What is a good undergraduate degree if your going into Occupational Therapy?

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Learning Something New Everyday in California

76 months ago

I am at a community college at the moment getting a associate's of arts degree with mental health specialist concentration. From there I don't know what to get an undergrad in? I was thinking sociology, psychology or something like that. Does it really even matter as long as I meet the requirements?

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

76 months ago

Learning Something New Everyday in California said: I am at a community college at the moment getting a associate's of arts degree with mental health specialist concentration. From there I don't know what to get an undergrad in? I was thinking sociology, psychology or something like that. Does it really even matter as long as I meet the requirements?

I see nobody is replying to your post. Well, I can't speak from experience as I am in the same boat as you. I can say that through my research of the different schools, degrees in social sciences seem to be the most beneficial. Psychology and Sociology are the two big ones that I keep seeing pop up. Also, Exercise Science is a good one too that applicants come from according to these school websites. It sounds like you are already pointed in the right direction with your Associate's. I am majoring in Psychology for my undergrad at the moment. Many of the prereqs. from various schools can easily be covered in a Psych. degree. The exception would be the A&P classes, physics, chem. where noted, but those can easily fit into a free electives portion of a Psych. degree. You may end up still needing to take one or two prereqs. when you are finished with your degree, but anything that concentrates on human behaviors and/or disorders seems to be beneficial according to what the schools have listed. Also, you could consider the BS/MS track for OT as many schools offer that route too. Hope this helps!

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monimel in New Orleans, Louisiana

76 months ago

I am ready to enter the medical field. I have been interested in physical therapy and occupational therapy because of my interest in anatomy and physiology. I have shadowed both for a short time. I am also very interested in becoming a physician assistant. My true interest is diagnosing and treating illnesses. I have no desire at this time to become a nurse, although much of my research says that is one of the types of experience that pa applicants tend to have. Does anyone have any advice on how to make a decision that would best suit my interests?

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Learning Something New Everyday in California

76 months ago

ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia said: I see nobody is replying to your post. Well, I can't speak from experience as I am in the same boat as you. I can say that through my research of the different schools, degrees in social sciences seem to be the most beneficial. Psychology and Sociology are the two big ones that I keep seeing pop up. Also, Exercise Science is a good one too that applicants come from according to these school websites. It sounds like you are already pointed in the right direction with your Associate's. I am majoring in Psychology for my undergrad at the moment. Many of the prereqs. from various schools can easily be covered in a Psych. degree. The exception would be the A&P classes, physics, chem. where noted, but those can easily fit into a free electives portion of a Psych. degree. You may end up still needing to take one or two prereqs. when you are finished with your degree, but anything that concentrates on human behaviors and/or disorders seems to be beneficial according to what the schools have listed. Also, you could consider the BS/MS track for OT as many schools offer that route too. Hope this helps!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question!

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

76 months ago

monimel in New Orleans, Louisiana said: I am ready to enter the medical field. I have been interested in physical therapy and occupational therapy because of my interest in anatomy and physiology. I have shadowed both for a short time. I am also very interested in becoming a physician assistant. My true interest is diagnosing and treating illnesses. I have no desire at this time to become a nurse, although much of my research says that is one of the types of experience that pa applicants tend to have. Does anyone have any advice on how to make a decision that would best suit my interests?

If u like the idea of diagnosing, then PA would be the way to go. However, you will be a PA and not an actual MD....always in the shadow of the physician and needing them to practice under. Sorta like being an OTA or PTA.

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

76 months ago

Learning Something New Everyday in California said: I am at a community college at the moment getting a associate's of arts degree with mental health specialist concentration. From there I don't know what to get an undergrad in? I was thinking sociology, psychology or something like that. Does it really even matter as long as I meet the requirements?

For an undergrad degree it really doesn't matter what degree you have as long as you have a degree and the prereqs. Most programs actually like "diversity" in educational backgrounds from science to business to arts etc etc. Also they like a variety of students of differing experiences with regards to age, work history, ethnicity, etc etc.

