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Occupational Therapy - Info package :) (1 Viewer)

madharris

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So basically, I've been getting a lot of pm's lately about the OT course and what OT is, etc. So I've decided to compile a bit of info for you guys based on the questions you've been asking :)

This is all my opinion and is obviously subject to bias (although I have tried to include as little as possible)

For more information consult the handbook or feel free to post or pm me any more questions that you may have and I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability! :)


Courses at USyd:
Undergraduate
- Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy)
Postgraduate
- Master of Occupational Therapy
Specialist degree
- Master of Health Science (Developmental Disability)
- Graduate Certificate of Health Science (Developmental Disability)

"What is Occupational Therapy?"
The most asked question
OT's provide assessments and interventions focused on maximising a clients independence and safety in performing their roles and activities, and develop the means and opportunities to identify, engage in and improve their function in all aspects of life. They work with people who have temporary or permanent disruptions to their lives that affect their functional performance of daily activities (occupations). They look at individuals and their environment and find creative solutions to make it easier for individuals to participate more fully in everyday life. This is done through combining the knowledge of psychology and occupational therapy techniques as well as behavioural, social and biomedical sciences to develop programs and interventions for individuals or groups.

This can involve things such as:
- Evaluating each client's level of functioning in areas such as self-care, work, study and leisure
- Developing intervention programs
- Monitoring client progress, evaluating outcomes and changing programs as needed
- Making recommendations, as an independent consultant or in conjunction with a multidisciplinary team of health professionals, regarding client discharge, home or school management, transfer to alternate programs, integration in the the community or return to work.

Examples of intervention programs can include:
- Changes that make environments more accessible and participation in activities easier for clients
- The use of purposeful occupations (meaningful activities) that help clients restore or maintain function and prevent disability
- The use of assistive technology to enable participation in occupations
- Vocational assessment and retraining to develop or improve work related skills
- Self-help strategies that train or retrain clients in daily living activities
- Health promotion and disability prevention strategies
- Group interventions that facilitate social adjustments, alleviate stress through self-management techniques and promotes client well being by providing choices

For example, OT's may:
- Enable clients to learn new ways to perform daily chores, manage their finances and shop for groceries
- Help clients develop skills to cope with anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse, stress, decreased energy or normal ageing
- Work with parents, teachers and other professionals to help clients achieve success at home, in school, work and the community + more settings
- Adapt environments in schools, homes, workplaces and communities to assist people in their daily living (e.g. by changing the layout of a home to make it more accessible or help prevent further injury)
- Help clients regain the use of an injured body part or improve strength, endurance, movement and self-confidence
- Use assistive technologies such as mobility devices and safety equipment to promote participation in meaningful activities.

The 4 main areas that an OT deals with is a client's biomechanics, cognition, sensations and psychosocial abilities. - However there is so much more than an OT can do.

This may help :)
[youtube]Ud5Fp279g4Y[/youtube]

"I'm still kind of confused at what an occupational therapist does"
So in a rehab setting for example:
In a team of healthcare specialists, a surgeon will operate on your injured knee. A physiotherapist will devise a series of exercises to help the knee heal properly with a maximum range of motion. A social worker will look for services and programs that you may require after hospitalisation.An OT will ask, "What do you need your knee to do? What activities do you want to do, how can we keep you mobile and an active participant in your own life?
e.g. do you want to drive, run, play soccer, dance, can you still work, can you access all rooms of your house safely, can you access everything in your house that you need to, can you see your friends, play golf, can you shower/dress yourself etc.


"What types of things would an occupational therapist look at
Examples can include but are not limited to:
- Fine Motor Skills - Pertaining to movement and dexterity of the small muscles in the hands and fingers.
- Gross Motor Skills - Pertaining to movement of the large muscles in the arms, legs and trunk.
- Visual Motor Skills - Referring to an individual's movement based on the perception of visual information.
- Oral Motor Skills - Pertaining to movement of muscles in the mouth, lips, tongue and jaw, including sucking, biting, crunching, chewing and licking (shared with a speechie)
- Self-Care Skills - Pertaining to daily needs such as dressing, feeding and toileting tasks.
- Sensory Integration - The ability to take in, sort out and respond to the information we receive from the world.
- Cognitive Skills - The ability and capacities that enable us to think, concentrate, remember and learn
- Motor Planning Skills - The ability to plan, implement and sequence motor tasks.
- Psychosocial Skills - The ability to interact with others
- Neuromotor Skills - Pertaining to the underlying building blocks of muscle strength, muscle tonicity, postural mechanisms and reflex integration
OT's also deal with:
- Education/psychoeducation - Education and/or training of the client, carers, family, friends, work, community, etc about a range of things such as the client's condition, problems identified, safety, etc
- Advocating - Dealing with other members working on the case as well as organising other services
- Environmental modifications - Modifying the environment to enable clients to be able to safely access (and hopefully participate) in their environment
- Managing/reducing risk factors, health issues and safety issues
- Referral to other services

