The 2020 (course) Elections
Welcome back everyone, and happy 2020! I hope you all had a restful and restoring winter break. I flew home to Japan for the full four weeks and I got to travel all over with my family. I spent some time in northern Japan, snowboarding and skiing in the snowy mountains, as well as in Japan’s southernmost tropical island, scuba diving and sightseeing! I feel like I experienced all four seasons in four weeks. Now I’m back in school, my jetlag has passed, and I am officially back on the grind. I’m beginning my last semester of classes for the master’s program, which means (as many of you may know)… electives! The Chan Division offers a wide variety of elective courses to choose from and these courses prepare you in specialty areas that you may want to pursue once you get out into the real world. You also have the option to take courses in other USC schools, such as the school of business, public policy, arts and sciences, etc. I’ll share with you today the courses that I’m taking, but past ambassadors have also written blog posts about what classes they took so be sure to check those out if you’re interested in learning more about what goes on in each class.
- OT 561: Occupation Therapy in Acute Care
For anyone interested in working in hospitals eventually or anyone interested in learning the more medical side of OT, this class is fantastic. This course goes over various systems of the human body and the implications for therapy when a person has issues in any of them. You get a sneak peek into the exciting and fast-paced life of an acute care OT and even get to observe it first hand through the clinical hands-on portion of the class! Similar to Level 1 fieldwork, you get paired with a clinical instructor at Keck Hospital and you get to follow them for several sessions throughout the semester. We learn the names of common illnesses and their treatments, medical devices, and so on. Even though I’ve only sat through two lectures for this course so far, I already know that it’s going to be one of my favorites.
- OT 578: Therapeutic Communication for the Healthcare Practitioner
This course can be beneficial for anyone, regardless of what setting you’re interested in going into. You honestly don’t even have to be pursuing OT to benefit from this course. It trains you in a skill called Motivational Interviewing, which is a therapeutic communication style that can be used to facilitate change in clients. It also covers mindfulness practices, which can be a tool for myself as well in my own daily life. I know it’s going to make me a more effective communicator and a better listener for my friends, family, and clients so I’m really excited to learn more and practice.
- OT 579: Occupation-Based Adult Neurorehabilitation
During my fieldwork experiences, I had the opportunity to work with several patients with spinal cord injuries and strokes. It can be devastating to lose function in your arms and legs and as you can imagine, OT can play a huge role in these people’s recoveries. This course teaches you and lets you practice various assessments that you may use in a neurorehab setting. We learn to analyze movement and consider how neurological impairments interfere with people’s ability to engage in meaningful occupations. It’s hands-on; students practice on each other while the professor demonstrates, and it’s all really interesting. As someone that wants to work in a variety of fields within the adult population, preferably in a hospital, this course supplies me with knowledge and skills that I know will come in handy during my career.
There are so many other classes that I was interested in taking, but time and the allowed number of units forced me to pick and choose. If you’re interested in learning about all the elective courses, check out the Chan website. I’m enjoying all of my classes so far, so I know it’s going to be a fast, exciting semester. And then I graduate! 😮 Have a great semester, everyone.