Don't be fooled thinking that a psych or socio degree will give you a better chance of getting in than, let's say, an accounting degree. At least an accounting degree you can work as an accountant. Computer degree, you can work with that as well. But a degree in psych, can't do much with that. I have a BA in psych and regret spending my undergrad getting it. College costs sooooooo much money these days that its ridiculous to spend thousands of $$$$$ on a degree that is just a stepping stone for the even more expensive Master's degree. If you don't get accepted first time around, at least you can be more marketable with a business/ computer background vs. psych/ rehab specialist degree while you wait to reapply. What is rehab specialist anyway???

I would also consider Speech Therapy. Very specialized, respected, and tons of opportunity. Not to mention not too rigorous on the body vs. OT/PT.

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Learning Something New Everyday in California

76 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said: For an undergrad degree it really doesn't matter what degree you have as long as you have a degree and the prereqs. Most programs actually like "diversity" in educational backgrounds from science to business to arts etc etc. Also they like a variety of students of differing experiences with regards to age, work history, ethnicity, etc etc.

Don't be fooled thinking that a psych or socio degree will give you a better chance of getting in than, let's say, an accounting degree. At least an accounting degree you can work as an accountant. Computer degree, you can work with that as well. But a degree in psych, can't do much with that. I have a BA in psych and regret spending my undergrad getting it. College costs sooooooo much money these days that its ridiculous to spend thousands of $$$$$ on a degree that is just a stepping stone for the even more expensive Master's degree. If you don't get accepted first time around, at least you can be more marketable with a business/ computer background vs. psych/ rehab specialist degree while you wait to reapply. What is rehab specialist anyway???

I would also consider Speech Therapy. Very specialized, respected, and tons of opportunity. Not to mention not too rigorous on the body vs. OT/PT.

Thanks for that! That was one of the things I was worried about as well. I want every degree I get to be useful in some way.

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

76 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said: For an undergrad degree it really doesn't matter what degree you have as long as you have a degree and the prereqs. Most programs actually like "diversity" in educational backgrounds from science to business to arts etc etc. Also they like a variety of students of differing experiences with regards to age, work history, ethnicity, etc etc.

Don't be fooled thinking that a psych or socio degree will give you a better chance of getting in than, let's say, an accounting degree. At least an accounting degree you can work as an accountant. Computer degree, you can work with that as well. But a degree in psych, can't do much with that. I have a BA in psych and regret spending my undergrad getting it. College costs sooooooo much money these days that its ridiculous to spend thousands of $$$$$ on a degree that is just a stepping stone for the even more expensive Master's degree. If you don't get accepted first time around, at least you can be more marketable with a business/ computer background vs. psych/ rehab specialist degree while you wait to reapply. What is rehab specialist anyway???

I would also consider Speech Therapy. Very specialized, respected, and tons of opportunity. Not to mention not too rigorous on the body vs. OT/PT.

I understand what you mean when you say the programs are looking for diversity. I would not discredit a degree in sociology or psychology though. True, with the economy, any job is going to be hard to grab with an undergrad in anything, but to say that you can't do much with a psych. degree doesn't really add up. There are several fields that respect the degree first of all. Second of all, there are many graduate programs that a psych. degree is good preparation for. Many graduates pursue graduate studies in counseling, public health, administration, and even psych. doctorates. Every degree is just a stepping stone. You have to work to get work.

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

76 months ago

Your degree is as good as you make it out to be. I know people with undergrads in English who are working in management for companies, and some who are settling for less doing things that don't require a degree because they have this mindset that their degree is useless. Well, if you feel that way about your degree, the facts of what you could be doing with it won't matter to you.

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

76 months ago

me again in Costa Mesa, California said: Only difference, an OT degree is worthless b/c the "profession"
is worthless. You can't compare apples to nuts - nuts being
OT. In this economy, someone with a degree in English may
have to work in another area for awhile - just reality.
But, it's an improvement over anything OT has to offer.

I wasn't speaking for those who are trying to make ends meet while looking for something that they could apply there education to. I was speaking for those who have false assumptions about their degree or simply do not make it work for them. For the above example, Psychology is what I was really pointing to. Many fields respect the degree. Plus, one can actually work in the field if they choose to. In other words, sometimes it is not the degree, and it is just the person who does nothing with their degree(OT included).

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

76 months ago

Also, how is an OT degree useless if you enjoy the career? I need something for comparison, a standard that I can weigh such a statement as "worthless b/c the "profession" is worthless". What does this mean? Why would, for example, the U.S. Army recruit and employ OTs if they didn't find it to be a valuble profession? Obviously, they are using OTs and want them as well as places all over the world..hmmm?

