Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Conducting a Poll

Hi. I am conducting a poll --------->

As the new meds take effect, I'm finding my head clearing a little and am now seeing that I could probably handle grad school (as long as I remain on this medication). My problem is deciding on a grad school option.

Rehabilitation Counseling: Helping people work through their new or life long disabilities. Most Rehab Counselors work in Education or for the Government. Those in education help counsel students with disabilities with education goals and assist in making accommodations for students in the classroom (some of this involves the use of assitive communication devices such as a Dynavox. Some of this involves allowing students to turn in assignments from their CF hospital room instead of in class). Working for the government is more vocational based. A rehab counselor would, for example, help a returning soldier who is missing a member of it's body to assess their skills and see what occupations would work with the skill sets that soldier had acquired prior to the amputation or brain injury.

Social Worker: This is a rather broad field. Drug and alcohol counseling, vocational training, case managing, clinical psychology, juvenile therapy, Child Protective Services, Adoption, Public Policy, treating for PTSD, and the list goes on.

Occupational Therapy: Helping children, the elderly and returning veterans with their fine motor skills used for activities for daily living: tying shoes, buttoning shirts or pants, grasping a pencil, typing at a computer, picking your nose, grasping items, brushing teeth, operating a car, taking a picture, underwater basket weaving, using a cell phone, and the list goes on and on.
The big negative of OT is the requirement to take classes in Anatomy/Physiology and chemistry - classes I've never excelled at.

For those of you that don't know - My history:

2007 - Present: I work as a Therapy Aide helping children with disabilities to receive Occupational and Physical Therapy. I also manage the office and do data entry for our "billing."
2007 - 2008: Assistant Coach to a Power Wheelchair Soccer Team (I also did some refereeing)
2006 - 2007: Disability Advocate - I worked as a liaison between students with disabilities and administration to ensure proper parking and ramps were available during construction projects
2005 - 2007: Student Director of Adaptive Activities - I started and ran the wheelchair Basketball program and expanded the adaptive cycling and bowling programs. I also created several websites and created policies (that are still used today).
2002 - 2004: Special Education Assistant: I taught students who were severely emotionally disturbed for 6 months. I spent 10 months being a 1:1 to a boy with Asperger Syndrome and I spent 8 months being a 1:1 to a boy with autism
2000 - 2002: Crossing Guard - I stood out in the street and asked drivers to try to hit me instead of the kids.
1999 and summer of 2001: Special Education Assistant - Once again I was a 1:1 with Autism and a boy with severe Cerebral Palsy
1997 - 1999: Market Research Interviewer: Would you like to take a survey?
1997 - 1998: Assistant Teacher to a rehabilitation counselor who was also the Adaptive PE teacher for a Junior College. I worked 1:1 in a gym and a pool with an elderly man who had had a stroke. I also worked in the office
1995 - 1997: Teachers Assistant: Learning Disability class where I tutored students.

Knowing all this - please vote (or you can vote and comment if you'd like)


  1. I tend not to be a fan of social workers. Not that I have anything against social workers, but they are seriously underpaid and overworked and the burnout rate is so high. We have a social worker in our ward who worked in Utah for a few years and then couldn't take it anymore and went back to school for a masters in ED and now teaches. We have another social worker in our ward who ran a non-profit place designed to assist the local latino population and after three years he is ready to go back to school to do something else because he is burned out. On the other hand, you will probably always be able to get a job as a social worker! So I think my vote would go for OT, and if you can't do the science, then Rehab.

    BTW--we love good medicine!

  2. You can vote twice so feel free to vote for both.

  3. Even though you are uncomfortable with the requirements for the OT degree, it appears to me that you naturally gravitate to something that is hands-on, one-on-one with someone over a period of time, rather than just looking through a list and handing someone a piece of paper about where to go for resources or classes. Perhaps you can get a coach/mentor to help you be successful in those classes? Seems to me that you might find great personal fulfillment in working with disabled vets. You are a very likeable person and that characteristic makes you approachable, kind, and interested in helping people.

    Try contemplating these choices and imaginging yourself doing this for many years and see which one resonates with your heart. Which would make you joyous to have been of service?

  4. I agree with what Cindy said. Not that you are really in it for the money, but overworked/underpaid definitely hits home when paperwork changes every 3 months, the state comes and pulls files/fines you for mistakes, caseloads get shifted, non compliant people happen, and you see other people who work with you on the team getting paid muuuuch more than you with a little more schooling or who took a slightly different path.

  5. Good luck with your decision. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these choices. You’d be great at any of them and I’m certain if OT is what you choose you can get through the science.

  6. just some crazy chickNovember 30, 2009 at 11:01 PM

    occupational therapy. I'm probably too late, but that's my vote.

  7. i've long thought that you would be happiest doing OT. i am almost certian that you could get help doing the pre-reqs, and you'd be happier with your decision in the long run.