Being a lifelong learner is something that is constantly brought up within the profession of occupational therapy. From being a student in OT school, to becoming a new practitioner, to doing research to further the knowledge base for our profession, we are constantly learning new ideas, picking up new skills, and gaining a deeper understanding of how occupations influence health for us as practitioners and for our clients. Miranda Rennie, OTR/L, joins me today to share her journey into the field of occupational therapy, her current work in an outpatient neuro setting and in teaching, as well as her passion for research and evidence-based practice. Miranda constantly strives to challenge herself to be the best therapist that she can be and once listening to the episode you will realize that she is one of the most driven people that you will ever meet. She is dedicated to research and learning in order to advance our profession and add to the knowledge base. Miranda and I instantly connected because she too is an OT podcaster and host of OT Uncorked. Her show is all about sharing a glass of wine while uncorking hot topics in occupational therapy. To hear more from her, definitely check out her podcast and resource blog: http://otuncorked.com/
As occupational therapists, we are faced with many responsibilities in life, including both professional and personal ones, and sometimes maintaining a balance can be quite a struggle. This is something that we help our clients and educate others with, but often times we find ourselves as therapists also struggling to maintain a healthy balance within life. In today’s episode, Brynne Terry MA, OTL/R from Be Well Balance joins us to share some strategies on how we can live well and have a balance between our responsibilities and our occupations.
There are many steps to becoming an occupational therapist, starting with completing an occupational therapy program. Rachel comes back on the show today to share her OT journey thus far as we catch her only days away from starting a graduate occupational therapy program. It’s an exciting time for her, but she’s also nervous as she will be meeting her classmates and professors in the next few days. We chat about what has happened since the last time we chatted and what she is looking forward to within the next few months.
A few weeks ago, OT 4 Lyfe attended the 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. This episode runs through some of the highlights from the conference, including things I did and people I got to meet.
Many kids with autism have significantly delayed play skills, as well as they have difficulty learning new skills and expanding upon the skills they already have. More often than not therapists find themselves trying to teach children with autism how to play through imitation, but these children often have major difficulty with the imitation of others. Combine that with poor engagement and visual regard for others and learning to play for a child with autism can be daunting task. In this episode, we bring on Meg Proctor MS, OTL/R who is an expert in working with children with autism and who loves teaching therapists strategies to put in their tool belt. Meg and Sarah chat about all things autism and play.
Documentation. It is something that all therapists are faced with and unfortunately, it is something that tends to take up a lot of our time. While some of it is very important stuff that we need to include, there are other parts of documentation that are just time sucks. It is commonplace that most reports take between 2-3 hours (or more) to write and that is outside of completing the necessary observations, interviews, standardized tests, scoring and interpreting results, etc. Jason Gonzales OTR/L, the Co-Founder and CEO of Double Time Docs comes on the show today to share how his experience within a variety of school districts, led him to creating a product to help therapist write reports efficiently and easily.
Sensory processing is a complex entity with lots of intricacies and is often times overlooked and misunderstood. As occupational therapists, it is our job to uncover underlying sensory processing and sensory modulation problems within our clients and then educate and provide tips and strategies to help them learn to integrate the information for success and optimal function within their daily lives. Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC and Jessica Hill, COTA/L come on the show to cover a broad overview of what sensory processing is, what it looks like, and some of their favorite activities to address sensory concerns.
Attending conferences is a great way to learn new things and connect with people within the occupational therapy community. And one of the biggest events each year within the United States is the American Occupational Therapy Association conference. This episode details specifics about what the AOTA conference looks like, how to prepare, and tips on how to make for successful conference experience.
Understanding the business side of occupational therapy is pivotal for any therapist and practice owner to know. In order to be successful within our profession, we must be aware of the state of healthcare and be solid within our purpose as a clinician. Our guest today, Brandon Seigel, is a private practice business consultant and executive director of Wellness Works Management Partners with years of experience helping practitioners start, run, and advance their practices to the next level. Brandon recently published a book called The Private Practice Survival Guide, outlining highly useful information for therapists and practice owners alike. He presents all over the country at local and state conferences and has an online course and private practice podcast launching soon. His goal is to help therapists in creating a business model that ultimately helps them excel both on a business side and on a clinical side.
We all discover occupational therapy through different ways and it is always fascinating to hear how each therapist is first introduced into this wonderful profession. Our guest today is the whole reason that our host Sarah became an occupational therapist in the first place after meeting her while she worked at a local preschool. Francesca Avalli, MS, OTR/L has a wealth of knowledge from her years working in pediatrics, both in the school and clinic setting, and has a passion for the profession of occupational therapy that is undeniable. She runs her own pediatric clinic in Los Angeles, California and created an awesome product called Handee Band to facilitate her client’s strength and growth.
Travel therapy is a unique practice area that consists of traveling to different parts of the United States in order to provide therapy services to places in need. Usually, rotations last about 13 weeks and then the therapist moves on to another placement. Sometimes there can be a potential to sign on for additional time if the services continue to be needed. Emily Ann Becker, OTR/L, is a travel occupational therapist who is currently licensed in 6 states and works in a variety of different settings, including skilled nursing facilities and home health. She discusses the best and worst parts of working in travel therapy and how flexibility is essential. Throughout our discussion she sheds light on the complexities and opportunities that being a travel therapist provides, as well as her passion for helping to inspire others.
