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Welcome to the Occupational Therapy International Online Network (OTION).

Our goal is to provide an online resource for the international occupational therapy community through this on-line forum.

You will have the opportunity to participate in discussion topics related to your practice area and interact with your international colleagues. A moderator, who will be a resource to the group, monitors each topic.

We look forward to your participation and contribution to international occupational therapy practice.

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#1 Tuesday 27th of September 2016 04:46

pgvmartinez
Member

OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hi OT students!

For this time around, this will be a room for discussion on encountered challenges as an OT Student.

Are you currently experiencing a difficult situation as a student?
How have you overcome a past challenge? How are you coping up?
Do you have an interesting story on how you have to explain to people what OT is about?
What strategies do you use to balance your commitments? Are there occupations that you would like to be doing that you are not doing?
Of all the things that you do now, which are the most important, most satisfying?


You are welcome to share your stories, tips, and the like!


Looking forward to your posts!


Sincerely,
Pauline



Pauline Gail Martinez
Faculty Member
Department of Occupational Therapy
University of the Philippines-Manila

Offline

#2 Tuesday 27th of September 2016 16:35

shmays
Moderator

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hi Pauline! Thanks for continuing student topic threads. One of the more challenging and rewarding aspects of my program at the moment is diversity. In the US, OT is not a diverse profession (e.g. racially, by gender). Classmates and I are currently in challenging discourse on how demographics within our program and profession affect the research produced, the work we do, and the people we serve. We're working on diversity and health equity task initiatives at the moment, but I would love to hear how other OT programs across the globe are tackling issues of diversity, inclusion, and health equity.

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#3 Thursday 29th of September 2016 10:39

esc501
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

shmays wrote:

Hi Pauline! Thanks for continuing student topic threads. One of the more challenging and rewarding aspects of my program at the moment is diversity. In the US, OT is not a diverse profession (e.g. racially, by gender). Classmates and I are currently in challenging discourse on how demographics within our program and profession affect the research produced, the work we do, and the people we serve. We're working on diversity and health equity task initiatives at the moment, but I would love to hear how other OT programs across the globe are tackling issues of diversity, inclusion, and health equity.


Hello :-)

I am currently on a masters course in the UK. I have moved from another profession, and one of the main difficulties I had was explaining to people what I was doing, and people viewing it as not a good move to make - mainly because they misunderstood was Occupational Therapy is about. When explaining it, I have found that people want a quick answer, and that can be hard as I found (and still do find) it good to give examples. It as got a bit easier as I have started the course, because I am becoming more sure of what it is all about. I try to include what occupation means, and talk about working with people who, for various reasons, are finding it difficult to do the things they need or want to do. Followed by a few examples. I'm not claiming this to be the best way, and it has been difficult!

Practical things like moving house, money etc have been difficult, but that was helped by planning before I decided to move over to this course.

Interesting what you say shmays - we have also been talking about the lack of diversity on the course! I know the course does interview and accept international students, but I wonder if it is something to do with who is applying for the course in the first place, and why it isn't a very diverse selection of people who want to apply. I'm sure there are deeper issues here regarding that...perhaps to do with education, stereotypes, aspirations. We have just submitted our research proposals, and I was very aware, as you say, of mine being yet another piece of research from a white, middle-class, Western woman...(!)

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#4 Friday 30th of September 2016 07:37

RichardIrvin
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

esc501 wrote:
shmays wrote:

Hi Pauline! Thanks for continuing student topic threads. One of the more challenging and rewarding aspects of my program at the moment is diversity. In the US, OT is not a diverse profession (e.g. racially, by gender). Classmates and I are currently in challenging discourse on how demographics within our program and profession affect the research produced, the work we do, and the people we serve. We're working on diversity and health equity task initiatives at the moment, but I would love to hear how other OT programs across the globe are tackling issues of diversity, inclusion, and health equity.


Hello :-)

I am currently on a masters course in the UK. I have moved from another profession, and one of the main difficulties I had was explaining to people what I was doing, and people viewing it as not a good move to make - mainly because they misunderstood was Occupational Therapy is about. When explaining it, I have found that people want a quick answer, and that can be hard as I found (and still do find) it good to give examples. It as got a bit easier as I have started the course, because I am becoming more sure of what it is all about. I try to include what occupation means, and talk about working with people who, for various reasons, are finding it difficult to do the things they need or want to do. Followed by a few examples. I'm not claiming this to be the best way, and it has been difficult!

Practical things like moving house, money etc have been difficult, but that was helped by planning before I decided to move over to this course.

Interesting what you say shmays - we have also been talking about the lack of diversity on the course! I know the course does interview and accept international students, but I wonder if it is something to do with who is applying for the course in the first place, and why it isn't a very diverse selection of people who want to apply. I'm sure there are deeper issues here regarding that...perhaps to do with education, stereotypes, aspirations. We have just submitted our research proposals, and I was very aware, as you say, of mine being yet another piece of research from a white, middle-class, Western woman...(!)

