…I finally feel right at home.
I was born to work with kids. It is my passion and my calling. And yet, I have spent the last 15 months in academic and clinical learning environments that have taken me away from my passion. In OT school, you have to learn how to become an entry-level practitioner in any area of OT practice. My program has forced me to try other things.
But now I’m back.
I will spend the next 7 months at an incredible multidisciplinary pediatric clinic in Pasadena for my 2nd Level II OT fieldwork. The site, philosophy, and staff are amazing. Not to mention that the 7 minute drive is a welcome reprieve after spending the entire summer commuting to Long Beach for my 12-week-long Level II fieldwork. At this clinic I am involved with an Early Intervention Developmental Play Group (for kids 18-36 months, diagnosed with or at risk for autism) which is based on the SCERTS model, a Social Skills group (for 3-5 year olds, based on referrals and standardized assessments), and a diverse handful of individual clients. I am learning so much more than I ever would in the classroom – and that’s the point. I pursued this opportunity (a pediatric grant offered through my OT school) specifically so that I could gain invaluable clinical knowledge and experience that you just can’t get in the classroom. And the bonus is that I am doing this while I am still in school. This means that my 17 cohort-mates and I (who are all specializing in pediatric occupational therapy) get to learn, brainstorm, and problem solve on a weekly basis as we assimilate our clinical experience into our classroom learning.
I have been waiting a long time for this opportunity. And I’m so happy that it’s finally here. Even though I sometimes watch the therapists and fear that I can never be as good as they are, I just have to keep reminding myself that this is what I was created to do. And every day that I spend in that clinic reminds me of just how amazing it will be to someday be able to say that I am a licensed and registered pediatric occupational therapist…OTR/L!