Dr. Michael Roberts, OTD, OTR/L, is the founder and current program director of the master’s degree program in Occupational Therapy at Regis College, in Boston Massachusetts. He has a strong passion for all things occupational therapy, as well as educating and empowering current occupational therapy students. His clinical background focused on adult physical dysfunction (inpatient, outpatient, and home care) with a specialty in oncology rehabilitation. He has completed research in fieldwork performance and next generation gaming consoles (Nintendo Wii) for health and wellness purposes, as well as presented at numerous state and national conferences, and independent oncology rehabilitation seminars. Dr. Roberts is the creator and host of the “I Love OT Podcast”, a show that highlights what is special, exciting, unique, and rewarding about the field of occupational therapy. His dedication and excitement for our profession pours out through his words as he shares wonderful stories and insightful wisdom from his OT experiences.
Andy Nielsen, OTS, is a current OT student at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona who comes to our profession after many years in tech sales and business. He has designed his life with purpose and intention in order to maintain a family-friendly lifestyle, as well as to serve others and contribute to society in a meaningful way. Over the years he has developed a strong passion for entrepreneurship by creating things to help others and assisting people achieve success. Currently, he runs OT Growth, a website aimed at helping pre-OT students, current OT students, and OT practitioners succeed within the career.
Dr. Karen Ni, OTD, MA, OTR/L, CPDT-KA is passionate about using animal assisted therapy as a meaningful and powerful therapeutic tool. She uses her dogs, Dottie and Tater, as her canine co-therapists to assist in her therapy sessions and provide a different perspective and aspect to therapy interventions. She has also opened her own private practice, Sun Dog Therapy, that offers occupational therapy services, dog training, and other types of services related to caring for and learning about dogs.
Ijeoma (EJ) Ikpeze OTA/S is an OTA student at Erie Community College who recently finished her school work and is about to embark on her first Level II fieldwork. She is also the only current student and only OTA accepted into the prestigious AOTA Emerging Leaders Development Program.
Elizabeth DeBlasi, MS, OTR/L has developed her passion in pediatric occupational therapy into international travel and volunteer work. She immediately took action to make her dreams about volunteering internationally come true. She has since become an integral part of the new non-profit Therapists Without Borders.
Jayson Davies, MA, OTR/L and Abby Parana, MS, OTR/L are pediatric occupational therapists that work in a school based setting. They have a unique view on how to provide treatment and advocate for their clients. They also host their own OT podcast: OT School House.
Occupational and Physical Therapists often work together on clients to achieve similar goals through different lenses. Jennifer and Sarah discuss how they approach early intervention from each of their view points and the benefits of collaborating between disciplines.
This is the first edition of the OT Round Table, a casual discussion with OT practitioners from different background about the best and worst parts as well as what we wish others understood about our profession.
The fieldwork rotation is a vital part of becoming an OT. Follow 2 students as they transition into occupational therapy practitioners. This is episode 6 of a 6 part mini-series.
The fieldwork rotation is a vital part of becoming an OT. Follow 2 students as they transition into occupational therapy practitioners. This is episode 5 of a 6 part mini-series.
Rachel is an OT volunteer with Sarah's private practice who is gaining volunteer hours for her application to OT school.
The fieldwork rotation is a vital part of becoming an OT. Follow 2 students as they transition into occupational therapy practitioners. This is episode 4 of a 6 part mini-series.
While working as a school-based OT, Deedee Levine MS, OTR/L, YT-200, CD has found gardening and gardens to be a unique and integral part of her Occupational Therapy treatments.
Sarah takes the time on a special holiday to reflect on all the things she's thankful for. From the families that allow her to have impact on their lives to the people that have helped her get the podcast off the ground.
Lauren Stanley-Alpert, MS, OTR/L created Therapists Without Borders to connect occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech language pathologists with communities across the globe that have a significant need for therapy services while making sure that the services provided has a long lasting positive effect on the population.
The fieldwork rotation is a vital part of becoming an OT. Follow 2 students as they transition into occupational therapy practitioners. This is episode 3 of a 6 part mini-series.
Starting a business takes a lot of nerve. Learn how Clinitote was started and how occupational therapy helped push Cami Culwell through the hurdles of starting a new business.
The fieldwork rotation is a vital part of becoming an OT. Follow 2 students as they transition into practitioners. This is episode 2 of a 6 part mini-series.
Everyone needs support networks. Sarah and Leo discuss limiting beliefs, holding each other accountable and setting up mastermind groups and private practices.
The fieldwork rotation is a vital part of becoming an OT. Follow 2 students as they transition into practitioners. This is episode 1 of a 6 part mini-series.
Current OT students bring an undeniable passion and energy to the profession with a fresh new perspective. Listen as we discuss their excitement for their OT careers.