OT school is hard work. And life outside of school doesn’t exactly stop.
To thrive in OT school, you do need to keep your nose to the grindstone. But, there is also wisdom in leveraging the best occupational therapy resources out there.
It has been 6 years since I was in OT school. I remember those years as the busiest of my life. In retrospect, I was entrenched in survival mode and did not invest time in figuring out how to simplify and streamline processes.
This post is an attempt to gather all of the best occupational therapy resources for OT students in one place.
Please, add your own suggestions to the comments below. I hope to keep refining this list!
How to Stay Abreast of Therapy and General Healthcare Trends
Your success as an OT will depend on your ability to navigate the larger health care system and to stay abreast of its constant evolution. Don't get OT tunnel vision. Start habits now of keeping up with general health care trends.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Therapy Insiders Podcast
- New York Times-Well
- The WebPT Blog
- AOTA’s Advocacy and Policy section of the website includes the latest updates on federal news and legislation
How to Stay Organized
I'm hoping to get some good input on this particular topic. Again, think wider than the OT field, there are lots of graduate students out there also trying to work quickly and efficiently. Here is a blog that I've enjoyed about that struggle:
How to Connect with other OT Practitioners
In addition to the OT bubble, there is also the OT school bubble. For some there is a big disconnect between the classroom and the clinic. For that reason, it is important to start connecting with practitioners who are on the ground. Meeting with a mentor face to face is ideal, but don't underestimate the value of getting involved in some of the social media conversations and available forums.
- Follow OT on Twitter- Potential
- The Student and New Practioner Forums on OT Connections
How to Deal with Frustrations
After my first year of OT school, I was ready to quit. I was frustrated and really didn’t find a good outlet other than talking to my parents. If you are dealing with frustrations, talk to fellow students and professors. And again, don't underestimate the value of looking for online support.
Whatever you are frustrated about there is a likely an online conversation happening about the topic. Here are some great examples of bloggers tackling tough issues.
- Speech to Occupational Therapy Students and Parents: Ways You Will Be Paid- ABC Therapuetics
- Is the Doctoral Degree Necessary for Entry Level Practice?- ABC Therapeutics
- Open Letter to the NYS Board of Regents on the OTD Degree- ABC Therapeutics
- 5 Signs You’re Burnt Out on OT School and How to Get Back into the Groove- OT in Motion
How To Survive Fieldwork
After having served as a fieldwork supervisor, I have a new appreciation for the challenge of quickly learning the ropes to a new place and navigating the supervisory relationships. Lean in on your aforementioned support networks. Karen, at Miss Awesomeness, also has the following advice:
- Top 12 Things You Should Know For Your Fieldwork- MissAwesomeness
- Articles on fieldwork- Student Pulse
- Answers to Your Fieldwork Questions- AOTA
(Side note: I recently made this OT Fieldwork Manual if you show up at your site and realize they don't have one!)
How to Improve Your Writing
In OT school, you will find yourself undertaking much more technical writing than you did in your BA program. The amount of writing only increases when you become a practitioner. You will have to write fast and efficiently.
I cannot imagine life without my Grammarly subscription. For $11 a month, it checks all of my writing, including emails, Facebook posts, and blog articles.
I also utilize Style Guard, which assures me that I am writing in Associated Press style.
If you haven’t read the book “On Writing Well,” I highly recommend it.
How to Improve Your Studying
This is the nose to the grind stone part. Be good to yourself as you study and set yourself up to study well.
Ultimately, you are preparing for the big NBCOT exam. NBCOT has an awesome suite of resources to assist you when that time does come.
Here are some other resources I have found.
- OT Flashcards- Quizlet
- Tips for Surviving Anatomy Lab- OT in Motion
- Learn How to Work in a Group- Gotta Be OT
- The OT Practice Framework Abbreviated- Miss Awesomeness
How to Make the Transition to Clinical Work
It is never too early to start thinking about that first job. (It will come sooner than you think!) Below are some resources for making the transition.
- Tips for Preparing for an Interview- OT Cafe
- Common Interview Questions- OT Cafe
- Questions You Should Ask at an Interview- OT Cafe
- You Have a Job Offer, Now What?- OT Cafe
- Job Search Articles- The Student Pulse
- A Day in the Life of an OT Student- OT Cafe
- The Ultimate List of Discounts You Can Use as a Student
- The AOTA Student Resources
- Recommended Books:
What about you? What OT resources would you share with fellow students? I would love to make this post stronger with your input!