New Feature: “OT Observations”

The “OT Observations” feature describes my experiences observing and learning from various occupational therapists in practice. Currently I am volunteering at an outpatient therapy clinic and observing the work of the therapists there.

This past October, I began volunteering in a local pediatric and adult outpatient therapy clinic. Multiple therapeutic disciplines are represented, and there are adult and pediatric occupational, speech and physical therapists at the clinic. I spend the majority of my time observing and/or playing with the clients of the therapist I’ll call “Helen.” Helen is an amazing therapist, a fantastic role model and another person who has been instrumental in helping me learn about and become more passionate about occupational therapy!

Just a little bit about Helen, for context – she’s been an OT for 17 years and she works with children and adults. She’s worked in home health, hospital and private outpatient settings, and has the vast amount of experience one would think goes with such a long career in OT! She is the first therapist who I’ve seen administering feeding therapy, early intervention with an infant, sensory integration treatments and basically any kind of pediatric therapy. I thought I wanted to work solely with adults in the future, but Helen has had a large part in changing my mind about that!

Initially, I only planned on volunteering until the end of the semester, in order to meet a graduate program’s volunteer hour requirements. However, being able to see all of the therapists and their different styles in action has kept me there for the past 6 months! I don’t know what I’m going to do when I have to leave, but I’m glad I have had the chance to see and learn about so many different things while I’ve been there.

I’m creating this “OT Observations” feature so that I can record and keep track of what I’m seeing now and perhaps link it to things I will learn in the future. Although my observations will be heavily inundated with my own commentary and musings, I hope they will be helpful for anybody interested in learning more about occupational therapy as well.

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