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Sheena in Mumbai, India

49 months ago

You echo my thoughts. I feel the same - a pretender. I feel like I can teach somebody else to do this job, their relative or caretaker and contribute in a more meaningful way. Thanks, but it's really helped me to know that there are others who think this way.

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

49 months ago

Sheena in Mumbai, India said: You echo my thoughts. I feel the same - a pretender. I feel like I can teach somebody else to do this job, their relative or caretaker and contribute in a more meaningful way. Thanks, but it's really helped me to know that there are others who think this way.

You mean you think you can teach others what someone has already taught you?! Sounds like you might look into teaching. "There's nothing you can do that can't be done"(John Lennon). Hey, if it makes you feel any better, I could teach a monkey some of the skills in nursing, but that doesn't mean a monkey can comprehend the "why"(theory) they are doing it. Pretender or just educated? hmmm...

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Sheena in Mumbai, India

49 months ago

ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia said: You mean you think you can teach others what someone has already taught you?! Sounds like you might look into teaching. "There's nothing you can do that can't be done"(John Lennon). Hey, if it makes you feel any better, I could teach a monkey some of the skills in nursing, but that doesn't mean a monkey can comprehend the "why"(theory) they are doing it. Pretender or just educated? hmmm...

Yes, I understand what you're trying to tell me. I understand that I know what and why I'm trying to get the patient to achieve the things I want him to. Teaching, ummm, probably. I know rehab has a very important place in medicine, but tell me, isn't combining physical therapy and occupational therapy a brilliant idea?

And certainly, ADLs don't warrant the 4.5 years of school that I've toiled through (undergrad, and I'm yet to do Masters - another 2 years). I feel shortchanged.

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chris in Wakefield, Massachusetts

38 months ago

holy depressing.

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Trish in Grand Rapids, Michigan

27 months ago

You are in control of your own interventions. If you are working with an OT, express how you feel. If you are not happy with your interventions, and think they are mundane you have control to change your treatment.

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LH in Kingston, Washington

27 months ago

Tica in Springfield, Massachusetts said: For Felicia's offense, it doesnt really help to ask an occupational therapist how they feel about their job. They will never really tell you the truth because they are not supposed to, especially on the job. That why people find these forums good because it allow people to express themselves and their feeling about the job. An occupational therapist would never say to a person shadowing, "hey dont get into this field it is terrible". Do you really think they will tell you that on the job. However you can always figure them out by body language and how they work and respond to their patients. No verbal language and body language says it all when you trying to figure out if a therapist is really enjoying what they do. YOu may be right about switching careers or jumping to careers at age 42, it may be a little disturbing to the family, especiallly the children. However, like I mentioned before 20 years is alot of years to be working in a field you do not like. If you are not happy getting up every morning to go to work it will impact your family because you will be miserable.

I just came across this discussion group as I was considering making a change to the rehab field for the money. Currently, I work in the schools as an OTR. However, you have all caused me to hit the pause button on my possible job change. Neither the COTA no myself ever feel like we are not challenged in our jobs working with a variety of ages and diagnosis. It doesn't pay as much, but I look forward to work everyday, and I can see the difference I'm making. On another note, I have worked at a rehab hospital as a student, and saw the most phenomenal splint therapist around--he was a COTA. Change can be good if it challenges your little grey cells, Felicia.

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J.K in Ajax, Ontario

23 months ago

Tica in Springfield, Massachusetts said: I dont appreciate that comment. All I wanted to know is why you hate the job so much... Are you doing anything about it? Do you plan to make another career change? If so in what? I think you should if it makes you so unhappy like this. Also are you currently working as an OT now?? And im not an OT thank you, was planning to be but decided to not go into it.

Hi there Tica,

I was also in OT and decided I couldn't go back because of the stress. I felt overly bombarded, and burned out by the amount of info. Do you have a private email in which I could ask you questions? Thanks!

-J.K

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Sarah in Westminster, California

23 months ago

JK were you working in schools? Is every sector of OT this stressful???

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AC in Omaha, Nebraska

17 months ago

Felicia08 in Massachusetts said: I am miserable. I graduated last year w/ my associates in OT. I have been a COTA for a year now, and I absolutely hate it. I work in a snf, and I love working w/ the elderly, and the money is very good. heres the problem - I feel like a fraud . I feel like I am not really doing anything but ADL's (which a CNA can do), and lots and lots of simple UE strengthening exercises. That is all the other COTA's are doing, so i am not really learning anything new. It's all about keeping people on caseload, and documenting in the right way to get reimbursed. I do not feel I am making a difference in most of my patients, and i do not feel like i am doing anything that one needs a college education to do.