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

76 months ago

Oh, hello Jillian. How's life?

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

Learning Something New Everyday in California said: I am at a community college at the moment getting a associate's of arts degree with mental health specialist concentration. From there I don't know what to get an undergrad in? I was thinking sociology, psychology or something like that. Does it really even matter as long as I meet the requirements?

It really doesn't matter, but would definitely be an advantage to you as to what you have as a subject as your background.

For example, if you plan on working in the hospital, I'd strongly suggest a good understanding about anatomy/physiology/kinesiology/neruoscience.

If you continue in the mental health/psychology, sociology, anthropology areas- it would likely benefit you in the mental health setting.

If you continue in child development, psychology, anthro, sociology, etc. it would benefit you in pediatrics.

The important thing is that you complete the pre-requisites to the program you want to get into. The program itself will prepare you to know what you need to know for the profession itself- having a background in your undergrad/junior-college will be an advantage in various areas of the curriculum... it will definitely give you a unique perspective on things as you learn about OT.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia said: Also, how is an OT degree useless if you enjoy the career? I need something for comparison, a standard that I can weigh such a statement as "worthless b/c the "profession" is worthless". What does this mean? Why would, for example, the U.S. Army recruit and employ OTs if they didn't find it to be a valuble profession? Obviously, they are using OTs and want them as well as places all over the world..hmmm?

Yes, you are correct, it is internationally known that OT is a necessary field- especially in the new areas of military units. OTs have a skill that others do not have. Ex- OT's are skilled to provide counseling services, transition from service to civilian jobs, and provide life skills training- amputations, physical disabilities, etc. OT has a rich history and influence from the medical model, anthropology, psychology, sociology, and much more. OTs have such a wide array of skill set that it can be implemented in many areas. Don't believe that b/c the profession is so expansive and diverse that it is 'weak.' On the contrary, you don't have to have a specialized area of focus to be perceived as 'strong.' Each discipline has their limitations. So keep that in mind- if OT is unable to address an area, there's definitely going to be an PT, ATC, RN, SLP, MD, SW, etc to address it. That happens to all areas-

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

me again in Simi Valley, California said: It's not about your "enjoying" the career. The issue is the
pt. - is the pt. receiving skilled services from a skilled
professional. OT lacks in these areas severely. It's hit and miss
and hitting the high spots and billing for whatever. You may enjoy
doing that - but, the pt. is ultimately paying the bill for your
OT nonsense and they may not enjoy that so much. How many pts. refuse
OT b/c of the nonsense - they're not stupid... I've seen' so many
pts. not receiving the needed treatment or the wrong treatment from OTs when'
PTs should have seen the pt. in the first place. It's a long, confusing story
and doubt you'll be able to understand.

On the contrary medicine itself is a hit or miss. Medicine provides many different treatments until they find something that works. OT provides skilled services as other practitioners do. Don't be fooled by the hit of miss idea- PT provides many exercises that may or may not address the issue either. I mean who woulda thought that by slapping on some e-modalities on a pt. while sleeping, that a PT could bill for therapy? Nonsense therapy? I think the patient needs to know that they are in therapy and know why they are getting billed for e-modalities when they aren't consciously experiencing it.

Addressing the "it's a long, confusing story and doubt you'll be able to understand," quote is that OT and can and should open a case independently. The issue is political and I'm glad to say that OT has begun to make headway on the issue of opening cases without the initial review of other disciplines such as PT. The story is really about money and lobbying. Politically if OT can continue lobbying for itself, then we would be on equal grounds. Unfortunately, history shows that OT was not at the table during policy making.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

me again in Simi Valley, California said: Know to whom? The world of OT. Their grandiosity is overwhelming. I think
it's symptomatic of a larger problem. They're the psych. "experts" so they
should know.

