Interview with Nicoleila W.: Licensed Occupational Therapist
How did you become an Occupational Therapist
I became an Occupational Therapist (OT) after being exposed to this career field when my mother had a stroke. I had not heard of this job title prior. My mother lives in Germany and I resided in the United States at the time. My mother’s recovery was long and she kept talking about how her OT was helping her so much in her everyday activities when I spoke to her on the phone.
I became curious and did some career exploration as to what exactly an OT did. I was so excited I started to think about the impact that OT’s had on people’s lives and began to take steps in becoming one myself. I shadowed OT’s in various fields, took some basic medical classes, and looked for colleges that offered an occupational therapy degree. This is how I began my journey in becoming an OT.
What do you like about being an Occupational Therapist
As an occupational therapist, the thing I cherish the most in my job is the impact that I have on helping my patients during the stages of recovery – whether it is getting them back to what they did before their illness or injury or finding different ways to accomplish those same tasks.
What aspect of your career surprised you?
When entering the occupational therapy career field, I was most surprised by the wide scope of practice. An occupational therapist can work in a variety of settings. They work in hospitals, mental health programs, schools, burn centers, acute rehabilitation, nursing homes, home health care, orthopedic, pediatrics, and even outpatient settings.
What advise would you give others who may be interested in becoming an Occupational Therapist
My biggest advice in becoming an occupational therapist (or for any career field for that matter), is shadowing someone that does that works in your chosen field to ensure it is a good fit! This is the best way to find out if it is the right career path prior to starting.
Is there any other information about the profession you’d like someone to know?
If you like to help people, it is amazing career field to go into and so rewarding!