Hi! My name's Richard. I'm from the Philippines. Like you, I have a difficult time explaining to others what OT actually is. People here often associate occupational therapy with physical therapy. I often use the analogy "PTs teach clients how to move his legs, but an OT teaches him how to dance." One of the difficulties of studying OT here in the Philippines is that OT not being that well-known and that some people don't really know what we do. Prior to studying OT in UP Manila, I tried to explain it to the people who ask me what it is, but I ultimately fail. Now in my second year studying OT, I got a lot better at it. I feels great to have someone understand OT when I explain it! Also, another problem is advocacy. OT advocacies are always overshadowed by other advocacies and sometimes, it's eventually forgotten. As a solution, my college tries to encourage us to be aggressive advocates. Our class projects often involves us posting stuff on facebook or sharing publicity materials on social media sites.

These are some of the problems of OT in the Philippines. I am interested to learn what OT challenges the other countries face and how they deal with them. Hope to hear from you guys soon!

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#5 Friday 30th of September 2016 12:00

jbomamos
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hello, everyone! Jalan Omamos here, a student from the University of the Philippines-Manila.

It's just so ironic and awkwardly fascinating that some of the concepts I am learning from school aren't really that applicable to me or maybe to others as well. Recently, we have discussed the importance of Occupational Competence, and I assessed myself, " Am I occupationally competent to what I am doing? To studies and to life in general?" "How can I be an Occupational Therapist if I feel like I'm not?" Well, the perplexity of the questions puts me on hold. Lots of inquiry started to arise like, "Is this what I really want?" "Am I on the right path?" "Am I capable of withstanding this challenges?"

Whenever these situations happen, the best way to do is to drift back on your usual track (Example, "the optimistic and confident Ja"). One of the steps I recently learned is the science of manipulating your own body language. They say that the more you do power poses in a given workload (typically sense of dominance on how you present yourself, e.g. Body alignment on point whenever you sit or standing with a straight back), the more you recognize the positive side of the task at hand. Another step that I have learned is that sense of competence starts with empowerment and attitude towards the goal.  So whenever you feel like you are stressed, go back to the basics. Start to reflect why are you continuing OT, why are you called to be an OT.

According to a lecture I have attended, that potential growth starts with a choice. And I believe that the choice and willpower to continue starts from ourselves.

I hope you are encouraged! I would like to hear from you!

Last edited by jbomamos (Friday 30th of September 2016 12:38)

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#6 Friday 30th of September 2016 12:13

gvyrastorza
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hello everyone. Ito here from the Philippines. I don't have a lot of time, so I just want to address a simple yet possibly problematic issue for us OT students in regards to using this forum as a means of interaction and correspondence.

I have just discovered around the forums bots and spammers. Now, as young as the forums may be, I see this as a threat to us OT students in using OTION as a way to connect.

It may not seem like a big problem, but I as an OT student see this forum as a very important tool for all of us to share our knowledge, experiences, and resources with each other. I will post again some other time, but for the meantime, I bring up this small (as of yet) challenge.

Offline

#7 Saturday 1st of October 2016 14:17

RichardIrvin
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

gvyrastorza wrote:

Hello everyone. Ito here from the Philippines. I don't have a lot of time, so I just want to address a simple yet possibly problematic issue for us OT students in regards to using this forum as a means of interaction and correspondence.

I have just discovered around the forums bots and spammers. Now, as young as the forums may be, I see this as a threat to us OT students in using OTION as a way to connect.

It may not seem like a big problem, but I as an OT student see this forum as a very important tool for all of us to share our knowledge, experiences, and resources with each other. I will post again some other time, but for the meantime, I bring up this small (as of yet) challenge.

Hey Ito! I'm Richard. That's a cool discovery. I'm glad you brought this up. Bots and spammers are really a hassle but I guess the confirmation message and the password OTION sends to our e-mail account are sufficient enough against these spambots.

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#8 Sunday 2nd of October 2016 05:18

pgcruz4
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hi! I’m Phoebe Cruz from the University of the Philippines Manila.

As a college student I expected that there would be loads of requirements, assignments, examinations, or things simply known as stress. Stress is not a foreign word to me especially when I entered university. Stress has always been a part of my life. It’s not uncommon to us students; even so, I think it’s unhealthy. I’m already in my second year and I realize now how important it is take care of my health. I used to be a very active person; I do physical activities with ease. Today, I find it difficult to move my body ardently because now I get tired easily. I cannot afford to sleep early at night because I need to finish my requirements. I travel far every day and it gives additional toil in my body. I never get the chance to eat healthy food since there are only fast foods around the university. I try to do exercises and even dance, but I feel like my body would give up whenever I do them. The doctor said that my immune system went down. Now, I get sick easily when I get poured down by little rain. Sometimes, I feel like vomiting while in class, and the previous week, my mouth had mouth sores and I had sore throat, I really had a hard time eating.

