Occupational Therapists on Vitalxchange explain why they chose Occupational Therapy as a profession
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Why I Became an Occupational Therapist

April is Occupational Therapy Month, where we take the time to recognize and celebrate the wonderful profession of OT. Occupational therapists work with individuals across their lifespan to enable them to engage in the activities they need and want to do in their daily lives. Many Occupational Therapists have clinical experience as pediatric OTs, meaning that they specialize in working with children to help them reach maximum functional independence in all of their goals. We asked our Occupational Therapists why they chose Occupational Therapy as a profession and what they love about being an OT.

 

Claire Heffron, from The Inspired Treehouse

What I love most about being an OT is that every day is filled with problem-solving and creativity. I love that occupational therapists can be found in such a wide variety of settings and workplaces, but always with the same goal in mind – to promote independence, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose in our clients.

 

Jessica Glenbocki, Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapy is a wonderful profession! I have been fortunate to work in a wide variety of areas such as inpatient and outpatient hospitals, nursing homes, pediatric clinics, brick and mortar schools, and, currently, virtual schools. It’s amazing to have the option to switch specialties (with the necessary training) without returning to formal school. Yet, I have to say my favorite area is pediatrics. Working as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist provides an incredible opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with children and families. When working with children for months, I am bound to get to know them and their families on a deep level. It is so rewarding to experience a child’s joy and see their self-confidence soar when they learn a new skill after putting so much effort into achieving a goal. Working as an OT has helped me grow into a more empathetic, selfless, creative, and patient person than I might otherwise have been.

 

Catie Madison OT Specializing in Autism, Mental Health, and More

I love being an OT because my role is to help all people live their best lives. We find healing in the doing (daily routines and occupations, creating art, meaningful hobbies, socializing, etc.) as part of the therapy process. Our therapy goal is to be able to engage in the “doing” with ease! OT is science and art, holistic and empowering, often simple yet beautifully effective. Happy OT Month!

 

Dani Reichert, Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

I became a COTA as a second career when I was in my thirties. While researching many healthcare fields Occupational Therapy seemed like the best fit for me. I could be creative (which I love) by enhancing other people’s lives by doing very meaningful work with a variety of people. Being a COTA gives me the flexibility of working mainly with children and the ability to transfer my skills to adults and geriatric settings. Overall, I believe I made the perfect second career choice!

 

Allyson Owen, Occupational Therapist and Holistic Nutritionist

Being an occupational therapist has brought so much meaning into my life. The knowledge I have gained as an OT helps me look at so many situations with an “OT lens,” which helps me understand how to adjust to people’s habits, routines, and roles to maximize their efficiency and independence with task engagement. I love that as an OT, and I can help anyone, from any background, with any condition, of any age, engage in the tasks that are meaningful to them. What an incredible and rewarding job that doesn’t feel like work! I also have a passion for nutrition that pairs perfectly with OT because how well someone is nourished forms the foundation for their engagement in all tasks. Helping to address their nutrition can fix the root cause of so many skill breakdowns at higher levels. I love the holistic nature of OT, and I love bringing nutrition into my practice to address the WHOLE person and empower them to thrive in all their passions.

 

Stacy Maguire, OT Specializing in Play Therapy

From a very young age, I was friends and neighbors with a little boy with Down Syndrome, whom I would eventually babysit for and spend a lot of time with during my high school years. Our relationship was so comfortable and comforting that I don’t think I ever considered that I would do anything but work with special needs children in my career. Discovering the field of Occupational Therapy and learning that I could be around these children and help them at the same time was so profound to me that I have never looked back! I am very fortunate to have felt that calling at such a young age and have been able to love what I do for 27 years now! I think a big part of what I love so much is partnering with parents and caregivers so that we all feel educated, empowered, and dedicated to the same goals.  And let’s face it, it’s so fun that the kids have no idea how hard they are actually working!

 

Marla Davis, OT Specializing in Play Therapy and Child-Led Therapy

I love being an OT because no two days are alike. Each day brings a new challenge and a new opportunity to make a difference and bring joy to one of my clients’ lives!

 

Crystal Covington, OT Specializing in Autism

Occupational Therapy is such a diverse field where I can always learn a new skill, change specialties or change populations. It is essential to see a client as a whole person, not just the difficulties they may have. Our profession is about incorporating all aspects of a person to help them succeed in their occupations. I enjoy problem-solving with my students and guiding them to the goals they want to accomplish. OT lets me fulfill my passion for assisting people in advocating for their goals & wishes. This is why I am so enthusiastic about the OT world. In the future, I’m considering a new career in academia. I want to help future OTs become the best therapists they can be. In the future, I would love to write a book with my mother about growing up with my brother on the spectrum. I want to continue the blog that I share with her & possibly create a YouTube Channel. I hope to continue my business (Ability & Beyond Fitness) & watch it develop & thrive. Using my experience, I want to think outside the “OT Box” & help the profession to flourish.

 

Connect with an Occupational Therapist

We hope you have learned something about Occupational Therapy during this month of April! Connect with any of our wonderful OT VitalGuides on Vitalxchange to get support for your child to optimize their independence with their daily occupations!

 

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