, it was a very enjoyable and successful day! =)

Michelle

5 weeks closer to graduation…

, by Michelle

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It’s week 5 of the last semester of my masters. I gotta say it feels good grin. Even though I still have a couple large hurdles to get through before I actually get to accomplish my dream of having a job and being a “real OT”.  At this point I have already started looking online for jobs, and wouldn’t you know that a couple days ago I found an awesome job listing in DC for my dream job.

But now back to life… this past Saturday we had the OT extravaganza. The extravaganza is a chance to celebrate Occupational Therapy! It’s the third time that we’ve had one and except for the rain I think that it was a huge success! Mari, one of the other student ambassadors was responsible for putting the event on and she had asked me and some friends to present a project that we had made last year.  Our project was very popular and I enjoyed talking about it so much.

Here’s a picture of my group at the extravaganza.

Sarah

First Post

, by Sarah

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To be honest, I didn’t know what OT was until my junior year of college. At that time, I knew I wanted to go into a healthcare profession that helped people, specifically children. I was studying psychology, and I really enjoyed it, but I couldn’t really see myself becoming a psychologist or counselor. I wanted to do something that was more hands-on, more medically based, but still incorporated psychology. My friend, who was in the program, told me to check out the website, and I realized that OT was the profession I’ve been looking for!

Myka

Why I Am In OT School

, by Myka

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It took me some research and experience to figure out what I wanted to do for a career.

When I was an undergraduate at USC, I was always asked how I would combine my two majors of creative writing and neuroscience.  “Are you going to write childrens’ books about brains?” people would eagerly ask. Honestly, that didn’t sound half bad! However, I had always had a passion for working with people and wanted to do something with healthcare. I was half-heartedly considering medical school (as my father had always wanted me to be a pediatrician) but it just didn’t feel right (and I have an irrational fear of vomiting and can’t handle blood). I really wanted to merge my creative side with the scientific knowledge I had accumulated. When I was a sophomore in college, I was co-president of the Neuroscience Honors Society and hosted a meeting to discuss healthcare careers. My gerontology professor came to speak and he told us about careers such as physical therapy, audiology, and occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy sounded perfect as it used narrative theory to understand people’s life stories, creativity in therapy, and science-based practice. I researched the profession for awhile and read the Eleanor Clark Slagle lectures (lectures given every year at the annual OT conference) from the past 50 years or so in a book to understand the profession more. I loved what I read and felt that I would be a great fit in the profession. I would be able to work individually with clients to effect change in their lives while being creative and scientific! I started working at a local pediatric clinic and really enjoyed the work I did there with the OTs while gaining experience in the field. Now that I am in the Master’s program and learning even more, I am only more excited to contribute to the future of the profession!

Michelle

First Post

, by Michelle

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So as a first post all of the ambassadors decided that we would post how our love of OT began, or at least how we decided it’s what we wanted to do with our lives:

When I began my undergraduate career I thought that I would eventually be going to medical school. My plan was finish undergrad, apply to medical schools and become a pediatrician. I have loved kids ever since I can remember and I have always planned on working with them.  But then junior year came and I definitely did not have the grades that a person would need to get into medical school and so I started to search out other options.

I quickly decided to pick Physical Therapy because I knew that I could still specialize in working with children and it was still in the medical field. By this time, I only had one more summer before graduation. So in April I started calling clinics in my hometown trying to find anyone that would let me volunteer and observe in their pediatric PT office. I called 7 clinics that day and only one called me back. The clinic that called my back was called “OT 4 Kids”, obviously an Occupational Therapy Clinic, although at the time I had no idea. When I had called them, I remember thinking that because it came up in my google search it must be the same thing as PT.

Well the OT in charge of the clinic asked me to come in for an interview. I came in and immediate loved the clinic it just looked so fun, she explained to me that she would pay me to clean, copy papers and observe. I loved working there that summer and I quickly fell in love with the practice of OT. It was something about how they worked with the kids, always letting them find their way and not forcing them into anything.  The OTs working at the clinic all would constantly explain to me what they were doing and why they were doing it.

After that summer I knew that OT was my calling and it wasn’t a coincidence that their clinic was the only one to call me back. Check out this video posted on the US News & World Report website by my first OT mentor from OT 4 Kids http://usnews.feedroom.com/?fr_story=FRdamp324632.

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