Over the past Open House I was asked a question that was really fun to answer…
“Are your occupational therapy labs hands on?”
My answer was absolutely! Our classrooms are set up in a way that allows us to do a lot of hands on activities for all of our classes, not just labs. I do not believe I have had an occupational therapy class that did not have a hands on activity in it. Our classrooms are equipped with mats that we can pull down from the walls for easy hands on access. We also have a full kitchen and bathroom in the one classroom, along with a whole storage closet full of activities, wheelchairs and adaptive equipment for us to explore and use. I especially love my one class, OCT 571 Occupational Performance: Adolescents and Young Adults because we have guest speakers, hands on labs in the classroom and we go to Sitrin Healthcare Center where we get to practice our developing skills on real clients. Our guest speakers have been other OT’s from different settings and clients with injuries/disorders that we are discussing in class and we are free to ask them anything that is appropriate to our learning. It has been very beneficial speaking with these clients because we get to see a person who has benefited from OT and we can get an idea of what our clients will expect from us and we can understand their injuries/disorders. In the classroom we have practiced skills such as taking a blood pressure, properly sizing wheelchairs, creating splints and so much more! When it comes to Sitrin, I absolutely love it! We have been given an incredible opportunity to work with clients practicing our skills of testing range of motion, manual muscle testing, giving assessments and just getting to practice our communication skills with clients. I love that our professors and therapists at Sitrin have given us this opportunity to get our feet wet in a learning environment instead of just having us get thrown into fieldwork. I have a friend that is in OT school at another college and she is very jealous that we get to go to a healthcare facility because she does not get that opportunity and she is nervous for her fieldwork because of it. I feel very prepared for my first fieldwork and look very forward to it, thank you, Utica College Occupational Therapy Program!