April is Occupational Therapy Awareness Month
Thursday, April 24 2014 12:18
by Maxine Garvey, D.P.T., MHS
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
has declared April as Occupational Therapy Month. The profession of occupational therapy makes valuable contributions in helping people "Live Life to Its Fullest" after an illness or injury.
We recently interviewed sophomore, Jazmine Theodore, a Pre-Occupational Therapy major. Jazmine is a United Giving Scholarship recipient, and one of the first students admitted last year under the new B.S. in Pre-Occupational Therapy degree.
Since Fall 2013, the Allied Health department revised the former two-year Associates degree and began offering a four-year Bachelors which is now required to enter the professional phase of Occupational Therapy programs across the United States. The profession recently moved to an entry level Masters being required for licensure and practice.
As a result of this revision the program at Oakwood has received renewed interest from prospective students such as Jazmine, who is also a Spanish and Psychology minor.
Garvey: What motivated you to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy?
Theodore: While growing up my mom thought that I would be a doctor so I always pictured myself in the health field. However, as I got older I realized that being a doctor was not for me. I first heard about Occupational Therapy through a friend and had no idea what it entailed. I did some research on the profession because I still wanted to be in a health profession that helps people. I decided to shadow a friend’s aunt who owns her own pediatric private practice and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also loved the patient-therapist interaction and I love working with children.
Garvey: Why did you choose to do Pre-Occupational Therapy at Oakwood?
Theodore: I chose Oakwood because of the curriculum but also because of the campus atmosphere. “The Oakwood experience” for me is about building long-lasting connections with friends and faculty in and outside of my major.
Garvey: What are your plans after Oakwood?
Theodore: I plan on going on to graduate school to do a Masters in Occupational Therapy so I can get licensed to practice. I want to specialize in Pediatrics.
Garvey: How will you make a difference as a Christian healthcare provider?
Theodore: I feel that Oakwood is definitely preparing me to be different in how I will relate to my future patients. It’s about practical ministry and being Christ to others without having to say it. I look forward to helping others as Jesus did.