I find your reasoning to contradict your perception. In fact PT has come about through MD's and yet they are not MD 'experts' just as OT has been closely tied to psychology they are not 'experts' either. PT practices exercises that the MD can just as easily conjure up. OT can implement counseling and assessments as psychs do. I believe you are trying to put OT in a box of its own by saying that we are not our own discipline, but in fact the same is true of PT. At one point, OT and PT were under the same umbrella of MD's and the medical model. We practice each in our own distinct domains. OT is not a 'copy-cat' of psych, rather, influenced by multiple disciplines. ATCs however are their own blend of PT. I will not argue about how ATCs carry similar skill sets of PT and demean them. They are influenced by medicine in general. The deception is believing that PT is its own discipline. OT has tried to do all and be all. The truth is that the need for OT was there in the beginning and that the skills were so needed of them because other professions could not implement the treatments given by OTs. Unfortunately, the field expanded faster than the practitioners and such was lost, rather the birth of other disciplines arose and OT is proud to have created such opportunities. Once again, the deception is not that OT is an expansive field, but that many cannot see the evidence-based research behind the treatments given.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

me again in Simi Valley, California said: Unfortunately, you're just regurgitating everything you've been
told to believe in school. There's no personal experience involved or
minimal. But, not like that in the real world. OTs are not that
respected - they're only there b/c of the $$. They don't have the
in-depth skills needed to perfrom in all of these speciality areas.
It's just so very weird and strange for a discipline to have such
an elevated sense of themselves as a can-do all - and better than others.
It's just a bit too much to swallow - and most normal, rational people
see right through the propaganda.

I believe that a new era is beginning- such that ideals and negative perceptions of the field, both external and internal, will be proactively defended against. The questions are WHO does not respect OT and WHY? If they can be addressed, then all the better for the profession. As a student, I find such discussions appealing as to why such individuals perceive themselves as limited in potential. Why does OT have to be seen as mediocre? Why would it seem to other that OT is 'better than others' as you put it? OT if anything should not be a threat as it seems- when the field wants to progress. And it should not limit itself to average patient care. Such are rational ideas and questions to have. I'd go as far as saying that rational people would stop and think about why such issues arise around OT and attempt to proactively find a solution.

I do have a limited exposure to the workforce, but that still doesn't mean your reasoning disproves anything. However, I would like to hear more about specific examples.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

You just made it easy to respond to- with occupational science, the 'shallow knowledge/skill base' will be deepened. It will take time, but if that's a problem area, then it's being currently address with current research. And if research is the only thing hold OT down, then there won't be a problem once more research is conducted on the significant outcomes of treatment by OT.

OT is not the only discipline that is hit or miss. All areas are. This is huge misconception on your part. The best of the best psychiatrists, MDs, social workers, etc can't provide exact/perfect solutions. I don't understand why this is an area of discussion in many blogsites- it's actually interesting to see each time.

I'd like to know more about the behind the scenes talk? I don't believe in ruffling feathers or pushing OT ideals/flags/ banners/praises whatever you call them in people's faces, but the being in the classroom isn't an excuse I use to shy away from issues. Again, I hear all about what OT's aren't- real professionals, serious, skilled, work just for $, etc.

Who are real professionals? And who is not impressed?

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

76 months ago

me again in Simi Valley, California said: It's not about your "enjoying" the career. The issue is the
pt. - is the pt. receiving skilled services from a skilled
professional. OT lacks in these areas severely. It's hit and miss
and hitting the high spots and billing for whatever. You may enjoy
doing that - but, the pt. is ultimately paying the bill for your
OT nonsense and they may not enjoy that so much. How many pts. refuse
OT b/c of the nonsense - they're not stupid. As well, OTs are given
pts. to see that they're not really skilled to treat - but they do
anyway - do something, anything, call it therapy and bill. I've seen' so many
pts. not receiving the needed treatment or the wrong treatment from OTs when'
PTs should have seen the pt. in the first place. It's a long, confusing story
and doubt you'll be able to understand.

Well, your doubt is your folly. I understand more than you know. For example, I understand that you portraying therapy as an exact science which it is not. In fact, medicine is not an exact science. I understand that you would rather assume you know me and criticize my curiousity and respect for the field. As far as patients go, they are all different, and some don't even won't a doctor messing with them so this doesn't tell me anything. I know a woman who just came out of some home health care. She had visiting OTs and spoke very highly of them. She enjoyed all they did for her rehab. Bottom line, the repeated, round and round we go, subjective opinion is not going to really be a benifit to me, especially since you like to talk down to me everytime you reply to me. Don't waste your time being my Grand Master OT ok?

