Level II Fieldwork Diaries: School-Based Pediatrics Week 12

Happy blogmas day 10! Today I am sharing the final installment of the Level II Fieldwork Diaries. I can’t believe I am officially DONE with level II fieldwork! I just completed my 12th week at a public school system, and I am so grateful for the experience. I learned so much, and I was able to really discover who I am and want to be as a future OT. If my CI is ever reading this — THANK YOU! Here is a recap of my final two weeks and the entire experience.

In case you missed it, I’ve been documenting my experience with blog posts every 2 weeks. Check the rest of them out here! I also wrote a post about my 12th week of fieldwork in outpatient pediatrics.

Week 11

  • Plan and provide OT intervention for 14 students
  • Lead 3 groups: Sensory Group, Keyboarding & Technology Group, and Life Skills Group
  • No evaluations this week!
  • Provided support and supervision for the COTA at the high school
  • On Friday: performed all OT sessions, groups, and meetings independently as if I was the school occupational therapist!
  • Report at 2 IEP meetings
  • Prepared my fieldwork evaluations including evaluations of myself, my CI, and the site/experience
  • Finalized my final project for the fieldwork site, including preparing a recorded version to send to all school staff as a resource
  • Meet with my ADE mentor and a faculty member to discuss volunteer advocacy and policy opportunities this spring

Week 12

  • Plan and provide OT intervention for 14 students
  • Lead 3 groups: Sensory Group, Keyboarding & Technology Group, and Life Skills Group
  • Performed and wrote reports for 2 evaluations (1 was remote!) including: BOT™-2, Beery VMI™, The Print Tool®, & DeCoste Writing Protocol
  • Report at 1 IEP meeting
  • On Monday and Friday: performed all OT sessions, groups, and meetings independently as if I was the school occupational therapist!
  • Reviewed my final performance evaluation(s) with my CI
  • Virtually presented my final project to school teachers and staff

What I’ve Learned

Occupational therapy in the school system may look quite different than outpatient pediatrics, and that was a difficult adjustment for me at first. However, I learned that even though therapy may look a little different and our methodology may change, as OTs we still look at our clients as a whole person with their own unique occupational profile. Once I got used to a much more data-driven and behavior modification/ABA method of providing OT services, I became comfortable with modifying my treatment plans to do things that would be motivating, engaging, and meaningful to my clients. Yesterday, I shared a blog post all about what I learned in school-based practice so check that out for a more in-depth review.

To answer a frequently asked question: I could totally see myself working in school-based practice one day. I probably won’t aim to start out in the schools since school-based OTs are often the only OT in their school, and I want to start my career with mentorship from other OTs. However, I would love to go back one day. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

I am so grateful for this experience. It challenged me to think critically, get outside of my comfort zone, and find who I am and want to be as a future OT. I think there is a place for both behavior modification and sensory integration, and I think I will fit somewhere in the middle. Through both of my level II fieldwork experiences, I hope that I was able to find what works for me as an OT one day and continue growing from there!

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