As long as it's functional, an OT will look at it :)

One of the OT's main priorities (at least in a community setting) is doing whatever it takes to assist an individual to be able to access (both physically and psychosocially) their environment as well as being able to participate in it.

This might help a little :)

"Why did you choose Occupational Therapy?"
I chose OT because I wanted to help people to get the most out of life in a practical way, no matter what their circumstances are. OT appealed to me because it incorporates the physical, mental, social and emotional aspects of life. I was interested in working in a health related role, but not in a medical capacity. I have a particular interest in promoting healthy living and seeing people make choices that would make life easier and enjoyable. The ability to work with a wide range of people and using problem solving skills to develop ways of improving the lives of people with a disability was also attractive me.

What I'm most looking forward to is the creativity of problem solving while enhancing the lives of people with disabilities and their families. I want to help people find meaning and purpose in life through engaging in activities, which allows them to demonstrate who they are and what they enjoy doing.

Everyone's different in what they want to do and it comes down to the different choices and opinions of each individual, however I thought OT would be both an interesting and rewarding career. An intervention varies from client to client depending on their individual contexts such as their goals, values, their capacity to perform, strengths, backgrounds, etc. Therefore everyday would be different, and a new challenge could arise everyday.

Where can an occupational therapist work
OT's can work wide range of settings including (but not limited to); Public and private hospitals, nursing homes, schools, special schools, preschools, acute care, subacute care, community centres, club houses, rehab, emergency department, research, insurance companies, peoples homes, workplace, psychiatric wards, mental institutions, jails, forensics, assistive technology services, private practices, transitional aged care teams, pharmacies, vocational rehab clinics, retirement homes, home care services, hand clinics etc.

There are also many possible areas, specialties and fields for OT's to work in such as; home modification, paediatrics, geriatrics, bariatrics, rehabilitation, mental health, spinal, oncology, vision, deafness, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, orthopaedics, hand therapy, splinting, scar management palliative care, neurology, rehabilitation, pain management, palliative care, upperlimb therapy, counselling, lower limb therapy, adaptive technology, emergency department, community, driving assessments, intellectual disabilities, worksite assessments, injury risk assessments, occupational rehabilitation counselling, attendant care reviews, early interventions, cardiology, sensory integration, wellbeing & psychotherapy, arthritis, manual handling assessments, claims history reviews, access, acquired brain injuries, traumatic brain injuries, ergonomics, work conditioning management + others which I can't think of at the moment.

*Just going off that previous point just to show the wide variety of different areas. In mental health alone you have things such as;
- Inpatient settings: intensive psychiatric care unit, mental health intensive care unit, high dependency unit, special observation unit, general acute unit, hyper acute unit, older adults unit, rehabilitation, access, acute care, community mental health emergency, crisis team, case management/care coordination/service coordination
- Community settings: rehabilitation, vocational education, employment and training, assertive community treatment, club houses, early intervention, early psychosis intervention, specialist mental health services, case management
- Other settings: House and accommodation support, employment services, day to day living services, care support, family services
ETC :)

So... If you think about it, every combination of a setting and field is different which is why OT is so broad, and even after you choose a section of OT you can change careers and still be in OT!! :)

"Can you explain some of the OT's roles in each field
No... :) Hahaha
I don't know about every field yet (and even if I did then I probably wouldn't be able to explain them all in much depth. Use google, I'm sure you'll find a large enough list somewhere :)
However PM/Email/post on the thread if you have something specific in mind and I can try to help :)

Sorry!!! hahaha :)

"I want to specialise in paedediatrics, do I need to do a another course or something?"
Specialising is done after you graduate through experience. You have a few OT electives where you can choose to explore more areas however they're more to give you an idea of what you'll be doing as a practitioner in that area. Many people change their area of practice throughout their careers, OT provides a great deal of career flexibility.
The reason for this flexibility, is that even though you may be working in one area such as mental health, the skills that you learn and acquire are transferrable to all other areas of practice.