I know how important the requirements and exams are in school, but I don’t think it is right to sacrifice our health just so we can finish our academic responsibilities. Now, I learned that we, especially students, need to know how to manage our time and balance our tasks. If we wanted to have both good grades and a healthy body, we need to use our time wisely.

Even if I don’t join in a lot of orgs, I still find it very helpful for me to have a good time with my fellow blockmates, my second family. It wasn’t bad for me to have fun with them because they keep me sane.

Occupational therapists should know how significant balance is in our lives. I realized how I should not just be aware of this fact but I also have to take this into heart.  If I wanted to become a prolific OT in the future, I need to give utmost importance to the health and well-being of a person.

Last edited by pgcruz4 (Sunday 2nd of October 2016 05:19)


@Pbpandaa

Offline

#9 Sunday 2nd of October 2016 05:30

pgcruz4
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

jbomamos wrote:

Hello, everyone! Jalan Omamos here, a student from the University of the Philippines-Manila.

It's just so ironic and awkwardly fascinating that some of the concepts I am learning from school aren't really that applicable to me or maybe to others as well. Recently, we have discussed the importance of Occupational Competence, and I assessed myself, " Am I occupationally competent to what I am doing? To studies and to life in general?" "How can I be an Occupational Therapist if I feel like I'm not?" Well, the perplexity of the questions puts me on hold. Lots of inquiry started to arise like, "Is this what I really want?" "Am I on the right path?" "Am I capable of withstanding this challenges?"

Whenever these situations happen, the best way to do is to drift back on your usual track (Example, "the optimistic and confident Ja"). One of the steps I recently learned is the science of manipulating your own body language. They say that the more you do power poses in a given workload (typically sense of dominance on how you present yourself, e.g. Body alignment on point whenever you sit or standing with a straight back), the more you recognize the positive side of the task at hand. Another step that I have learned is that sense of competence starts with empowerment and attitude towards the goal.  So whenever you feel like you are stressed, go back to the basics. Start to reflect why are you continuing OT, why are you called to be an OT.

According to a lecture I have attended, that potential growth starts with a choice. And I believe that the choice and willpower to continue starts from ourselves.

I hope you are encouraged! I would like to hear from you!



Hi Jalan! i'm Phoebe. It is indeed true that sometimes we students lose track in our lives, we become too occupied in what we are doing now yet we are not actually aware of what we really want in the future. It's a good thing to take a pause and reflect. We won't lose track if we know what are our true dreams and goals right? thank you so much for sharing your insights with us, It's really helpful. Hope I can read more from you! :-)


@Pbpandaa

Offline

#10 Sunday 2nd of October 2016 09:51

avaguila1
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hi again! I am Alyssa from UP Manila. I would like to share to you some of the challenges I face as a student.

Before entering college, I already have heard a lot of stories that tell how stressful college can be. Somehow, I was already preparing myself for all the challenges I was about to face. But then, no preparation is enough for you to be really ready and equip for tertiary education. I realized when I was already starting college that, before, I only thought about getting myself ready for my classes and how difficult all could be. I wasn’t able to prepare myself for all the other things that come with college life. It may not be obvious for some but I really had a hard time adjusting. During the first 2 or 3 months of my first year college, I was always sick considering that I am not that kind of person who easily gets sick or even have colds. It was really hard to study especially when I was not feeling well.

Another challenge, I continuously face up until now is being away from home. I have to live in a dormitory for my entire college education because I can’t handle commuting every day from Manila to Batangas.  This was a big step for me. I am away from my family and the comforts of our home. My mom wouldn’t be around to help me with my food, laundry and other stuff too. I also had to learn to manage my money. If before, my only problem was how I will study, now, I have a lot of other stuff I am responsible of. This requires me to build a good time management and budgeting skills.

Now, what is college without its huge amount of lined-up exams and project submissions? Sometimes, I just don’t know what to do every time I would look at my schedule and see all those exams scheduled one after the other. I admit that I haven’t built a good studying habit and this adds to my stress. Now that I am in my second year and almost all of my subjects are already major subjects, the difficulty of the lessons plus these scheduled exams really gives me a hard time.

But despite of all these challenges, I know that this journey will be worth it.

Offline

#11 Sunday 2nd of October 2016 10:07

avaguila1
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

pgcruz4 wrote:

Hi! I’m Phoebe Cruz from the University of the Philippines Manila.

As a college student I expected that there would be loads of requirements, assignments, examinations, or things simply known as stress. Stress is not a foreign word to me especially when I entered university. Stress has always been a part of my life. It’s not uncommon to us students; even so, I think it’s unhealthy. I’m already in my second year and I realize now how important it is take care of my health. I used to be a very active person; I do physical activities with ease. Today, I find it difficult to move my body ardently because now I get tired easily. I cannot afford to sleep early at night because I need to finish my requirements. I travel far every day and it gives additional toil in my body. I never get the chance to eat healthy food since there are only fast foods around the university. I try to do exercises and even dance, but I feel like my body would give up whenever I do them. The doctor said that my immune system went down. Now, I get sick easily when I get poured down by little rain. Sometimes, I feel like vomiting while in class, and the previous week, my mouth had mouth sores and I had sore throat, I really had a hard time eating.

