Student Ambassador Blog
A few weeks ago, Dr. Jesus Diaz and I made a visit to El Sereno Middle School! We spent our day in Mrs. Elizabeth Buck’s science classroom. During out visit, we had the chance to meet her 7th and 8th students and talk to them about the field of occupational therapy and teach them things, such as where OT’s work and who we treat. In addition, we were also able to share the value we see in pursuing college through our own college experiences here at USC! Mrs. Buck’s students were a pleasure to meet and we especially admired their respect and interest in our presentations. Specifically, we were very impressed on how well they were able to define occupational therapy after our group discussion. We appreciate the thanks and feedback they sent us and I would like to share some of these with you!
As an occupational therapy student, life is surely eventful! I find that my days are always spent socializing with others, whether it’s in the classroom with my professors, grabbing a coffee with my OT friends, working in the office with the student ambassadors, or eating dinner with my family. One of my favorite occupations, in addition to spending time with others, is to capture fun memories by taking photos! I take photos because I like to smile and share these memories with others. Here is a video of some of my memories that have been captured thus far this fall semester! Fight on!
Greetings! Hola! Bonjour! Ciao! 你好! Today we locally, nationally, and internationally celebrate our wonderful profession and all of the work that we do! Fight on!
As a Occupational therapy student, I am always on the go! Whether I am checking my email, reading an article, driving to school, or getting my daily exercise in, I find myself always occupied ☺ When I first started the master’s program, one of the challenges I came across was ensuring that I was eating healthy. With balancing a busy school schedule and workload, healthy eating can become less of priority. Skipping meals, buying snacks from the vending machines, or eating on the go can become commonplace, especially since all of these can save you time! Healthy eating requires time, planning, and yes, some money. However, healthy eating is possible and should be a priority, especially if you would like to optimize your learning!
Here are some strategies I use that support my healthy eating:
1. Plan Ahead: Make a list of meals and snacks you would like to eat for the week. Make sure within this list, you have a good balance among your fruits, vegetables, proteins, and carbohydrates. Using your time management skills to plan the food supplies you need can help ensure that your meals are healthy!
2. Buy and Cook in Bulk: Grocery shopping at bulk stores, such as Costco, has ensured that I have enough food for the week and I am getting the bang for my buck! Cooking in bulk means leftovers! Leftovers are great, especially when time is limited and do not want to cook as many meals during the week!
3. Bring your lunch and snacks to school: Yes, pack your snacks and lunch in your favorite lunch pail! Everyone does it ☺ your snacks and lunch doesn’t have to be boring! Pack some foods, such as Greek yogurt, fresh berries, vegetables and hummus, almonds, apples, and string cheese! Bringing your lunch and snacks to school help you avoid buying junk foods from the vending machine or stopping through a fast food drive through!
Remember, eating healthy can be fun! Use your creativity & do your online research to find what snacks/foods can best fit your daily routine!
One of the greatest perks about becoming an occupational therapist is that you have a variety of options to choose from when deciding where to work! Occupational therapists can practice in a variety of settings, which include but are not limited to hospitals, rehabilitation centers, home health, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, private practice, school systems, private organizations, industry, and community organizations! Occupational Therapy is a health profession that focuses on engaging individuals in meaningful occupations or activities. So… who are these “individuals”? And what makes an occupation “meaningful”?
During this past summer, I completed my level II fieldwork in the practice area of pediatrics at the non-profit, outpatient clinic Leaps and Bounds Pediatric Therapy in Norco, California. If you read Jessica’s prior post, she gives you plenty of detail of what a level II fieldwork is all about! During this fieldwork experience, I was able to apply the knowledge I learned from the classroom, develop my clinical reasoning skills, and get hands-on experience in treating children who are at risk for, or experience challenges, in participating in their everyday activities, such as playing with their favorite toys, that are typical and appropriate.
Isn’t he the cutest?!
One unique opportunity I received during my fieldwork experience was learning and implementing the treatment strategy of Hippotherapy on a ranch! I know what you’re thinking… she did therapy with hippos!? Well, not exactly! Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy that can be used by occupational therapists, as well as other health care providers, such as physical and speech therapists, to use the movement of the horse to improve their participation in everyday activities, whether this means to improve their posture to sit upright at a desk when writing or strengthen their core to bend and tie their shoes!
Of course, I had to find out what this sensory experience was all about!