"Can you tell me about the job prospects?"
In terms of jobs, the health sector is one of the fastest growing industries, simply because more and more people are wanting to get help due to new and developing systems and schemes such as the "National Disability Insurance Scheme" (which only got introduced in July 2013 and is still being rolled out across Australia). And also due to the decreasing stigma around having an illness or a disability. Therefore there will always be jobs available. As you know with any profession, you won't always get straight into the field that you want, and many people change their minds as they genuinely enjoy what they're currently working in.

Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2030, there will be 2million people living in Australia with a disability who will require support. This growth demands more jobs, and hence some nice looking job prospects for all health professionals in the future. (Mind you, finding a job just like that will still be difficult, as it is with doing any degree).

"What's the difference between an Occupational Therapist, Speech Pathologist and Physiotherapist?"
Well it depends what setting and area of practice you're talking about but generally:

Occupational therapists specialise in the evaluation and treatment of people who are experiencing difficulties with the performance of daily activities or 'occupations'. These difficulties may arise due to a variety of reasons and may include difficulties in the areas of fine and gross motor skills, integration of sensory information, social skills, and self-care skills. Occupational therapy services may also include comprehensive evaluations of the client's home, school, workplace, etc followed by recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Common occupational therapy goals can include getting people with disabilities to participate fully social situations, helping with motor skill deficits or coordination difficulties to learn skills, improving handwriting and visual-motor skills, improving sensory integration, improving posture and balance, and building self-care skills.

Physios diagnose and treat individuals of all ages who have medical problems or injuries that limit their ability to move muscles and joints, and perform functional activities. Their goal is to build strength, promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, physios help to develop fitness, strengthening, and wellness programs for healthy activity. They typically provide services to people whose movement and function are threatened by injury, surgery, disease, disability, ageing, or environmental factors.

Speechies: The name pretty much speaks for itself :)
They specialise in verbal things, and things to do with the mouth such as communication and swallowing disorders. Basically they retrain individuals to be able to talk, talk properly, help with pronunciation, stop slurring, coordinate swallowing,etc

I hope you'll see that they are very different jobs but the roles do sometimes actually get a bit of overlap, for instance both OT's and Physio's would be involved in improving a patients ability to transfer from a wheelchair to a bed as it involves an activity of daily living (getting into bed) as well as a physical movement (having the strength in the arms, trunk and legs) to get across to the bed.
Similarly, an OT and speechies can overlap in things as well. Many activities of daily life require us to communicate, interact, and process information. Communication skills are necessary not only to convey an individuals wants and needs, but to socialise and connect with others. Both OT's and speechies can facilitate this.

Obviously the roles of each discipline differs in each setting (as I mentioned before) however all 3 are careers that are just as rewarding (although I tend to think OT is the best - biased), with similar pay and similar rewards. It all just comes down to your personal preference and choice of what you want to do.

On top of that, they don't all work in the same settings. E.g. in mental health you may not require a physio and in aged care you may not require a speechie (again though it depends on each individuals needs).

"What are some of the similar jobs to OT?"
- Physiotherapists - as in the above response
- Speech Pathologist - as in the above response
- Diversional Therapist - Work with people who have illnesses and disabling conditions to improve their health and quality of life through leisure and recreation (different from an OT as they don't look at the functional aspect of disability)
- Exercise Physiologist - Improves the general fitness of a client who has become deconditioned due to their illness/injury - improves areas such as strength, flexibility and posture.
- Social Worker - Able to help the client with personal and family problems as well as offering information and advice about a range of practical services.
- Psychologist - Specialise in the assessment, treatment and prevention of a wide range of psychological and general health problems affecting individuals and families
- Occupational Therapy assistant - self explanatory
- ABA Therapist - Application of behaviourism that modifies human behaviours, especially as part of a learning or treatment process
- Creative Arts Therapist - Use artistic media to help clients maintain and improve their physical and mental health by recognising and developing often untapped inner resources
- Prosthetist and Orthotist - Assess patient needs and physical abilities; design, fabricate, fit and evaluate and repair prosthetic devices and orthotic devices or supervise these activities
- Community disability services practitioner - Help people who have disabilities fulfil their goals as participating members of the community
- Counsellor - Assist people to better understand themselves by explaining options, setting goals and helping them to take action
- Podiatrist - Diagnose and treat disorders of the foot and ankle
- Dietician - Assists individuals, groups and communities to attain, maintain and promote health through good diet and nutrition
- Nurse - Responsible for the coordination of client and clinical services in day to day administrative processes
- Domestic Assistant - Provides domestic support and personal care to people living in their own homes