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

76 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said: I agree many degrees are stepping stones but psychosocio ones are at the bottom of the totem pole I believe. Sure a degree in anything is better than no degree, my point was to comment on what undergrad degrees are good for OT. I was saying it's a misconception that just because its psychosocio based doesn't give that OT applicant an advantage in getting accepted. When I was graduating from undergrad with my BA in psych, the psych chairperson gave us a list of "what you can do with your psych degree." He basically said you can be creative and not limit your self to just applying to grad school the following year despite having no clue what to major in. Things on the list were: retail, civil service jobs, basic research/ survey, corrections officer, entry-level counseling, group home counselor, etc etc. These are jobs not really specific to having an ever-so awesome Psychology degree. Although I respect your replies, a Psychology new grad is not going to have the greatest options fresh out of school even if he/she thought the world of his/her degree. Kids are easily spending up to 100K for a BA or BS. I just think that money needs to be better spent is this economy than on a Psychology or Sociology degree. Now if money is not an issue, then by all means a BA in Underwater Basket Weaving would be a nice degree pursuit as well. ;-)

Well, I understand what you are saying. I would never spend a ridiculous amount on any undergrad degree. Unfortunately, I never had the priviledge to waste mommy and daddy's money as some do. I will probably be 10K in debt at the most when I am done with mine. That is nothing! Personally, I chose Psych. because that is the direction I am going in. I am considering OT, but mind you, it is just a consideration. I am also considering other things that are psychosocial related such as graduate studies in psych. I am certainly not just picking the major just for the sake of having a degree.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

You could write a book, but it would be full of hot air. Research behind OT will be what maintains the boundaries of OT. What is considered unskilled work to you, is what you ought to write about- you lack of reasoning for your complaints. Research and multidisciplinary constructs are what help each discipline in their own areas.

OT has had issues with identity- I will agree with that. The funny thing now is, with the current activity to create a solid identity, more disciplines are trying to tear it apart? Interestingly enough, they are trying to invade OTs domain while OT is and will maintain it's practicing boundary.

OT the lay our "marvelous things the can do"- and it's because those other disciplines cannot do it such a way as OT. For example, a psychologist cannot implement physical disability treatments. OT is the bridge in that situation. MSW cannot implement orthotic eval/fitting and tie it into the pt. environment. OT can. PT cannot implement sensory integration theories (not just sensory testing either) with physical disabilites. OT can.

You see the overlap as it's weakness. I see it as the strength because where others can't. OT can. I realize it's difficult to think through such an easy concept, but as the research continues, OT will become strengthened. When insurance eventually finds sensory integration as a legitimate tool/theory in assessment, I'm sure it's because occupational science will prove it's case.

OT (the round peg) into the real world (square)- once again, OT will see the problem and create an adaptation to it. That's what OT is for, why not edge off the round peg, use a interconnection between the two, or widen the square. Your examples really help me to see the strengths in OT. Again, please state specific goals, treatments, skills, etc. that you perceive are negative in OT. The reality is you still have not convinced me of anything.

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

76 months ago

Wow, I admire your positivity and confidence. However, before you preach you should first work as an OT get some actual experience and then be able to give a more experiential perspective on the profession. It is hard for me to accept what you are saying since I have been a therapist for over 10 years and you are still in school.

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

76 months ago

me again in Simi Valley, California said: Another typical OT mind set/behavior: to be the authority of things
that they know nothing about. You convince no one but yourself of your
almighty grandiosity in the world of therapy. It's the No 1 reason that
I don't like OT or the people in it and make it my aim to avoid OT and OTs
as much as possible until I can just forget that I ever was associated with
that world. My goal is that I never again have to associate my name with
OT - can divorce it from my life once and for all.

Go for it! Good luck in your endeavors! There is nothing holding you back, right?

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said: Wow, I admire your positivity and confidence. However, before you preach you should first work as an OT get some actual experience and then be able to give a more experiential perspective on the profession. It is hard for me to accept what you are saying since I have been a therapist for over 10 years and you are still in school.
.

me again in Simi Valley, California
It's a pseudo confidence in beleiving all that you're told to
believe in school - not real-life knowledge and experience.