When I was in school, I kept waiting for something to click. It still hasn't clicked. Most of my interventions are ridiculously easy and mundane. it is almost insulting to the patients. I want to do better, but feel I have no resources or mentors.

Occupational therapy is way too broad, and I find that it just encompasses every other profession.

I want out. What to do next? I want to be a social worker, but the pay is so low, and it requires a masters - and I am in my 40's. I have also thought of starting a business doing something for elderly, but not sure exactly what. I have also thought about becoming a recreational director .

any thoughts of a a good second career after ot? I could just stay doing what i am doing, and raking in the money and never feeling like I am doing all that much good - but I don't want to spend the rest of my life like that.

thanks for listening.

felicia

maybe you are just not good at being an occupational therapy practicitioner, if you cannot see the value in what you do or use your clinical reasoning skills to build a skilled intervention to make your intervention stand out from what a CNA does, then you are right, this is not the job for you. Have you taken your concerns to the OT

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sull in Quincy, Massachusetts

17 months ago

I was a COTA for 15 yrs and felt the same way after awhile so I went back to OT school have you thought of going back to school ?

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sull in Quincy, Massachusetts

17 months ago

chris in Wakefield, Massachusetts said: holy depressing.

Chris did you pass your test?
or are you studying ?

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Julie in Biddeford, Maine

17 months ago

Let's make this simple. COTA = Occupational Therapy Assistant. If you're not creative and lack the know-how of how to advocate for better services you either A) shouldn't be in the field or B)need to find a new facility. I am a new OTR/L and your options are ENDLESS.... so broad is a good thing, you have the power to change your practice area. Also, yes, probably as a COTA you could just teach someone to do the exercises..but that is your job!!! As the OTR, we get the specialized training and courses to understand how and why the body/mind is functioning the way it is, therefore allowing US to evaluate, design, and implement treatment. You are failing the OTR and your patients by not speaking up about not seeing any changes, and at that point they should be D/C'd from services. If you can't help yourself you certainly shouldn't be helping others. OT is an amazing and crucial service, but it seems like you're not seeing results which is sad, and unfortunately no matter where you go there will always be people like you who have no idea why they're doing what they're doing or how it's working and I hope you do change careers... even if you became the therapist your working knowledge of the ability to change is lacking greatly. I could go on and on... just please leave or educate yourself (that goes to anyone not liking their job)on how to change the patient's goals... you're making patient's think OT is to learn how to throw a ball or wipe your behind, which sure if that's what they want to do we'll do it, but the point is that we know how to target the individual cognitively and physically to enable them to do that functional task. Also.. for whoever said about the individuals you could just stare at... what is wrong with you??? They can either benefit from services or not, have you ever asked your patient WHAT THEY LIKE OR ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT? And if they can't tell you FIGURE IT OUT.

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Doggiehearter in Central Coast, California

17 months ago

Hey can you message me by chance I just got into OT school (MOT) and would love your feedback. I like what you had to add to this conversation.

Thanks. :)

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Julie in Biddeford, Maine

17 months ago

Doggiehearter in Central Coast, California said: Hey can you message me by chance I just got into OT school (MOT) and would love your feedback. I like what you had to add to this conversation.

Thanks. :)

Hi Doggiehearter, I don't know how to message you, unless this is it! I simply joined to add my 2 cents, and could not believe some of the things I read. Like anything in life, it is what you make of it, and if you love helping people, building relationships, changing people's lives, are caring and compassionate you can't go wrong with OT!

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Ago in Papillion, Nebraska

17 months ago

Doggiehearter in Central Coast, California said: Hey can you message me by chance I just got into OT school (MOT) and would love your feedback. I like what you had to add to this conversation.

Thanks. :)

Some of these haters on this page wouldn't be happy with anything so they can go shovel s___- do for you! I love being an OT! Have I questioned my choices - yup a few times, but I circle back around and realize I can do amazing things as an OT! You can do good things!

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susan in Littleton, Colorado

13 months ago

Felicia08 in Massachusetts said: I am miserable. I graduated last year w/ my associates in OT. I have been a COTA for a year now, and I absolutely hate it. I work in a snf, and I love working w/ the elderly, and the money is very good. heres the problem - I feel like a fraud . I feel like I am not really doing anything but ADL's (which a CNA can do), and lots and lots of simple UE strengthening exercises. That is all the other COTA's are doing, so i am not really learning anything new. It's all about keeping people on caseload, and documenting in the right way to get reimbursed. I do not feel I am making a difference in most of my patients, and i do not feel like i am doing anything that one needs a college education to do.