There are probably a lot more but can't think of them at the moment :)

I found this site, it might help! :)

"I'm thinking about doing a masters in OT, however I did arts, can I still do it?"
The masters of OT (unlike physio and EP) actually doesn't have any prerequisites (at USyd that is).
So you should be fine as long as you get the marks to get in :)
However in saying this, the masters course is getting more and more competitive.

"Is there a difference between doing undergraduate Occupational therapy and Postgraduate Occupational Therapy"
Both degrees are routes of entry into the profession of occupational therapy. However the masters is 2 years and the undergrad is 4 years.
This means that the masters program is very 'full on' and it tries to cram as much content into the 2 years as possible whereas the undergrad is a lot more relaxed.

Although most places overseas require just an undergrad degree, a select few countries such as the US require you to have your masters in order to work. However I've recently read that they're thinking about changing that.

"Why is occupational therapy such an unknown field?"
To be honest I'm not really sure. It's a relatively new healthcare profession (as in it' only emerged in the last 100 years) however it's definitely an expanding profession (shown by the increasing atar and the increasing number of universities that are offering it - USyd used to be the only one who offered 20 or so years ago, however there are now several uni's in NSW who offer it) :)

I don't mind too much when people ask "what's occupational therapy" because I'm always happy to answer questions however it does sometimes annoy me that it is often a misunderstood job.
--> Occupation in this day and age usually means like job and profession - People often think it's like a work therapist, or OH&S, or a physio.
However according to dictionary.com, another meaning is "any activity in which a person is engaged" - so what we are doing is actually helping people achieve what they need and want to do

"I'm not doing any science subjects at school, would you recommend this course for me?"
I would recommend OT as a profession if you have the following characteristics:
- Ability to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team
- Excellent problem solving skills
- Good organisational and time management skills
- Good interpersonal and communication skills
- The ability to work with little supervision
- Ability to develop collaborative relationships with clients/patients, their families and other service providers
- Creativity
- Empathy
- Enjoy working with people
- Able to find innovative ways to deal with challenges
- A genuine passion to help people to achieve their goals

- Fundamental respect for person and their expertise, dignity, autonomy and potential

Those last two points are the most important. All the rest are things that you can learn however if you don't love what you do and if you can't work with people, then what's the point of doing it :)

There are really only 3 science subjects that you HAVE to do at usyd (you can do more as electives if you want)

You have 1 compulsory biomedical science elective:
- Options include but are not limited to Human Cell Biology (which is recommended for people who didn't do biology or chemistry at school), Body Systems: Structure and Function (It's really interesting however it's pretty difficult) and Structure, Function and Disease A (Also interesting but difficult)
- You also have to do an anatomy subject which is a subject that you have to consistently work on or you'll most likely fail (HSC science kids would have no advantage over non HSC science kids)
- You have to do neuroscience which has quite a lot of science in it however the lecturers provide you with material of the fundamental science knowledge that you will need for the subject

If you're really scared of being behind because you didn't do science in school then you can do the Biology bridging course which I'm told just goes over the concepts of biology :)

In all honesty, I have many friends who didn't do science in school and they do well. You learn everything in the lectures/tutorials/pracs as they don't assume that you've done chem or bio so you should be fine.

The subjects that would be helpful (but aren't a prerequisite) for the OT course would be:
- English (so many essays and reports :( )
- Biology
- Chemistry
- Physics
- PDHPE
- Maths

"Would you recommend OT as a career"
Well I can't really speak from experience, since I've never worked as an OT before (besides placement) :p
However, I would definitely recommend it! There's so much variety in the OT field, that new graduates have a lot of choice in which area they want to work.