And, it would be futile to take the time to "state" goals, treatments etc.
as if you have the qualifications to determine what's real and what's not. You
don't know - you're stepping out of your boundaries (again, typical OT
behavior and mind set) as a student trying to tell me what's real out there and what's not. You don't know.

Fieldwork and learning from experience therapists is what is key for me. 10 years doesn't mean competency either. Being a student, I welcome the learning- and for those who state that I won't understand is meaningless. As a student and others who are new grads, they bring forth current practices and ideas that were not prevalent years ago when you were at the same stage. I'm sorry, but the lack of specifics and the avoidance of my questions shows you lack the knowledge to explain it in such a way that I can relate your 'real-world' examples to my theoretical/fieldwork understanding.

Maybe the difficulty is not being able to meet the challenge of answering student interests. My boundaries are in line with my field. And unfortunately, no one on this blogsite can give me specifics on what is perceived as a 'bad' OT practice.

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

76 months ago

PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California said: Fieldwork and learning from experience therapists is what is key for me. 10 years doesn't mean competency either. Being a student, I welcome the learning- and for those who state that I won't understand is meaningless. As a student and others who are new grads, they bring forth current practices and ideas that were not prevalent years ago when you were at the same stage. I'm sorry, but the lack of specifics and the avoidance of my questions shows you lack the knowledge to explain it in such a way that I can relate your 'real-world' examples to my theoretical/fieldwork understanding.

Maybe the difficulty is not being able to meet the challenge of answering student interests. My boundaries are in line with my field. And unfortunately, no one on this blogsite can give me specifics on what is perceived as a 'bad' OT practice.

I would like to read something relevant and valuble too. Even if it is negative, I would just like to hear something relevant to the actual profession rather than subjective critisism. As far as unethical pracitices within Medicare go, believe me, OT is not the only culprit. Everyone in health care is faced with ethics. This doesn't tell me anything about the profession of OT. As a nurse, I have witnessed the undeserving spending of Medicare as well. Once again, this is part of the political and ethical realm of health care and has nothing to do with any one profession.

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

76 months ago

*criticism* my bad

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

75 months ago

PJ, I never said that 10 years means competency. Don't read into things too much. Here's a question for you:
1)You are working at your first job as an OT in a hospital, school, SNF, whatever. Your boss tells you you have to bill for this service despite you feeling you didn't fulfill the entire deserving treatment. If you do not bill, your boss will be upset with you for costing the facility significant money reimbursed because you do not want to bill. What would you do?
2)You have a pt. getting ready to go home and they are ready to go, but your boss tells you that person should be discharged yet because the census is low and we could use the work. How would you handle it?
3)Let's say you are having a difficult time finding a job in your area of interest and resort to working in a snf as a new grad because there are tons of them but almost all the jobs are telling you the productivity requirement is 100%. What do you do?

What did you ask me that I didn't answer? As far as overlap in the profession, it is a weakness in my opinion. Why would an MSW even attempt ortho stuff? A psychologist wouldn't do phys dys....OT/PT would. Why can't a PT do SI? PTs do it all the time in special needs schools! Also, people don't implement theories. They implement a method or approach to see if the theory behind it is effective. Again, I admire your energy but the reason why I became frustrated with your response to mine is that you said I have lack of knowledge to explain my real-life experience to your theoretical understanding. So.....go ahead and ask me anything that you have question or doubt about OT. I wish I had this forum to go to 1o years ago. PJ ask and you will receive my reality of OT!

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

75 months ago

Sorry, question #2 should be:.....your boss tells you that person should NOT be discharged....

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said: PJ, I never said that 10 years means competency. Don't read into things too much. Here's a question for you:
1)You are working at your first job as an OT in a hospital, school, SNF, whatever. Your boss tells you you have to bill for this service despite you feeling you didn't fulfill the entire deserving treatment. If you do not bill, your boss will be upset with you for costing the facility significant money reimbursed because you do not want to bill. What would you do?