When I was in school, I kept waiting for something to click. It still hasn't clicked. Most of my interventions are ridiculously easy and mundane. it is almost insulting to the patients. I want to do better, but feel I have no resources or mentors.

Occupational therapy is way too broad, and I find that it just encompasses every other profession.

I want out. What to do next? I want to be a social worker, but the pay is so low, and it requires a masters - and I am in my 40's. I have also thought of starting a business doing something for elderly, but not sure exactly what. I have also thought about becoming a recreational director .

any thoughts of a a good second career after ot? I could just stay doing what i am doing, and raking in the money and never feeling like I am doing all that much good - but I don't want to spend the rest of my life like that.

thanks for listening.

felicia

So you have one job and are ready to cash it in??? I have been an OT for over 40 years.... love every minute of it. Like adults? Try home health. Yes, SNF's do emphasize productivity. Activities too mundane?? Spice 'em up! Show some initiative! Get some resources, start thinking!!

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Lena in Sanford, Florida

4 months ago

Felicia08 in Massachusetts said: Some of my work definately overlaps CNA work - like when a pt's goals are dressing and bathing and toileting. I don't mind doing these things at all - just wonder why I am getting paid more than double the CNA's salary because I come armed w/ a long handled shoehorn and a dressing stick!!!! It's not rocket science.
the OT's I work w/ do mostly eval's and paperwork. We COTA's have much more pt contact. The OTR's I have worked w/ have been wonderful. I have found most people in this field to be geniunely nice and caring.

You sound very sensible to me. I'm in my 40's too and going to school to be a COTA and I'm finding that the field seems very broad to me as well. The OT community has done a lot to legitimize the field and that is why the pay for COTAs is so good. CNAs should have similar representation, which unfortunately they don't. You're right about the schooling too. It seems like a big waste of time. Originally, COTAs only had to take a 3 month course (back in the day) to become certified, now it's 2 years. I guess it is a way to justify the pay.

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HappyOtter in Austin, Texas

4 months ago

A year ago I felt the same way as the original poster on here. I spent way too long lurking around reading comments that reinforced my misery instead of getting off my ass and finding a setting that was a better fit for me.

As OTRs, our scope of practice does cover 7 areas...not just ADLs. If you don't like doing ADLs, don't choose a setting where that is the focus. One of our practice areas is WORK, which people seem to overlook. I traded in my scrubs for business suits and haven't looked back. You don't necessarily have to be all warm and fuzzy as an OTR, or choose your population based solely on age groups. And if you feel like OT overlaps too many other professions, then choose your specialty area and get so damn good at what you do that no one will question your ability - let your work speak for itself. I work in industrial rehab and ergonomics, and it suits my interests, fits with my personality, and gives me a way to do what I chose this career in order to do - make life better for people.

There are people who post in forums with good ideas, where the intention is to help out their fellow OTRs, and then there are people who spew poison. If you need some help, please ignore the poison, read the good advice offered by a handful of posters, and then get off your ass and go find your dream job! I know it's possible because I have found mine.

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youreabum in California

4 months ago

HappyOtter in Austin, Texas said: A year ago I felt the same way as the original poster on here. I spent way too long lurking around reading comments that reinforced my misery instead of getting off my ass and finding a setting that was a better fit for me.

As OTRs, our scope of practice does cover 7 areas...not just ADLs. If you don't like doing ADLs, don't choose a setting where that is the focus. One of our practice areas is WORK, which people seem to overlook. I traded in my scrubs for business suits and haven't looked back. You don't necessarily have to be all warm and fuzzy as an OTR, or choose your population based solely on age groups. And if you feel like OT overlaps too many other professions, then choose your specialty area and get so damn good at what you do that no one will question your ability - let your work speak for itself. I work in industrial rehab and ergonomics, and it suits my interests, fits with my personality, and gives me a way to do what I chose this career in order to do - make life better for people.

There are people who post in forums with good ideas, where the intention is to help out their fellow OTRs, and then there are people who spew poison. If you need some help, please ignore the poison, read the good advice offered by a handful of posters, and then get off your ass and go find your dream job! I know it's possible because I have found mine.

How's the ergonomics job going? I have a foreign education, BSc Occupational Therapy, moved to the US and can't get licensed because they now require a masters. Now I'm mulling it over if I'm going to take the 2 year, full time Master's course or the part time ergonomics(Option in Human Factors). Right now, I'm leaning towards ergonomics since it looks like it isn't saturated yet and I still get to use my Bachelor's knowledge. WhaddayathinK?

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