As said previously, anyone who is interested in a job that satisfies their needs for personal development, satisfying work relationships and a stimulating work environment should look at OT, especially if you have an interest in people and quality of life issues

"Can you do honours in occupational therapy?"
You can do honours in OT. I think they offer it to the top 10 students?
The honours course is still the same number of years (4) as the normal course - they just change a few subjects in 3rd and 4th year.
The only prerequisites are that the student has done their biomedical science elective and social/behavioural science elective by the end of 2nd year, and have the appropriate marks to get in.

"Can you tell me the pros and cons in your opinion of OT and the OT course?"
Again, this is all my opinion :)
Pros:
- Small cohort that works together to help each other (everyone shares notes and everything)
- Get to do placement in uni, meaning you can try out OT and see if you actually like it before you graduate (guaranteed work experience)
- Very practical course even in lectures
- Very practical career
- Good job prospects
- Can change career multiple times while still doing OT - broad and flexible
- Every day and every intervention is different
- The Usyd course sets you up with all the skills and knowledge for you to specialise in anything you want after you graduate
- Rewarding to know you've made a difference in someones life

Cons:
- Some subjects especially in the first year can be a bit bland however it does get better
- Might have to do things such as shower assessments, toilet transfers, etc in placements which some people may feel uncomfortable with (this is done only in some settings)
- It may take weeks-months for anything to start happening with a client (depending on the setting)
- It can be pretty confronting at times
- Although there are always jobs for OT's, you may not get into the field you want to straight away as some fields are more competitive than others (e.g. paediatrics and rehab are very popular and competitive)
- Often a misunderstood profession (e.g. people think you're working in like OH&S or a work therapist or something) - even the patient/client will sometimes question why they're doing OT (however they will often find that OT is the thing that has helped them most in their lives)
- It can be a very psychologically/mentally straining job - constantly dealing with people who are less fortunate than you - you need to learn to separate your work life from your life so that it doesn't impact on you as a person

Probably a lot more in terms of both pros and cons, I'll add to them later as I can think of them/as I experience them :)

"Can you tell me a bit about the course?"
The course is very practical and associated with what you will actually be doing as an OT (in other degrees such as commerce, you will do many 'useless' subjects that don't relate at all). You have to do 1000+ hours of placement (this is for all uni's in NSW, not sure if it's the same in other states), which is actually really good since you get exposure to a variety of different settings and things like that.

OT's don't have many contact hours at uni. (Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is up to you)

What I love about the course is that it covers all areas of OT and even if you don't want to go into that area, you learn skills that are able to be transferred into other areas of OT

Rough Course Outline:
1st year: Purpose/meaning/motivation; Analysing occupational performance; Teaching to enhance occupational performance
2nd year: Clinical exposure; Understanding impact of conditions on occupational performance; Occupational environments
3rd year: Clinical understanding; productivity; ageing; education
4th year: Speciality skills; population-based approaches; clinical integration; evaluation and service enhancement

In 4th year you get to choose 3 OT electives which can include (but aren't limited to):
- OT in learning and Coordination Difficulties
- Upper limb and hand rehabilitation
- OT in Work Injury Prevention and rehab
- Mental Health Interventions
- People with intellectual disability
- Technology for the living
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Living with cancer
- Falls prevention with older people
- Physical health and developmental disability
- Mental health and developmental disability
- Autism Spectrum Disorders

What type of things did you do on placement?
Well the things that you do really depends on the setting and what year you're in. In your first year, it's mostly observation. Of course you'll get to do a few things but you'll be closely shadowing your supervisor.
In 2nd year, you'll basically work side by side with your supervisor. You'll be able to do a lot of things for yourself with your supervisor breathing down your neck incase you get into trouble or you need help.
In 3rd and 4th year, you're thrown into the deep end and you'll be given your own caseloads/projects where you'll be able to apply the skills and knowledge that you've learnt to hopefully be able to know what you're doing :p

As an OT student you have to do 1000 hours of placement; 1st year = 1 week, 2nd year = 2 weeks, 3rd year = 7 weeks x 2, 4th year = 8 weeks.
(This is the undergrad schedule, the masters schedule is a bit different :p )