Ethical dilemma-the boss wants the new employee to follow their demands without question.
the questions: Should I follow my supervisor? Should I bill for something not implemented? Should I go against my supervisor? Should I bill dishonestly?
Fact- The boss told you what to do. There treatment was not done fully.
Belief- If I go agains my superior, they'll get angry. I may or may not bill for what I have/have not implemented in treatment. The clinic may not be reimbursed.
Case- There isn't a clear solution because as you stated, treatment was given (although not specified as to how long, rather a subjective feeling that it was not complete) but you don't feel it was a 'full treatment' that could be billed (beneficence, autonomy, duty, procedures, veracity, and fidelity). Your boss is telling you want to do (autonomy, confidentiality, procedural justice, veracity, fidelity)

Alternative solutions- discuss your boss's reasoning and your reasoning for why they should/shouldn't be billed. Seek further advice from other co-workers about your situation. Possibly go beyond your supervisor and discuss the matter with admin. Possibly continue therapy at another time to fulfill a complete treatment. Document all your actions as well as note what supervisor said (it's your license on the line). Address these areas of ethics to your supervisor, possible law/license infringement, lack of respect for your indep. clinical reasoning...

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said:
2)You have a pt. getting ready to go home and they are ready to go, but your boss tells you that person should be discharged yet because the census is low and we could use the work. How would you handle it?

Ethical distress- you know what the solution is- dc. Should you dc the patient or not? Should you helps the clinic # by keeping them longer? Should you follow your superior?
Fact- Pt is ready for dc. You are ready for dc. Census is low. Boss is telling you not to dc.
Belief- You could keep the patient, after all they are ready for dc. If you don't keep them, you risk a loss for the clinic. If you disregard your superior you may create conflict/they may get angry. The pt may not want to stay another night.
Case- You and the pt are ready for dc (beneficience, nonmaleficence, autonomy, duty, preceduraly justice). Your superior thinks otherwise (autonomy, duty, procedural justice, veracity, fidelity).

Alternative solutions- Discuss the matter and with superior, show documentation, state your clinical reasoning for dc, address the need to provide accurate information for dc, seek advice from coworkers, seek reasoning for superior's request, for beyond the your superior to admin. if they persist in procedural noncompliance/truth, address respect of your reasoning and decision making...

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said:
3)Let's say you are having a difficult time finding a job in your area of interest and resort to working in a snf as a new grad because there are tons of them but almost all the jobs are telling you the productivity requirement is 100%. What do you do?

First of all, don't stop looking while you work. I'm not sure what you mean by 100% requirement. Do you mean there isn't a possibility of hours lower than full-time position?

Second, although it may not be the area of choice, and the possibly perception of SNFs in general may be negative, but couldn't it be seen as place where reform could take place if you so chose to take a leadership role in some way?

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said: PJ, I never said that 10 years means competency. Don't read into things too much.

I only meant to say that even with experience there is still a potential for learning. I as a student know I lack the experience, but hearing 'your just a student' makes me think that 'they're just a clinician.' I don't want to build a gap between the two, but others seem to do so with such phrases. I would like to be corrected and try to develop as much reasoning and thought process from examples given here in this website. Thank you for your examples, they are some of the things I have been trying to find in this site beyond all the complaining.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said:
As far as overlap in the profession, it is a weakness in my opinion. Why would an MSW even attempt ortho stuff? A psychologist wouldn't do phys dys....OT/PT would. Why can't a PT do SI? PTs do it all the time in special needs schools! Also, people don't implement theories. They implement a method or approach to see if the theory behind it is effective. Again, I admire your energy but the reason why I became frustrated with your response to mine is that you said I have lack of knowledge to explain my real-life experience to your theoretical understanding.

I believe overlap occurs in all disciplines. I'm sure this is common for all med fields. I don't think it's a true reason for practitioners to see the negative in OT, it just becomes a challenge of what can you do to distinguish and maintain your boundaries within the framework.

I chose such unrelated fields to make a point from what other have been commenting on- how nursing and pt could do OT. 1st of all, if you believe in such an idea, then the field has already lost that area within you clinic. The fact is, they cannot and are limited due to their licensing/boundaries. A possible reason is that the team that feels this way needs to address it. If no one addresses why they do what they do and how it benefits the client, then of course anyone could claim jurisdiction over whom they perceive as incompetent.

