altStudent Resources
by and for Occupational Therapy students

The Summer Scoop
Real student thoughts, opinions, and experiences

altby Cheryl Mae Granada

Summer is not only a season for beaches and pools in Florida, it is a verb describing spending time in a particular place. These last three months occupational therapy students summered in different places. This summer 2016 many occupational therapy students kept busy. Whether it was experiencing their first level II fieldwork to volunteering for a setting that is underserved or simply pondering the future of our profession. This summer issue reflects real student thoughts, opinions, and experiences during a time where others are relaxing and enjoying the sun. However, the writers all followed a balanced occupational lifestyle this season as we found time to not only rest but also share our and others’ stories.

click on photo or above to be directed to podcast.

Title: The occupational therapist and the assistive technology professional: Just another certification?

Author: Jennifer Honda, OTD-S, NSU Tampa.

 Description: This podcast reviews the assistive technology professional (ATP) certification and the role it plays in the field of occupational therapy.

By Jordan Powers, OTD-S

Hello everyone! Hopefully school, fieldwork or break is going well and you are still excited about becoming an occupational therapy practitioner. In this section I wanted to give you a little encouragement not only through the videos and stories as last time, but also through my own experiences. Prior to beginning my schooling for occupational therapy I was working with adults with physical disabilities and loved it. It was the main reason why I wanted to be an occupational therapist. During my first school year, I considered physical disabilities to be my passion and focus of my career. Recently however, I completed my first level II fieldwork rotation at an outpatient pediatric facility that focuses on early intervention, and I absolutely loved it. Due to my lack of experience with children before starting school, I figured I would be awkward and that it would be difficult for me to transition to providing therapy to little ones… and I was terrified that I didn’t know anything about interacting with children.

My children and youth fieldwork rotation loomed over me and I was apprehensive about how to demonstrate OT knowledge while having no experience with children at all. However, now that I have completed my first level II fieldwork rotation (YAY)! I realized that children are not that scary, and apparently I am a natural with the young kiddos. When we face the unknown, whether a new fieldwork experience, a daunting class, an intimidating professor, or practicing to take the NBCOT exam and finally finishing school to enter the “real world”; we must face it head on with all the knowledge and experiences that we have. Our programs are all qualified to teach us the skills that we need to be great occupational therapy practitioners. We just have to trust them and ourselves. We all need to take a step back and realize just how far we have come. Good luck in your future endeavors and remember to make a difference in all of your clients’ lives.        top

By Jonathan Pitts, OTD-S

Part 1: Framing

You can already feel it from simply reading the title. You get that same feeling when a family member decides that it is a good idea to start talking about their favorite presidential candidate during Thanksgiving dinner. During this season of polarization in our country over every issue that is out there, those of us who practice (or seek to practice) occupational therapy have another issue to take a side on. Should the entry-level degree to practice occupational therapy be shifted from a Masters to a Clinical Doctorate? And should the entry-level degree to become an occupational therapy assistant be shifted from Associates to Bachelors? 

Like every other issue people have drawn lines and taken sides and as with every other heated issue there are those who oversimplify complexity and nuance. Are we caving into the pressure of the current healthcare trends or are we becoming stagnant in an ever-progressive healthcare environment? Does an entry-level practitioner need a higher level of education to be competitive and competent in the current climate or are we putting a superfluous educational and financial burden on young therapists? These and other questions should be thoroughly dissected and analyzed before a decision has been made. 

I’m not so arrogant to think that I’ll have the definitive answer at the end of these series of articles. My goal is to put forth the arguments so that students and practitioners who read this might be better informed of all sides of the issue. I hope to summarize and analyze current leader positions, interview current practitioners and educators, as well as other healthcare professionals in order to elucidate the issue. I’ll let you, the reader; decide if I achieve my goal.

It is well known that the American Occupational Therapy Association wants the profession to move to the entry level OTD by 2025, and that Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education has put a pause on that. In the next couple of years, we as a profession must make a decision that will shape our practice for the foreseeable future. Let us make an intentional one.                        top


By Pearl Johnson COTA/L, MOT-S (Pictured) and
Cheryl Mae Granada, OTD-S


Pearl Johnson

Summertime is often associated with a hiatus from work however, for Pearl Johnson and six of her classmates (Jenna Cooper, Shelby Greenlund, Rachel McGalliard, Lauren Wallingford, and Samantha Zimmerman) summer was also a time to give back at the Walt Disney Clubhouse Boys and Girls Club. Pearl is a second year MOT student at Adventist University in Orlando. She has an Associates of OTA and Bachelors in Health Science. She wanted to become an occupational therapist because of her love of helping others and her calling to serve God and help people as best as she can. In five years she sees herself working with children either in the school system or an outpatient clinic and hopes to open her own pediatric clinic. 

