Student Resources by and for Occupational Therapy students 

FOTA would like to welcome the 2017-2018 Student Resource team members Sue Ram and Kelly Daniels! Special thanks to our 2016-2017 Student Resource Writers, Cheryl-Mae Granada, Johnathan Pitts, & Jordan Powers for all their hard work and time given to the Student Resource Center. 

Students, we invite you to attend our annual FOTA conference on November 3rd-4th to continue the Centennial celebration of occupational therapy. We also will have tables available for SOTA groups to fund raise at convention, details will be available soon.

FROM THE EDITOR

INSPIRATION CORNER

HOT TOPICS

STUDENT MEMBERSHIP

STUDENT RESOURCES

TAKE MEMBERSHIP NATIONAL

STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS

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A Note From The Editor
by Sue Ram, OTD/S

As students who are in the process of blooming into OTs and OTAs, it is critical to strive to focus on professionalism through our state OT association in order to become engaged in our profession at the highest extent. In doing so, we can remain informed on changes that directly affect our profession (Breeden et al., 2000). At FOTA, we are hoping to continue to grow engagement with our OT and OTA students in the state. I encourage all students to visit our student resource page often and share experiences and ideas with your SOTA groups. According to Breeden et al. (2000), membership in a professional organization is a basic premise of professionalism where members actively contribute (e.g., presenting research, volunteerism). I encourage you to explore what you can contribute to our wonderful state association and continue to advocate for occupational therapy. Good luck on the new semester and encourage your peers to engage with FOTA!

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Back to School Tips

By Kelly Daniels, OTD/S

It’s that time of the year again! The beginning of a new semester as an occupational therapy student. It is important to remember that we all chose this path for a reason and that we fought incredibly hard to make is this far. As this challenging road continues to open doors and bring about frustration, we must all remember why we are here and that success is ahead. Preparing yourself physically and mentally is significant while traveling through your journey of OT/OTA school. Mentally having confidence in yourself shows the determination and willingness to never give up when the stress kicks in. Getting enough sleep at night shows you are mentally prepared for class or lab the next day. It is vital to remember that this journey is not undergrad anymore; no more pulling “all-nighters” because you procrastinated and waited until the very last second. As an OT/OTA student, sleeping for 8 hours a night is the best medicine to fully recover and be prepared for class the next day. How about your stress reliever? Make sure you have stress management strategies in place. Mine is working out every morning to release the stressful emotions that I have been feeling all week. Playing sports is also a fun stress reliever because it gets you moving in a social setting!

Perhaps reading gets things off your mind or  cooking a nutritious meal with your  family.  How about a pick-up game of  soccer or a  movie night with some  friends?  Find that  hobby or activity you  obsess  over and schedule a time each week to clear your head. When it comes to studying, think about the type of learner you are. Are visual diagrams helpful or is recording the lecture more suitable? As an OT/OTA student, being proactive and getting ahead of the game is a significant factor to become successful. Get help as soon as you know you’re not understanding something, read the assigned material, go over the notes before class starts, go to class prepared with questions, and stay focused by hand writing notes. Hopefully these tips can make that new-semester transition a little bit smoother. Good luck to all this semester!

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Advocacy & Policyalt
By Sue Ram, OTD/S