Examples (not say I know the specifics of each, but I have an idea):
ADLs dressing- nursing provides preventive care, maintenance, restorative, meds, and may see dressing for sanitary reasons, maintaining body temp, and may dress them to dress them. PT- would see the physical limits, control pain, address deformity, ROM, strength, and expect them to dress if such areas were improved. OT looks at the skills necessary to do dressing according to what the client seeks. Adaptive devices may be needed, compensatory strategies, temporal aspects...

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

as associated with dressing, home assessment (if environment is limiting indep for dressing, social support for dressing from caregivers, etc.

I don't really think OT is going to be replaced anytime soon, there are too many political/health care constructs in place to do so.

You are correct in that people don't implement theories, such as sensory integration theory- that was my mistake, you stated it better than I did.

To clarify what I mean was, your comments did not get received by me as specific examples such as the 1,2,3 ethical questions you posed. They seemed to be complaints similar to many I have found on this site. I needed something I could dissect and think about while comparing it to theories, and book-info, and fieldwork, OT practitioner conversations, etc.

I apologize if it seemed that I had said you didn't know specific examples- that would be idiotic. People know their own experiences so you can't argue with that. In no way was I saying that the theories I learned trumped your clinical experiences or perceptions of OT. I simply wanted more in-depth examples, situations, etc.

I am a problem solver at heart- I will throw out as many solutions as I can, whether hit or miss until I can determine a possible solution that fits. So please don't think I'm trying to show off what I know, I'm simply trying to break it down to the best possible solution in things. That's why I welcome your feedback- I hope you do provide more feedback.

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

75 months ago

PJ, it is great how you analyzed my questions. They are all ethical dilemnas which you will address in the last semester of your program. However, all the theory in the world will not give the answers to the on-the-job dilemnas that have to get solved right then and there. If you think of going to upper management to address your supervisor's demands, that is another whole can of worms!

Productivity is the number of reimbursed hours worked in a work shift. If an 8hr day is 480 minutes, then billing 480 treatments is 100% productivity. 360hrs is 75% productive. The question is when do you do paperwork, attend meetings, go to the bathroom (joke)?

I think you will be a great OT as you like to dissect problems. Just remember everything they teach you in OT school is not so cut and dry. You will not always get your answer from your supervisor, regional, co-worker, etc. You will most likely either succumb to the workplace culture or just be finding yourself a new job....but that gets old quickly. There comes a time when the grass isn't always greener, just better fertilized.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said: PJ, it is great how you analyzed my questions. They are all ethical dilemnas which you will address in the last semester of your program. However, all the theory in the world will not give the answers to the on-the-job dilemnas that have to get solved right then and there. If you think of going to upper management to address your supervisor's demands, that is another whole can of worms!
I think you will be a great OT as you like to dissect problems. Just remember everything they teach you in OT school is not so cut and dry. You will not always get your answer from your supervisor, regional, co-worker, etc. You will most likely either succumb to the workplace culture or just be finding yourself a new job....but that gets old quickly. There comes a time when the grass isn't always greener, just better fertilized.

I hope that one day the solutions will just come to me and treatment plans will be readily available for clients I see- sometime in the future :)

However, I believe that even in the midst of a 1 vs all situation, that the "1" person can still make a difference. It goes both ways- 1 person can complain and bring down the whole work environment or 1 person can attempt to go against the flow. We may need that added can-of-worms to be opened to bring more attention to the situation. I agree, nothing is or will be cut and dry, but if we succumb to the culture of that workplace, we fail ourselves, our clients, and our profession. It's much easier to let things go as they may, but it takes a whole lot of perseverance and energy to maintain and improve. I just hope that the theory, books, clinician advice, and personal experiences will prepare me to face issues of ethics, multidisciplinary interaction, treatment goals, caregiver burnout, emotional fatigue, etc.

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sarah in Santa Monica, California

54 months ago

OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey said: Wow, I admire your positivity and confidence. However, before you preach you should first work as an OT get some actual experience and then be able to give a more experiential perspective on the profession. It is hard for me to accept what you are saying since I have been a therapist for over 10 years and you are still in school.

Let your ego down about how long you have been a therapist for. New ways of thinking are approaching. Let's keep an open mind. Everything in life is an experiment; trial and error. Even the smallest decisions in each of our lives. Just because OT or Psychology are on a grander scale of experimentation doesn't mean there aren't going to be any errors. Let's just all go back to the philosophical days when even thinking outside the box was considered satanic.

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