Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Day in the Life | OTD Student

To wrap up the "Day in the Life" series here on my blog, I am so excited to have Karen Dobyns of Miss Awesomeness stopping by! Karen is currently back in school, working toward her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy (also known as an OTD). If are currently an OT and considering going down this path, then you'll definitely want to keep reading!


A Day in the Life of A Post-Professional OTD student (a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy for those who are already practitioners and have gone back for an extra dose of scholarly learning).

Here is a typical “unit” of 1-2 weeks for a post-professional OTD student (this post is technically supposed to be a DAY in the Life of, so imagine breaking these assignments down into smaller components and tacking a little each day!)

First of all: Most therapists are working full-time, and juggling a family, and spending 1-3 hours most days on homework, with more on weekends. How much time depends on how fast you read, write, and process information (and how familiar you are with technology and how much you care about getting As).

If I break down hours of studying within my own program (REMEMBER THIS IS 1-2 WEEKS OF ASSIGNMENTS) it would be:

  • Work for Analysis and Evidence of Participation: I read several chapters and multiple articles on methodology or with specific methodologies that pertain to qualitative clinical inquiries. I write up an assigned forum post, writing on our message board, using multiple sources of high-quality evidence, pertaining to that specific assignment. For example, based on the readings, what is a clinical question I have that could be answered using a qualitative approach? (That’s an extremely simplistic example – it goes into a lot more detail than that). I also do some research on topic for a 5-7 page paper coming up.
  • Measuring the Impact of Participation in Occupation: I read several articles on occupation-based performance measures, and then write a forum post on the importance of staying occupation-based in the schools, and how. I work briefly on an upcoming paper about a specific assessment I’m researching in depth.
  • Educating in Occupational Therapy: I read several articles on literacy levels, and then post a hand-out in the forums, one I’ve used in the past. I analyze its possible literacy level and how I could make it more appropriate to its audience. I work briefly on an upcoming assignment of planning out my own workshop.
  • Administration and Practice Management course: I read several chapters on human resources and employment law, then write on the forums regarding potential discrimination in hiring/firing/training. I work briefly on a short paper analyzing an article on employment law that is applicable to OT.

Connect with Karen:
(Click “About Me” to learn about the name!)
Email: karen [AT] missawesomeness [dot] com
*I am most active on FB and Twitter these days!

About Karen:
 I’m Karen and I have roughly 5 years experience as a practitioner, with most of that time in elementary
schools. I am about to start my third semester of my post-professional OTD program. I started my own business last year, focusing on my passion of empowerment of children, families, and corporations within the emerging niche area of healthcare and wellness for the general population. However, my business is on the back burner for now, partially due to this program! I’ve blogged and kept an OT presence on social media since my first semester in OT school back in January of 2006. I love reading, writing, anything at all to do with OT (I never get tired of it), hula hoop dancing, slacklining, rock balancing/stacking, mixed media, walking on the beach, and much more.

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