Taking the time to volunteer out in the community is a very important part of occupational therapy practice. Just this past month, students in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at Adventist University of Health Sciences took the time to volunteer at a Boys & Girls Club located in an impoverished area of Orlando. Recent statistics show that in the United States, childhood obesity is a serious problem, and it has led to the early onset of certain diseases such as high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, and high cholesterol in children. As the prevalence of childhood obesity sadly continues to rise, so does the need for parents and mentors to teach the importance of healthy living, as well as to model these behaviors.

The program that was implemented at the Boys & Girls Club was called Healthy Kids 101. Our program focused on the younger population, which varied from ages 6-8. During the volunteer event, students were given the opportunity to educate young children on the importance of making good choices when it comes to intake such as food and drinks and occupations such as exercise, sleep, and screen time. The students were engaging during the presentation and eager to answer any questions about the importance of healthy living and the effect it has on occupations. At the end of the presentation, the children were given a slip of paper that listed the main points of the program as friendly reminder souvenir. In addition they were provided a solo cup with ‘Worth 2 Cups’ written on it as a visual reminder, and a MyPlate coloring sheet. These items were given to help reinforce the healthy living tips taught for lasting outcomes. 

A role of occupational therapy in community health is to educate young children on the importance of healthy living skills.  Educating young children allows OT to begin preventative care at a young age. As occupational therapy students, we were able to relate the importance of healthy living and how it impacts all areas of occupation, and how healthy choices help to enhance the quality of life of individuals. Overall, the students from ADU really enjoyed the experience and were grateful for the opportunity to share the importance of healthy living through the Healthy Kids 101 program. Our goal was to encourage young children to make wise choices now, because it can ultimately affect their health in the future.                                     top


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Your FOTA  Membership dollars at work! The Florida OT Association Board is pleased to announce that membership dollars have now promoted the opportunity of education! In 2010 the Board voted to form a partnership with the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) to enable your state association to offer a scholarship to an OT student. Monies from a long-held but small scholarship fund in the name of Myra McDaniels were given to the AOTF to manage. This action has allowed these monies to grow sufficiently to offer a scholarship this year. AOTF reported this month that Over 1,000 students began the process and over two hundred students submitted their applications. The Scholarship Selection Committee is now busy reviewing the applications. Your Association Board and future recipients of this scholarship thank you for your membership! For more information visit: |Download Scholarship Sources PDF


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About Student Resources: 

Meet your Student Resource Writers

Jonathan Pitts OTD-S, Student Resource WriterJonathan Pitts OTD-S, Student Resource Writer

Hello, I’m Jonathan Pitts! Welcome to the Hot Topics section of the FOTA student resource page. Within this section I will be reporting and discussing issues that are current, important, and sometimes controversial to the field of occupational therapy. 

My goal is to present ideas and information fairly and critically so that readers can be more informed about their profession and the wider healthcare landscape. If you have any comments, ideas for topics, or contributions feel free to email me at I found occupational therapy senior year at Flagler College. With a social and cultural psychology background I felt that my own goals of helping people regain their lives lined up with the core philosophy of OT. I am currently a Doctor of Occupational Therapy student at Nova Southeastern University Tampa.

 Jordan Powers OTD-S, Student Resource WriterJordan Powers OTD-S, Student Resource Writer

Hello everyone!  My name is Jordan Powers and I am a second year Doctor of Occupational Therapy student at Nova Southeastern University in Tampa, FL. I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2008. After graduation, I volunteered as an occupational therapy technician at an Army hospital in N.C. and fell in love with the profession. 

One day I hope to make a difference in the lives of military members with physical and mental traumas. Being involved and volunteering allows me to fulfill my passion for serving others. I love this profession and hope that my enthusiasm INSPIRES you. I am always available through email: so just drop a line if you need a little individual encouragement.

Cheryl Mae Granada OTD-S: Student Resource CoordinatorCheryl Mae Granada OTD-S, Student Resource Coordinator

Hello! Welcome to Community Connections. My name is Cheryl Mae Granada and the purpose of this section is to raise awareness of what is happening with student occupational therapy organizations within Florida (OTA/MOT/OTD programs). As a writer in this section, my goal is to bridge connections and promote networking opportunities between students who follow the same passion of occupational therapy. We can learn so much from each other. I hope to do this by interviewing and spotlighting local student organizations each semester. Please contact me at if you would like your student organization to participate in an interview. 

Along with trying to connect the student occupational therapy community through this section, I am a second year Doctor of Occupational Therapy student at Nova Southeastern University-Tampa. Go Sharks! I knew I wanted to be an occupational therapist when I was in tenth grade and I have a personal goal to spread the word on the specialized services that occupational therapy has to offer in this day and age. I hope to work with children and youth however, with the vast opportunities our profession has to offer I intend to keep my mind open.                                                       top


Jonathan Pitts OTD-S, Student Resource Writer

Jordan Powers OTD-S, Student Resource Writer

Cheryl Mae Granada OTD-S: Student Resource Coordinator

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