Student Resources by and for Occupational Therapy students 

Students, we thank you for your continued membership and engagement. We encourage you to submit any of your current research to our Call for Papers for the Annual FOTA Conference this October 26-27! Please see main page for more details, hope to see you there.

FROM THE EDITOR

INSPIRATION CORNER

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

As spring break comes to an end and some of us wrap up fieldwork and midterms, no matter the case, we have all continued to work hard toward our goal of becoming OTs/OTAs. I had the opportunity to have three weeks off to complete level 1 fieldwork and get a chance to de-stress Sue Ram FOTA Networkingfrom the first half of the semester. One of my 40-hour placements consisted of time at an outpatient hand clinic, which allowed me to apply what I have been learning in the classroom and to experience a setting I haven’t been able to as of yet. I had a great time interacting with all of the clients and having the ability to see how motivated they all were to restore function to their lives. I also utilized some of my free time to get more involved with FOTA by attending the “Speed Dating with an OT” event held at the Nova Southeastern Tampa Campus and hosted by Dr. Dana Dixie from South University. Getting to network with experienced practitioners was a great way to hear real-world stories and get some great advice that I will carry with me throughout  the rest of my occupational therapy journey. As a graduate student, it can sometimes seem that we may not have time to do things outside of school, but I am glad that I made time to become more involved with my state association. If you are interested in more networking activities, please check the FOTA website or your regional Facebook pages for events near you. I wish you a successful rest of the semester! Just a reminder that April is OT month! If your program is doing anything fun to celebrate, please fee free to share with us!
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Level 1 Fieldwork Reflectionalt
By Kelly Daniels, OTD/S

As an OT or OTA student, you are required to complete a level I fieldwork placement where the student is engaging and developing the skills required of a clinician. Also required are multiple level II fieldwork placements depending on the universities curriculum, requiring more hands-on learning through the application of the skills developed in and out of the classroom. Both levels have significant areas of importance, giving the student the opportunity to develop the skills needed to become a successful occupational therapist. According to The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education [ACOTE] (2017), a successful OT and OTA student will be able to demonstrate therapeutic use of self, including one’s personality, insights, perceptions, and judgments, as part of the therapeutic process in both individual and group interactions. The student will be challenged to transfer the knowledge and skills learned from the classroom into the clinical setting by applying their view and perception of what occupational therapy services can do for patients. Learning opportunities will arise when not expected which not only forces the student to think on his or her toes, but enhance his or her skill set to a higher level.  

After completing three level I placements in all different settings, I feel more confident in areas that I was unfamiliar with like OT in the school system. I was forced out of my comfort zone in many situations where I was able to challenge myself to become a more competent OT student. I am more determined to continue to advance my skills in the areas of fieldwork that I did have experience in like my SCI outpatient placement. Going out on fieldwork placements can be terrifying to some students; no one wants to embarrass themselves or portray themselves as not being qualified as a competent occupational therapist. It is good to be nervous, but rather than being terrified, be anxious to finally be in the field-to not only learn from some of the best rehab professionals out there, but to show them what you can do for someone and how you can help that someone change their life and live it to the fullest.  

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Getting Inspired: Conference Time!
By Sue Ram, OTD/S

As the annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference & Expo approaches this April, I thought it would be beneficial to highlight some perks and benefits to conferencing. If you are unable to make it to Salt Lake CIty this year, trying marking your calendar for the annual FOTA conference later this year in November. As a student, I have found many benefits to attending the national and state conferences and I would always encourage students to try it out at least once before graduation. Attending occupational therapy conferences as a student is a great way to get inspired and to meet people who come from diverse backgrounds and experience, whether from the perspective of a skilled practitioner, a client, or even a student! Networking as a student can allow for connecting with others who share the same passion as you while building connections with practitioners who can become mentors and sometimes even friends. Attending conferences also allows for a great opportunity to learn more in-depth about topics that you may have brushed on in class such as robotics/technology, oncology, or leadership, to name a few. It can also be a great way to showcase any research you may have been working on during your OT/OTA program. Attending a conference can be overwhelming, but a great way to remember why you chose this field. Another perk is that as a student member of AOTA you can get a student rate for the conference and you can also get a student rate for the FOTA conference if you are a member of FOTA! I highly encourage you to invest in your future and take some time to attend a conference as a student to get inspired. Please visit the main FOTA page for instructions and information on submitting to the FOTA Annual Call for Papers.

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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:
AOTF Scholarships Overview: 
AOTF Scholarships Available: 
AOTF Scholarships -- How to apply: 
AOTA Scholarship Info page:


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!                   


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