As AOTA’s Capitol Hill Day approaches in mid-September and policy changes are made on the state and federal level, you may think, “what does this have to do with me if I am just a student?” or “how can I get involved with advocacy?”. The good news is that AOTA has it all laid out for us. According to The American Occupational Therapy Association (2017), federal and state legislature affect where you practice, how much you get paid, and what populations you can provide services to. For example, if you are interested in the mental health area of practice and the legislature supporting OT in mental health continues to fail, the chances of you being able to practice in that area can become smaller.
There are many ways to support causes related to OT and following will be a few ways to make your voice heard.
  • Attend AOTA’s Hill Day (all materials and meeting times will be provided upon arrival)
  • Attend the FOTA Day at the Capitol, typically held during the Spring semester (transportation sometimes provided)!
  • Hold a virtual Hill Day with your SOTA organization. Here is a nifty tool to help you navigate AOTA’s Legislative Action Center: https://vimeo.com/230282118 PW: “SueHillDay”
  • Educate family and friends on the benefits of occupational therapy.
  • Engage in OT research on topics and settings you care about and present at the FOTA conference later in the fall or the AOTA national conference in March, 2018.
  • Research who your state and district representatives are and email them or write letters in support of our profession.
  • Stay up-to-date on legal affairs related to healthcare and encourage others to participate as well, remember, there is strength in numbers!
  • Follow AOTA Federal Affairs members on Twitter and join in on Twitter conversations.
Some students may say they aren’t really “into” politics, however, being involved with federal affairs are important to ensure that our profession continues to experience positive change over the years. Think about what area of OT you are interested in and do some research on how federal affairs are affecting it. I know it can seem intimidating at first, but it can feel great to have your voice heard and know that you advocated for our wonderful profession of OT!
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References
Breeden, L., Fultz, R., Gersbacher, C., Murrell, J., Pedersen, K., Thomas, K., & Hanna-Stewart, J. (2000). The relationship among demographic variables, professionalism, and level of involvement in a state occupational therapy association. Occupational Therapy In Health Care, 12(2/3), 53-72.


STUDENT RESOURCES

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STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS
Your FOTA  Membership dollars are at work! The FOTA board is pleased to announce a partnership with AOTA 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. AOTF reported this month that over 1,000 students began the process and over two hundred students submitted their applications. The Scholarship Selection Committee reviews applications on a yearly basis. Your Association Board and future recipients of this scholarship thank you for your membership! For more information visit:


About Student Resources: 
 
Sue Ram, OTD/S, Student Resource Editor                 

My name is Sue Ram and I am a second year OTD student at Gannon University! I am a native of the wonderful Tampa Bay area and I am excited to contribute my writing and editing skills to FOTA as the Student Resource Coordinator. I graduated from the University of South Florida where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Health Communication. I also received a minor in Behavioral Healthcare and another in Criminology. 

A hobby for  writing and a passion for occupational therapy is what brought me to this point of writing for our state OT association. I believe that writing is a powerful means of advocating for our profession, especially in technologically advanced times. My OT area of interest is in early intervention and mental health, so I will be writing about topics ranging from advocacy and hot topics in those areas. My goal is to encourage higher student membership with FOTA in hopes to motivate students to explore the importance of communication and advocacy in our profession. Feel free to email me if you have any article suggestions or have a cool story to share about your school or SOTA group (I would love to interview you!). I look forward to connecting with all Florida MOT, OTD,  and OTA students, so please don’t hesitate to contact me at anytime.

 Kelly Daniels, OTD/S, Student Writer

 My name is Kelly Daniels and I am a current OTD student  at Gannon University in Ruskin, FL. I traveled to Florida  after graduating from The University of Pittsburgh in  Pittsburgh,  Pennsylvania to further my career in this  growing field. I come from Pittsburgh with a psychology and rehabilitation science background offering many experiences from pediatrics to working in a wheelchair clinic with Veterans to working as a homecare aide. I have a lot of experience with pediatrics from working at The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh previously, assisting occupational, physical, and speech therapists with their clients. I am sports fanatic and a collegiate athlete, always finding time for softball and soccer as they continue to be hobbies of mine.

My goals are to inform the current readers about the field of occupational therapy and how current students can expand their knowledge inside and outside of the classroom. I believe it is important for students to understand the meaning of occupational balance and all of the opportunities that occupational therapy has to offer. As I continue through my career at Gannon, my hope is to continue to network and seek out all of the opportunities that Florida provides for my class, the incoming OT class, and myself. I am open to any ideas and questions any of the current readers might have so feel free to reach out to Sue and myself!                   


CONTACTS:
FOTA Administration                               
                                                   
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