I know how important the requirements and exams are in school, but I don’t think it is right to sacrifice our health just so we can finish our academic responsibilities. Now, I learned that we, especially students, need to know how to manage our time and balance our tasks. If we wanted to have both good grades and a healthy body, we need to use our time wisely.

Even if I don’t join in a lot of orgs, I still find it very helpful for me to have a good time with my fellow blockmates, my second family. It wasn’t bad for me to have fun with them because they keep me sane.

Occupational therapists should know how significant balance is in our lives. I realized how I should not just be aware of this fact but I also have to take this into heart.  If I wanted to become a prolific OT in the future, I need to give utmost importance to the health and well-being of a person.

Hi Phoebe! I am Alyssa! I agree with you that even though stress is already uncommon for college students like us, it doesn't mean that we should make that as an excuse on not taking care of ourselves. I also believe that our health and well-being is as important as our academic tasks. As future OTs, we should learn how to have occupational balance. It is better if we, OTs, also apply to our lives what we learn and what we advocate.

Offline

#12 Sunday 2nd of October 2016 10:25

avaguila1
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

gvyrastorza wrote:

Hello everyone. Ito here from the Philippines. I don't have a lot of time, so I just want to address a simple yet possibly problematic issue for us OT students in regards to using this forum as a means of interaction and correspondence.

I have just discovered around the forums bots and spammers. Now, as young as the forums may be, I see this as a threat to us OT students in using OTION as a way to connect.

It may not seem like a big problem, but I as an OT student see this forum as a very important tool for all of us to share our knowledge, experiences, and resources with each other. I will post again some other time, but for the meantime, I bring up this small (as of yet) challenge.

Hi Ito! I am Alyssa. It's actually nice that you were able to see that problem. This forum is very helpful for all OTs all over the world especially those who wants to "connect" with each other so I think any problem in OTION must be solved right away. Hope to hear from you again!

Offline

#13 Sunday 2nd of October 2016 12:06

sagacho
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hi guys! I am Samantha from the University of the Philippines-Manila.

Like most of the college students, my main trouble WAS stress. Yes, it's a WAS. My change in perspective about college changed because of my mother. I always talk to her through facebook and tell her how stressful I am with my academics. She told me that I should not treat these readings, requirements, exams and etc as burden. I must see these stuff as something interesting and enjoyable. Starting from that conversation, I can somehow already manage myself and take things one step at a time. What she said made me realize how much I love OT. The things I learn and need to learn must not stress me out. These stuff will help me in the future and my future clients. That's why when I study I TRY (I'm getting there) not to treat studying as an obligation but more of an appreciation. Appreciate the things you'll learn and you won't get stressed or maybe feel less stressed:) To all people who are reading this, always look at the positive side this will help you change your perspective.

I would just like  to share that here in the Philippines, OT is not a well-known profession. Just like me, before I really don't know OT but because of a family friend who introduced it to me I was able to find out that it's an interesting profession and it suits me. People are also confused with the definition of "occupation" in Occupational Therapy. I remember one time a family friend jokingly asked if OTs are the ones that look for an "occupation" (job) for people. I told him that we can HELP people look for an occupation but we don't look for them.  I honestly had a hard time explaining OT to my relatives before because I can't put an appropriate definition and appropriate words to describe it. Thank God for my college because they help us define OT in a simple and more understanding way. Right now, we are continuing to raise awareness about our profession and encourage people to try to explore this practice.

I hope I can hear or read more from you guys! Keep sharing you stories:)

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#14 Sunday 2nd of October 2016 14:51

pdregalario
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

sagacho wrote:

Hi guys! I am Samantha from the University of the Philippines-Manila.

Like most of the college students, my main trouble WAS stress. Yes, it's a WAS. My change in perspective about college changed because of my mother. I always talk to her through facebook and tell her how stressful I am with my academics. She told me that I should not treat these readings, requirements, exams and etc as burden. I must see these stuff as something interesting and enjoyable. Starting from that conversation, I can somehow already manage myself and take things one step at a time. What she said made me realize how much I love OT. The things I learn and need to learn must not stress me out. These stuff will help me in the future and my future clients. That's why when I study I TRY (I'm getting there) not to treat studying as an obligation but more of an appreciation. Appreciate the things you'll learn and you won't get stressed or maybe feel less stressed:) To all people who are reading this, always look at the positive side this will help you change your perspective.

I would just like  to share that here in the Philippines, OT is not a well-known profession. Just like me, before I really don't know OT but because of a family friend who introduced it to me I was able to find out that it's an interesting profession and it suits me. People are also confused with the definition of "occupation" in Occupational Therapy. I remember one time a family friend jokingly asked if OTs are the ones that look for an "occupation" (job) for people. I told him that we can HELP people look for an occupation but we don't look for them.  I honestly had a hard time explaining OT to my relatives before because I can't put an appropriate definition and appropriate words to describe it. Thank God for my college because they help us define OT in a simple and more understanding way. Right now, we are continuing to raise awareness about our profession and encourage people to try to explore this practice.

