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Masters in occupational therapy - usyd- career change (1 Viewer)

sweetpeace

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Hi I am currently on maternity leave and don't plan to go back to my current job (inside sales in a med device company). I have always wanted to do something where I feel fulfilled and hence I am planning to do a Masters in OT after a lot of research and thought ofcourse.
The 2018 enrolments are closed for Uni of Sydney, hence I can only apply to study in 2019. I have this entire year to start studying on my own. These are my questions.

1) How many contact hours are there at USYD per week?

2) My baby would be 1 year and 3 months old if I start studying in March 2019? How hard would it be to study this course with a child? Would it be better if I send my child to day care while I study? This would be more relevant for any parent with a little one doing a Masters degree.

3) I am currently 30 and by the time I start studying I will be 31, and so this is a massive decision for a career change, are there many mature age students doing an OT degree?

4) I would like to prepare myself to get back to university, what type of preparations can I do this year to become a confident uni student?

5) What books on OT do you recommend that I start reading to understand more indepth before I join uni?

6) Anyone currently studying this course in USYD, could you please tell me what your daily study routine is like?

Thanks a lot, I would really appreciate all answers :D
 

madharris

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Ooooh that's exciting! Good luck! :)


1) How many contact hours are there at USYD per week?
For Masters, unfortunately I'm not 100% sure as I did undergrad. I assume it's quite a big more than the undergrad, as essentially takes a 4 year course and crams it into 2. But I know there were a lot of mothers with young children who managed.

2) My baby would be 1 year and 3 months old if I start studying in March 2019? How hard would it be to study this course with a child? Would it be better if I send my child to day care while I study? This would be more relevant for any parent with a little one doing a Masters degree.
Unfortunately I can't comment as I've never had a child. I also don't know what your situation will be with your partner, etc. In terms of placements, I know you can apply for special consideration so that you're not sent rural (which is general compulsory), saying that you have a child, etc.

3) I am currently 30 and by the time I start studying I will be 31, and so this is a massive decision for a career change, are there many mature age students doing an OT degree?
Yes there's many, particularly in the masters course. Statistically, a person will change careers multiple times during their life. If this is what you want to do and you're genuinely interested in it, then go ahead. With OT even if you don't like one area of practice, there are sooo many different other types. I was lucky in getting a job that I love straight off of the bat, and with so much support too. But yeah back to your question, you'll make lots of friends whether you're 31, 21 or 51 :)

4) I would like to prepare myself to get back to university, what type of preparations can I do this year to become a confident uni student?
I never took a break from school --> uni so again it's a bit difficult to comment. Maybe developing yourself a routine between your roles as a mother, partner, and then also including leisure and work/study into it. Obviously don't start now, but later in the year. I assume in terms of work/study you'll have done nothing for a bit over a year, so getting into the habit of routine is a good idea. Other than that, there's nothing I can really think of.

5) What books on OT do you recommend that I start reading to understand more indepth before I join uni? Any info on assignments, essays etc would be useful.
To be honest, I wouldn't overload yourself with uni books before you start. Enjoy what you have now. You have just had a baby (congrats btw!) and that's a huge change. By 'studying' too quickly, you may burn out before you even start. If you're really a person for education and can't keep away from the books, then learning about musculoskeletal anatomy would be good, as that can be quite tricky. And really, I would just try to understand what OT is. Honestly, I wrote that info package post in my first year of uni, however I didn't really grasp what OT was until my 3rd or 4th year, and to do well at uni, you need to know what OT is hahaa. The best thing you can do I reckon, is to learn what OT is. We're a holistic health professional who work with a range of different clients (aged from birth to 100+) to achieve their individualised goals (whether it's showering themselves independently and safely, accessing the community to visit friends, accessing any parts of your home, managing psychosocial symptoms, being able to participate during maths class at school, etc. To do this we assess how the client is currently completing the task by breaking down the task, we're able to see what exactly the client is having difficulties with.

E.g. if they can't wash their hands: is it because they can't stand at the sink for long periods of time, is there enough room to access the sink, how can they access the sink, can they reach the sink, can they rotate their shoulders and extend their arms to reach it, is the sink too high, is the sink too low, can they reach the soap, is it a bottle or soap or a bar or soap, maybe they don't like the feel of the soap, maybe they don't have the strength to use the pump on a bottle of soap, can they open their hands to turn the taps, can they twist their hands to turn on the taps, can they turn on the taps another way, can they turn the taps off, do they hate the feel of water, maybe they like the feel of water too much and won't stop washing their hands, maybe the lights are too bright, or the tiles on the floor are too cold, do they remember the steps to washing their hands, do they have enough attention to wash their hands, do they know the difference between hot and cold taps, can they feel the difference between hot and cold, do they hear voices telling them not to wash their hands, do they have anxiety with washing their hands, do they understand why they have to wash their hands... etc, that's just an example of one task.

What we'd then do is either change the person. So build up their skills so that they can do the task (whether that's in terms of their physical abilities, cognitive abilities, sensation or psychosocial skills)
We'd might change the way they do a task.
Or we might change the environment

Another big part of OT is advocacy. As I said before, OT is a holistic profession that is in a good position to advocate for a clients rights and needs. We can see the big picture and determine what the client might need to be as safe and independent in their goals as possible for an improved quality of life.

Sorry a bit of a tangent, but yeah. Not only understanding what OT's do, but what OT's are is probably the best thing you can learn. Go to youtube, go to different websites, call different OT's if they have time and ask them, etc.

6) Anyone currently studying this course in USYD, could you please tell me what your daily study routine is like?
Again, I didn't do the masters at the moment. I think you have a lot of placement in your second year.

Maybe email the head of OT re: the masters course and she may be able to help you with any of those masters related questions http://sydney.edu.au/health-sciences/disciplines/occupational-therapy/staff.shtml

Maybe CC in this lady http://sydney.edu.au/health-sciences/about/people/profiles/lynette.mackenzie.php
She was the masters coordinator when I was at usyd

Hope that help!
 
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sweetpeace

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MADHARRIS, You have been extremely helpful. Thanks a lot for your patience with all the answers.
I have read your OT INFO PACKGAGE and it is extremely informative :D
Thanks and I wish you a successful OT career.
 

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