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 |


Winter Break!

, by Alix

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I’m almost done with the Fall 2011 semester—one more final left tomorrow, and then I’ll have three weeks of break. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of movies, skiing, and possibly knitting a few scarves. And I’m glad that I won’t be braving the airports at all this holiday season, which is a nice change for me. Next semester is going to be a busy one: I’ll be taking four classes, teaching yoga, and working, along with all the usual craziness of wedding-planning and trying to fit in some fun. I’m especially looking forward to one of my courses, “Therapeutic Communication for the Healthcare Practitioner,” taught by one of my favorite professors, Dr. Linda Fazio. She’s going to teach us about how to use motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindfulness in our occupational therapy practice. I’ve always been interested in the psychosocial elements of therapy, so it should be a particularly useful class for me. But first: relaxation. Happy holidays to all.  :coolsmile:


Ode to Thanksgiving

, by Chelsea

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I am thankful for…

O pportunity to be at USC
C aring family
C razy friends
U ndergraduate memories at USC
P assionate teachers
A rt walks in downtown
T raveling to the snow
I nteresting classes
O utdoor ice skating rinks
N ot having school for a month after the semester ends
A mazing books
L os Angeles

T hanksgiving dinner
H ome in San Diego
E very sunset
R uns on the beach
A ctive lifestyle
P laying tennis
Y oga


Thanksgiving for Optimal Living with Multiple Sclerosis

, by Alix

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We just finished our last session of the “Optimal Living with Multiple Sclerosis” class, an elective I took this semester. It was a unique and useful course that gave me the chance to lead 1:1 occupational therapy sessions and groups for participants living with Multiple Sclerosis. 

The class also included a lot of good food (including a pizza-baking class earlier in the semester), and today we hosted a Thanksgiving potluck to express our thanks to the participants and to reward ourselves for a semester of hard work. (I made kale salad with pomegranate seeds, lemon, olive oil, and toasted sesame seeds.)

I am leaving the class with a much better understanding of how to be an occupational therapist for people with MS. I am also leaving with a great new recipe for chilli, courtesy of one of our participants. Finally, I got a chance today to chat with some of the PT students in the class. It’s a great feeling knowing that I’m collaborating with other disciplines for the good of our clients. I’m thankful for all that I learned in the class and for all of the enthusiasm and positivity that the participants brought to each session.

I hope you all have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!


OTs in intramurals

, by Chris

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Last week we played our final intramural flag football game of the season, and a dramatic one at that.  The game went into overtime with none other than Kim Perring snagging the game winning touchdown in the back corner of the endzone.  Our team finished 2-3, not bad for having to forfeit one game and play a man down for another game.  Up next is intramural basketball starting in the spring.  While we may be an average football team, we truly dominate in basketball.  Last year, the team finished 5-1, with the one loss coming on a forfeit due to fieldwork and springbreak. 

Next week I’ll be traveling back to the east coast to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family.  I’m pretty excited, but when I return schoolwork will be coming at me full-bore, I just need to stay on top of things and I’ll be fine.


Primary Care

, by Kimberly

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I just got back from USC-Eisner Family Medicine Center in downtown LA. For one of my electives this semester we are learning about and accumulating clinic hours in primary care settings. Primary care is a relatively new field for OT, but is an exciting one to be getting into. At Eisner we work right alongside the primary doctor to provide a more comprehensive care plan for the patient. Our scope of practice covers areas like pain management, weight management, functional assessments, organization, ergonomics, and work-life balance, to name a few.

This morning we worked briefly with a woman who is experiencing trouble with fatigue and mobility at work. She suffered a traumatic brain injury about 20 years ago and as a result has left foot drop and general left-side weakness which make it harder for her to walk. She has been mobile up until this point using the assistance of a walker and a cane while working her two jobs.  But recently she has found it more tiring to walk everywhere.

After talking with the woman, we scheduled a follow-up appointment for an ergonomic assessment and a work-site assessment. These will allow us to see what adaptations to the environment could be made to enable her to better do her job without fatigue. She was very excited at the prospect of working with us in the future and at how willing we are to address her needs in the settings where they occur. So far in this class, my clinic experiences have been really rewarding. A patient who comes in for a simple check-up, some low back pain, or a need to reduce their cholesterol usually leaves from OT feeling more empowered to make small changes in their daily lives for greater health.

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