I hope I can hear or read more from you guys! Keep sharing you stories:)

Hi Sam! It truly is inspiring to hear from you, especially regarding your mother's advice. I, for one, am a very pessimistic person. Thinking negatively about everything has become second nature to me. In my perspective, expecting the worst out of every situation gives me a greater chance of avoiding disappointment. If you've hit rock bottom, there's nowhere else to go but up. At least that's how I've lived my life thus far. I thought it was a healthy way of thinking and living. I was wrong.

Being a ball of negativity can actually be very problematic and unsettling. Expecting the worst and focusing on just that can be heartbreaking. Not only does it add to one's anxiety and stress, it also decreases motivation. In the stressful environment that is college, every ray of hope is needed. Bringing yourself down with your own thoughts will only push you to the brink of no return. Although it is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks, especially one who has spent most of her life living in grayscale and negativity, hearing from you has urged me to reframe my way of thinking even further. I don't know if I will be successful in my journey to a new way of thinking but I suppose it is worth a try.

College truly is difficult, isn't it?

I remember thinking to myself in the first few days of college how relatively lax it was compared to high school. As the semester progressed however, I understand now why people run to caffeine and tweet about stress, depression and anxiety. If you bundle the already challenging curriculum most college students have to endure with all the emotional stress the "real world" has to offer, can you really blame me for sticking to my negative outlook in life? Still, managing to be the ray of hope you are is, as I've already mentioned in the beginning of this post, truly inspiring. I aim to be someone like you. And I will start by thinking of our future patients.

Imagining the bright smiles on their faces is already enough to get me through this night.

I hope to hear from you soon!!

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#15 Sunday 2nd of October 2016 15:15

jbomamos
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

pgcruz4 wrote:
jbomamos wrote:

Hello, everyone! Jalan Omamos here, a student from the University of the Philippines-Manila.

It's just so ironic and awkwardly fascinating that some of the concepts I am learning from school aren't really that applicable to me or maybe to others as well. Recently, we have discussed the importance of Occupational Competence, and I assessed myself, " Am I occupationally competent to what I am doing? To studies and to life in general?" "How can I be an Occupational Therapist if I feel like I'm not?" Well, the perplexity of the questions puts me on hold. Lots of inquiry started to arise like, "Is this what I really want?" "Am I on the right path?" "Am I capable of withstanding this challenges?"

Whenever these situations happen, the best way to do is to drift back on your usual track (Example, "the optimistic and confident Ja"). One of the steps I recently learned is the science of manipulating your own body language. They say that the more you do power poses in a given workload (typically sense of dominance on how you present yourself, e.g. Body alignment on point whenever you sit or standing with a straight back), the more you recognize the positive side of the task at hand. Another step that I have learned is that sense of competence starts with empowerment and attitude towards the goal.  So whenever you feel like you are stressed, go back to the basics. Start to reflect why are you continuing OT, why are you called to be an OT.

According to a lecture I have attended, that potential growth starts with a choice. And I believe that the choice and willpower to continue starts from ourselves.

I hope you are encouraged! I would like to hear from you!



Hi Jalan! i'm Phoebe. It is indeed true that sometimes we students lose track in our lives, we become too occupied in what we are doing now yet we are not actually aware of what we really want in the future. It's a good thing to take a pause and reflect. We won't lose track if we know what are our true dreams and goals right? thank you so much for sharing your insights with us, It's really helpful. Hope I can read more from you! :-)

Hello, Phoebe! Nice to see you here. It was really good to share my thoughts about the struggles as well as the solutions to these here at this virtual platform. It was nice to hear that you are encouraged by my write-up! I know you will become a good OT someday because you are optimistic enough to face the grueling challenges ahead of you. Keep up the good faith!

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#16 Monday 3rd of October 2016 05:13

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Thank you Ma'am. This is a very interesting topic for me smile

pgvmartinez wrote:

Hi OT students!

For this time around, this will be a room for discussion on encountered challenges as an OT Student.

Are you currently experiencing a difficult situation as a student?
How have you overcome a past challenge? How are you coping up?
Do you have an interesting story on how you have to explain to people what OT is about?
What strategies do you use to balance your commitments? Are there occupations that you would like to be doing that you are not doing?
Of all the things that you do now, which are the most important, most satisfying?


You are welcome to share your stories, tips, and the like!


Looking forward to your posts!


Sincerely,
Pauline



Pauline Gail Martinez
Faculty Member
Department of Occupational Therapy
University of the Philippines-Manila

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#17 Monday 3rd of October 2016 05:15

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

As a student, I am having difficulty in managing my time efficiently, especially in my studies. For the next 2 weeks, we are scheduled to have 2 exams per week, and that's not all. We also have requirements and projects to pass. As an OT student, we have an idea of the concept of occupational balance, but ironically, I, myself, find it difficult to have and maintain that balance. My occupations are always "too much" for me. I feel that in able to have that balance, I push myself too much or too hard, I overwork and maybe exert too much effort, and not knowing if that's a good or a bad thing.

