I am a sophomore occupational therapy (OT) student at the University of Scranton. OT focuses on healing through doing occupations and healing to be able to do occupations. A few of the courses I have completed so far are anatomy and physiology, fundamentals of OT, and occupational performance. I am currently enrolled in OT anatomy and health and well-being. Here are a few of my favorite things about being in this program:
1. Facilities and labs
Here, at Scranton, the OT facilities and labs are phenomenal. We have a pediatrics lab, sensory gym, ADL apartment, simulated kitchen, grocery store, and garage just to name a few. Last year, my class got the opportunity to make rice crispy treats while wearing a variety of vision impairment goggles. This was not only fun, but we also reviewed skills and the importance of accessibility. Having access to these facilities makes learning less intimidating.
2. Community-based learning (CBL)
CBL is integrated into our coursework. CBL is an academic opportunity to go into the community and help meet the community’s needs, similar to volunteer work. This allows us to form a relationship with our community and enhance the skills we learn in class. Just this past weekend, my classmates and I went to a nearby senior living facility and ran a paint and sip with some of the residents. This was a great way to connect with community members as well as reinforce the concepts we learned in class.
3. First name basis
All of my OT professors ask for us to refer to them by their first name. In an OT setting, clients and therapists refer to each other on a first name basis, so we simulate that in the classroom. This creates an automatic mutual respect between my professors and I and makes the classroom more inviting.
4. Anatomy classes
My favorite subject is anatomy, and as an OT major, I get the opportunity to take a variety of anatomy classes. In these classes, we discuss topics ranging from bones and muscles to body systems. I love it all.
5. Learning along the way
I am learning OT skills along the way while completing my bachelor’s degree, as opposed to learning everything in just two years while pursuing a master’s degree. My favorite thing by far is the skills I have acquired. Just this semester, I have learned how to introduce myself as a therapist, dress like a therapist,
and interact with clients. I am in the process of learning fundamental therapist skills as well. We learned how to locate body structures on a client, take range of motion measurements using a tool called a goniometer, and how to perform muscle strength tests. All of these are skills that I will use daily in my future career as an occupational therapist.