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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Fight on in Fieldwork ✌


by Kat

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Fieldwork What are OS/OT?

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October 21st–25th . . . my full week of fieldwork . . .

This semester, for my adult rehab level I fieldwork, I was placed at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. A moment of honesty . . . prior to this placement I had little knowledge about what OTs did in the hospital setting. I remember walking in on my first day in scrubs and not knowing what to expect. On my first day I got put to the test though! My CI (clinical instructor) had a patient that was in the ICU (intensive care unit) who she was going to co-treat with a PT. The patient’s case was quite complicated and they needed help. I helped manage the patient’s lines (meaning I helped with all of the IV’s and tubes) as the OT and PT helped the patient sit on the edge of his bed. This small task of managing a patient’s lines gave me great insight into the impact that an acute inpatient OT can have on a person. Throughout my time at St. John’s I have learned that OTs in the hospital setting are essential to the safety and quality of life of patients. Not only do they ensure that a patient can be safe with their self-care routine, but they also help develop or fine tune the skills necessary for patients to be able to continue participating in the activities that are important to them — their meaningful occupations!

During my full week, I was able to see so many things. I was in the inpatient wings, the NICU (with the wittle babies!), and also had a trip down to the ER to see what a respiratory therapist does and how their work can influence the work an OT does. I was busssyyy! But I had so much fun. Also, how cool is it that my CI is an alumni from USC?! I can honestly say that I am blessed to be shadowing and working with the AMAZING Ally Buescher. I have learned so much from her. She has high expectations for me as a level I student which is pushing me to develop my clinical reasoning skills. She also has so much knowledge about the field and about the program at USC, which is helpful when I have a million questions.

USC has a deep line-up when it comes to networking. USC releases talented OTs into the world and many of them host students for their fieldwork. We literally have people everywhere! National and international possibilities are available. It is nice to know that as a student, I am well taken care of by the fieldwork coordinators here in the Chan Division. The fieldwork opportunities I have been able to experience so far have been one of a kind. My first ever level I fieldwork experience was a competitive Skid Row Housing Trust position where I was mentored by the renowned Dr. Deborah Pitts! This specific mentorship was made possible because of a city grant that was established for the Fall of 2018. Here’s a little more info about Level I fieldwork.

Long story short, my full week of fieldwork was a blast and USC offers remarkable fieldwork experiences!

Pictured is me with my CI from fieldwork holding up the Fight On sign

Ally and I reppin that Trojan life! Fight on! ✌ PS, we coordinate our shoe game