A past challenge is when my dad went to California to work there. As a child, I'm not that close to my father for we always see him only online, when we do video calls. I also remember that every year at our school, on recognition day, I've always wanted my father to be the one to put the medal on me, but he seldom goes home at that time. sad But as I grew older and understood better the reason of my dad to work abroad, I came to appreciate him better, the sacrifices he did for our family for us to have a better life. I know treasure more the moments we spend together as a family when he goes back. And the situation is better now because he makes sure to go home twice a year smile

How do I explain what OT is? I was asked a lot of times by a lot of people what OT is, what OT's do, and the difference of OT and PT. I developed an outline on how to explain it to them. First, I tell what the meaning occupation is. Then I give examples of occupation. Then I tell what the OT's focus on, examples of fine motor skills, examples of illnesses/diseases and what OT's do to intervene. Then for the difference of OT and PT, I tell this scenario (told by my brother who is also an OT student). For example, a basketball player had an injury. A PT makes sure that the player will be able to walk again (include other gross motor skills), but an OT makes sure that the player will be able to play basketball again. smile

It is difficult for me to balance my commitments, but these are what I do. I write them. Like in a planner. So I will know that to do on that day. I also put them in order to know what I'll do first. But before all of that, I also make sure first if I can really commit to that, if not, I have to turn that down. As of now, the occupations that I do are the occupations that I want to do. And if I don't want to do that occupation but I needed to, I try my best to find enjoyment in that occupation. Maybe an occupatiom that I can't do, but I sort of want to do is watching TV shows. Because in where I am currently staying, we do not have a TV installed, so I can only watch TV shows on weekend (when I go home).

The most important things that I do now are sleeping, eating, and studying. The most satisfying are the times that I spend with my family and friends smile

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#18 Monday 3rd of October 2016 05:17

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Thanks Ja for the tips! I will always remember that "the potential growth starts with a choice". smile

jbomamos wrote:

Hello, everyone! Jalan Omamos here, a student from the University of the Philippines-Manila.

It's just so ironic and awkwardly fascinating that some of the concepts I am learning from school aren't really that applicable to me or maybe to others as well. Recently, we have discussed the importance of Occupational Competence, and I assessed myself, " Am I occupationally competent to what I am doing? To studies and to life in general?" "How can I be an Occupational Therapist if I feel like I'm not?" Well, the perplexity of the questions puts me on hold. Lots of inquiry started to arise like, "Is this what I really want?" "Am I on the right path?" "Am I capable of withstanding this challenges?"

Whenever these situations happen, the best way to do is to drift back on your usual track (Example, "the optimistic and confident Ja"). One of the steps I recently learned is the science of manipulating your own body language. They say that the more you do power poses in a given workload (typically sense of dominance on how you present yourself, e.g. Body alignment on point whenever you sit or standing with a straight back), the more you recognize the positive side of the task at hand. Another step that I have learned is that sense of competence starts with empowerment and attitude towards the goal.  So whenever you feel like you are stressed, go back to the basics. Start to reflect why are you continuing OT, why are you called to be an OT.

According to a lecture I have attended, that potential growth starts with a choice. And I believe that the choice and willpower to continue starts from ourselves.

I hope you are encouraged! I would like to hear from you!

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#19 Monday 3rd of October 2016 05:19

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Good day!

This is how I usually explain OT to people who ask.  I developed an outline on how to explain it to them. First, I tell what the meaning occupation is. Then I give examples of occupation. Then I tell what the OT's focus on, examples of fine motor skills, examples of illnesses/diseases and what OT's do to intervene. Then for the difference of OT and PT, I tell this scenario (told by my brother who is also an OT student). For example, a basketball player had an injury. A PT makes sure that the player will be able to walk again (include other gross motor skills), but an OT makes sure that the player will be able to play basketball again. smile

Hope this helps!

esc501 wrote:
shmays wrote:

Hi Pauline! Thanks for continuing student topic threads. One of the more challenging and rewarding aspects of my program at the moment is diversity. In the US, OT is not a diverse profession (e.g. racially, by gender). Classmates and I are currently in challenging discourse on how demographics within our program and profession affect the research produced, the work we do, and the people we serve. We're working on diversity and health equity task initiatives at the moment, but I would love to hear how other OT programs across the globe are tackling issues of diversity, inclusion, and health equity.


Hello :-)

I am currently on a masters course in the UK. I have moved from another profession, and one of the main difficulties I had was explaining to people what I was doing, and people viewing it as not a good move to make - mainly because they misunderstood was Occupational Therapy is about. When explaining it, I have found that people want a quick answer, and that can be hard as I found (and still do find) it good to give examples. It as got a bit easier as I have started the course, because I am becoming more sure of what it is all about. I try to include what occupation means, and talk about working with people who, for various reasons, are finding it difficult to do the things they need or want to do. Followed by a few examples. I'm not claiming this to be the best way, and it has been difficult!

