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lauriem6 in Bel Air, Maryland

26 months ago

I just got into the OTA program at a community college and debating whether or not I should go. I really wanted to get into nursing but since it is so competitive I was looking at other avenues. I currently have 2 Bachelor degrees that are not related to health care so I just don't know if spending the money and time to do the OTA program is worth it or if I should just keep trying to get into nursing school. I know they have OT programs for people that already hold a Bachelors in another discipline, so I was thinking if I was going to tho this route I would be better off doing that.

Can anybody give me some ideas of where you work and what you like or dislike about being an OTA.

Thanks

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gmc in Spring Valley, New York

26 months ago

Congratulations on being accepted. I was recently accepted, as well, and will begin my program this fall. For me personally, I am a more holistic person and I enjoy viewing a patient as a whole person. With occupational therapy, the whole person is taken into consideration. Their physical, mental, and emotional state. I also love working with special-needs children, developmentally disabled adults, and people with addictions, which are all populations that a COTA can work with. Also, the OTA coursework interests me a lot, such as General and Abnormal Psychology.

So for me, COTA is the way to go. I did consider nursing, but, after dating a nurse, I realized that it's not for me. I would not feel right administering potentially dangerous medication to someone who I personally feel could heal with a little help from more holistic treatments. I've seen what overuse of prescription drugs does to people. Sure, at times it's necessary, but oftentimes their condition can be healed, or at least managed, with a more safe and holistic route. I've seen many special-needs children who were on all sorts of medication. With some of them, their parents decided to wean them off the medicine and try more holistic things, such as occupational therapy, ABA therapy, nutritional/dietary changes, lifestyle changes, etc., and they're doing much better!

Also, although COTAs may work in a hospital setting, I personally do not prefer to spend my work days in a hospital. I'm not a big fan of them and a COTA has more of a variety of work settings to choose from.

However, I do know a few nurses who absolutely love their profession. They found the coursework interesting, they love their hours, the pay and benefits, and are very happy with their career.

If you haven't already, I would recommend shadowing a Nurse and shadowing a COTA, in a variety of settings, and see which occupation you could see yourself enjoying everyday.

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