Fieldwork II: Saying YES to Taking on New Challenges
March 10, 2021
As I enter into the third week of my level II pediatric fieldwork at Hiller Therapy, I am shocked by how much I have already grown as a practitioner. I was extremely nervous coming into this fieldwork placement because pediatrics had been the most difficult practice immersion for me. I never felt fully comfortable with the material and I didn’t believe that I had the right character traits to work with kids (creativity being an important one!).
Now I am sitting here, writing this blog post and realizing that I had underestimated myself. I feel as though I can create fun and engaging treatment sessions, help children meet their goals, and develop appropriate goals after doing an evaluation. All of this after just two weeks! You might be thinking…Savi…how is that possible? All it took was saying YES to any opportunity to be hands-on with clients and leaning on the professionals around me to look over my work and give me honest reviews.
In the first week, I said yes to taking on half a client load filled with children of all ages. This forced me to quickly pick up on developmental milestones and differing interests. After a few days, I became familiar with my resources and began developing more and more creative treatment plans. I said yes to running evaluations I had never tried before and taking on new projects – such as developing a school-based OT assessment. These were not things I was comfortable with initially, but by being honest with my OT about my perceived skillset and having her there to help me if I ever became confused or overwhelmed, I felt more confident taking on challenges in my first few weeks.
By saying yes to these opportunities, I quickly realized that I knew more than I thought I did and that I was WAY more competent than I had initially believed.
Do I have a ways to go to become a proficient pediatric OT…Yes of course I do! Although I have a lot to work on and a lot more to learn, I am now excited and not nervous walking into the clinic each day. I am becoming more comfortable with treatment planning and going with the flow because kids can be kids and you can’t always micromanage and control each session.
I say yes to opportunities I have time for and I am honest with my OT if I am feeling overwhelmed. This has taught me how to communicate openly with my co-workers and to learn from their years of pediatric OT experience to become an asset to them whenever I can.
If you are reading this before a Level II fieldwork experience in a setting that you might not be extremely comfortable in, know that it is ok to feel nervous and maybe even scared to fail. This is a learning experience so take advantage of the opportunities presented to you, say YES to taking on challenges you may not feel capable of overcoming, and lean on the brilliant OTs (or other healthcare practitioners) around you to get a few words of wisdom and support whenever you need it. You are more capable than you believe…trust yourself and enjoy the ride!