Practical things like moving house, money etc have been difficult, but that was helped by planning before I decided to move over to this course.

Interesting what you say shmays - we have also been talking about the lack of diversity on the course! I know the course does interview and accept international students, but I wonder if it is something to do with who is applying for the course in the first place, and why it isn't a very diverse selection of people who want to apply. I'm sure there are deeper issues here regarding that...perhaps to do with education, stereotypes, aspirations. We have just submitted our research proposals, and I was very aware, as you say, of mine being yet another piece of research from a white, middle-class, Western woman...(!)

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#20 Monday 3rd of October 2016 05:26

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hello Phoebe! I can relate to you sad I also realized that I am becoming tired faster than I used to before. This also an effect of staying up late at night to review for exams or to do homeworks. And as a student under a degree program focusing on health, I believe, that we, ourselves, should be advocates for health. How can we treat others if we are not in a good condition ourselves? I also agree with you that we should not be sacrificing our health for our studies. We should still eat healthy and energizing meals three times a day, and sleep for at least 6 hours. We should still also relax and take a break from studies every once in a while and have "leisure time". It's also important to spend time with family and friends to somehow release some stress within. smile #HealthIsWealth


pgcruz4 wrote:

Hi! I’m Phoebe Cruz from the University of the Philippines Manila.

As a college student I expected that there would be loads of requirements, assignments, examinations, or things simply known as stress. Stress is not a foreign word to me especially when I entered university. Stress has always been a part of my life. It’s not uncommon to us students; even so, I think it’s unhealthy. I’m already in my second year and I realize now how important it is take care of my health. I used to be a very active person; I do physical activities with ease. Today, I find it difficult to move my body ardently because now I get tired easily. I cannot afford to sleep early at night because I need to finish my requirements. I travel far every day and it gives additional toil in my body. I never get the chance to eat healthy food since there are only fast foods around the university. I try to do exercises and even dance, but I feel like my body would give up whenever I do them. The doctor said that my immune system went down. Now, I get sick easily when I get poured down by little rain. Sometimes, I feel like vomiting while in class, and the previous week, my mouth had mouth sores and I had sore throat, I really had a hard time eating.

I know how important the requirements and exams are in school, but I don’t think it is right to sacrifice our health just so we can finish our academic responsibilities. Now, I learned that we, especially students, need to know how to manage our time and balance our tasks. If we wanted to have both good grades and a healthy body, we need to use our time wisely.

Even if I don’t join in a lot of orgs, I still find it very helpful for me to have a good time with my fellow blockmates, my second family. It wasn’t bad for me to have fun with them because they keep me sane.

Occupational therapists should know how significant balance is in our lives. I realized how I should not just be aware of this fact but I also have to take this into heart.  If I wanted to become a prolific OT in the future, I need to give utmost importance to the health and well-being of a person.

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#21 Monday 3rd of October 2016 05:30

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hi Alyssa! I know how hard it is to be away from your family because I am in the same situation as you. But as time goes on, I learned to cherish more these little moments that I get to spend with my family. I learned to treasure them more. I learned to really put my whole presence and attention when I am with them. So when I only get to spend the weekends with my family, I live in the moment, I seize the day smile

avaguila1 wrote:

Hi again! I am Alyssa from UP Manila. I would like to share to you some of the challenges I face as a student.

Before entering college, I already have heard a lot of stories that tell how stressful college can be. Somehow, I was already preparing myself for all the challenges I was about to face. But then, no preparation is enough for you to be really ready and equip for tertiary education. I realized when I was already starting college that, before, I only thought about getting myself ready for my classes and how difficult all could be. I wasn’t able to prepare myself for all the other things that come with college life. It may not be obvious for some but I really had a hard time adjusting. During the first 2 or 3 months of my first year college, I was always sick considering that I am not that kind of person who easily gets sick or even have colds. It was really hard to study especially when I was not feeling well.

Another challenge, I continuously face up until now is being away from home. I have to live in a dormitory for my entire college education because I can’t handle commuting every day from Manila to Batangas.  This was a big step for me. I am away from my family and the comforts of our home. My mom wouldn’t be around to help me with my food, laundry and other stuff too. I also had to learn to manage my money. If before, my only problem was how I will study, now, I have a lot of other stuff I am responsible of. This requires me to build a good time management and budgeting skills.

Now, what is college without its huge amount of lined-up exams and project submissions? Sometimes, I just don’t know what to do every time I would look at my schedule and see all those exams scheduled one after the other. I admit that I haven’t built a good studying habit and this adds to my stress. Now that I am in my second year and almost all of my subjects are already major subjects, the difficulty of the lessons plus these scheduled exams really gives me a hard time.

But despite of all these challenges, I know that this journey will be worth it.

