If you’ve been following the blog, you know I’m currently in Florida for my first Level 2 fieldwork/clinical rotation for occupational therapy. As the end of my third week is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d give you guys an update on how it’s going.
First Things First: What Even Is Fieldwork?
Great question! Occupational therapy is a Masters degree which lasts about 2 years. OT students complete Level 1 and Level 2 Fieldwork experiences at some point during their curriculum (all schools differ a little bit with timelines). In Level 2 Fieldwork, OT students are placed at an occupational therapy setting (pediatrics, inpatient rehabilitation, acute care, hand therapy, outpatient rehabilitation, etc.) full-time for 12 weeks, and by the end of the 12 weeks it is expected that the student will have a full caseload of patients and will be essentially functioning as an occupational therapist.
My First Three Weeks
To be honest, I’m having a lot of ups and downs in my experience. I’m enjoying my setting and I feel like I’m learning SO much–every day I learn at least one new thing! But I feel uneasy and my confidence isn’t superb…I think it’s all part of the learning experience so I’m trying to be forgiving and supportive of myself, and remind myself that I will make mistakes and that it’s ok to make mistakes right now. My feelings about how I’m doing are riding a roller coaster multiple times each day; I go back and forth from feeling really good about what I did and proud of myself, to feeling uneasy and worrying that I’m disappointing my supervisor. It’s sounds kind of crazy, even as I’m typing it, but it’s something that I’m working on. I know that I’ll learn so much in my 12 weeks at this hospital, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be mentored by such amazing OT’s.
The Best Part
Something that I’ve really enjoyed about my Fieldwork so far is the opportunity to connect with the patients. I consider myself an outgoing introvert, so I sometimes struggle with making small talk and starting conversations with people, but I’ve really enjoyed trying to engage the patients. It’s been very rewarding to work with the same people each day, and watch them progress. I find myself feeling very satisfied when I feel like I’ve made a connection with a patient. All in all, I’m so glad that I chose to study occupational therapy–I believe it’s a calling, rather than a career, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I realize that I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do. You know?
Thanks for letting me get all into my feelings and gush about OT today! You guys are the best.