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#22 Monday 3rd of October 2016 13:49

Byeul
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hello, everyone! Again, I'm Byeul Kim from the University of the Philippines Manila.

I'm pretty sure most wouldn't contest that stress and workload are a few of the major aspects a student faces. Personally, I'm really challenged by the classes we are taking, especially since I'm not always able to catch up when lessons are explained in a fast pace; so, I have to do my best to catch up and review. As OTs, we must try to portray having an occupational balance. I try my best to achieve this, especially with remembering to take some time to rest and have fun, aside from studying.
But outside the classroom, the main challenge I'm encountering as an OT student is its publicity - here in the Philippines, at least. Many still do not know what we do. They usually mistake it to be the same with PT. As a 2nd year student, I'm still learning the ropes on how to explain OT to others in the best way I can, in a way that they easily understand it and hopefully get to appreciate it. I had an experience wherein our neighbor asked me what we do - she even thought that it involved a bit of surgery that we had to open up a body. I was really overwhelmed with this, which means to say that OT in our country really has some catching up to do.
One thing that worries me at times is what if I won't be able to achieve the goals I set for someone in therapy. I feel like it'll really bring me down. However, I try my best to keep a positive outlook and remember that this is exactly why I'm doing my best to study and appreciate my degree - to help others appreciate the little things in life in the simplest of activities they wish to perform everyday. The next few years will prolly be the most important for me as of now, since I'm pretty sure OT is something I'll be doing for a long time (even if I decide to pursue other fields).

Hoping to hear from everyone real soon! smile

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#23 Monday 3rd of October 2016 13:52

Byeul
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hello, Ito! Thanks for bringing up the issue. Hopefully, it won't be a hindrance for us to continue having a discussion here. Reading everyone's thoughts is really interesting and of great help.

gvyrastorza wrote:

Hello everyone. Ito here from the Philippines. I don't have a lot of time, so I just want to address a simple yet possibly problematic issue for us OT students in regards to using this forum as a means of interaction and correspondence.

I have just discovered around the forums bots and spammers. Now, as young as the forums may be, I see this as a threat to us OT students in using OTION as a way to connect.

It may not seem like a big problem, but I as an OT student see this forum as a very important tool for all of us to share our knowledge, experiences, and resources with each other. I will post again some other time, but for the meantime, I bring up this small (as of yet) challenge.

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#24 Monday 3rd of October 2016 14:02

Byeul
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hello there!
In the Philippines, diversity isn't really OT's main concern. Our #1 dilemma is that there are only a few OTs in our country and many are still unaware of such profession. Another thing is we are trying to spread OT to the many provinces in our country, in order to give our services to those places where there are only very few or even none OTs. smile
Looking forward to hear more from you!

- Byeul

shmays wrote:

Hi Pauline! Thanks for continuing student topic threads. One of the more challenging and rewarding aspects of my program at the moment is diversity. In the US, OT is not a diverse profession (e.g. racially, by gender). Classmates and I are currently in challenging discourse on how demographics within our program and profession affect the research produced, the work we do, and the people we serve. We're working on diversity and health equity task initiatives at the moment, but I would love to hear how other OT programs across the globe are tackling issues of diversity, inclusion, and health equity.

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#25 Monday 3rd of October 2016 16:18

KawJemilyn
Member

Re: OT Students Interaction Topic 2: Challenges encountered as a Student

Hello there! It's me, Jem!

I remember when I was young, my parents let me go to bed at 9:30PM; at that time, I must finish all my assignments and reviewed my subjects for tomorrow's classes. As time passes by, 9:30PM became later and later, until now, 1:30AM seems normal to me. I thought it was just me alone because I need to balance academics and extracurricular activities, but I then discovered, most of my classmates are the same with me. The challenge for me is not getting to sleep when I feel sleepy already; I get to struggle opening my eyes wide in the middle of the night, reviewing or preparing notes for the next day. I also blame myself for getting distracted with social media, yes! I tend to scroll through my Facebook news feed when I rest in between study time (sometimes, I forgot to time myself and tada! Time wasted). Still, I try my best in controlling myself and balance my time.

I used to play piano and attend piano class during Saturdays since I was in kindergarten, it never stopped; but, as soon as I started college, especially during majors this year, I didn't get the chance to visit our music room anymore (it is located in my old school) because I need to catch up with academics, other extracurricular activities and part time job. To my friends who really know me, I am really clingy to music. Not having a chance to touch the piano makes me sad and depressed and what I do to compensate is to at least hum or sing songs everyday so that music won't feel like a stranger to me.

Although I'm deprived of some occupations that I love, I still cheer myself up because I am enjoying the subjects that we're taking for BS Occupational Therapy. Yes, the subjects are hardcore, make us lose our occupational balance, but I still believe that these will really be worth it. I'm kinda thankful for having OTion discussion room as our activity for an subject because conversing with different people makes me happy too! (Yay! You make me happy!)

Do you have some feels with what I have mentioned? Feel free to share them with me! smile

- Jem

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