"What are ward groups?"
Ward/Therapy groups are just groups in certain settings (such as rehabilitation hospitals) where the OT conducts a sort of class to observe/assess/educate/perform an intervention on a group of patients.
This also allows patients to interact and socialise with each other which can be fun and something for them to look forward to :)
There are many different groups for many different settings and areas of practices depending on a persons wants and needs such as: Upper limb groups, falls prevention groups, cooking groups, music groups, education groups (of many many many topics), support groups, socialising groups

"Is getting to cumberland campus annoying and can you tell me a bit about it?"
"Can you park cumberland campus?"
Getting to Cumbo is annoying, at least for me since I live in the north. However getting there by public transport is actually really easy as the trains regularly go to lidcombe and buses are very regular from lidcombe station to the campus (you can catch the m92 or 915) - alternatively you can walk to the station which takes 30min.
There's also a free night shuttle at night to the station

There's free parking all along East St (the main street). Parking on the street is usually fine except at maybe 9:15-11am
There's also a $4 carpark and $5 carpark if you can't be bothered to walk or you can't find a space on the street :)

The campus is actually really good, it's really small in terms of population(about 5000 people but obviously not everyone is there at once) so it's easy to make friends across all disciplines/courses. (e.g. I have friends from speech, MRS, physio,ex.phys, ex sport science, health science, etc). The campus is also pretty small area wise, so it means that walking from one side of campus to the other takes ~5 minutes unlike the main campus which is a lot larger. But yeah you can't walk across campus without seeing at least one friend :) And everyone there is really friendly!
Another thing about the campus is that no one cares what you wear, and everyone there is really chilled. You can wear thongs, trackies, don't need designer clothing or anything unlike the main campus so it's really good. In a break, you can grab a bean bag and relax in the sun! It's great!!! haha :)

Even though it's such a small campus and not many clubs/societies, you can actually have an amazing social life there. There are many parties, a subsidised/cheaper Eastern uni games, OCamp (recommended so you have friends on your first week) + many other social events.
- Anyway if you really crave more social interaction then you get at cumbo (we have giant spoons on the grass) then just join more societies and stuff at main campus.

Just a note: It is predicted that by 2018, Cumbo will be fully integrated with main campus, so depending on when you read this, you could be at cumbo for the first year years then at main (or fully at main for your degree).


"Is it difficult?"
In terms of the difficulty of the subjects I guess you could have varying opinions. The OT concepts themselves aren't too difficult to understand and grasp however the assessments are at times confusing and difficult.

In saying this though, the assessments actually useful in clarifying and/or learning new skills, and knowledge! The assignments and exams are all different as well. I've gotten assessed with MC Q's, short answer questions, long answer questions, vivas, role plays, essays, reports, hospital reports, plans, placement/practical stuff and real life case studies where you work with real clients/populations

"How big is a cohort?"
The cohort is usually about 80-100 students in first year. However obviously a few people drop out and defer, so I think at the moment in second year we have about 50-60 students? (However there are also lots of non standard students, so it's difficult to tell). It's a really small cohort so it's good because you can make and keep friends throughout your 4 years. The fact that most of your subjects are core subjects helps facilitate your friendships as well. The whole cohort is actually all friends with each other (of course you have your friendship groups but everyone is always willing to help)! But yeah we have our own facebook page, and everyone asks questions, answers questions, reminds each other of things, posts funny things, etc (kind of like BOS) :)

"What's the best method to get into OT if I don't get the required atar"
Option 1: Bachelor of Health Science --> OT
Whilst this is a good option, it will mean that you're paying for a year (or more) of a course that you may not really want to do.
I have quite a number of friends who have transferred from a BHS and they told me that it was a terribly structured degree (mind you, you might love it but this is just what they have told me). To transfer it's not too difficult, you just need roughly a credit average (65-74) but preferably at least mid-high credit which isn't too difficult to get if you work consistently. You will also be able to get credit for a lot of your subjects (meaning you don't have to do subjects that you've already done) meaning that your OT degree can be cut down to 3-3.5 years, or else you can do the standard 4 years (with less subjects, meaning you could potentially be doing ~3 subjects for most semesters).

Option 2: Another health science degree (such as exercise sport science) --> OT
Again, you will be able to get some subjects credited however I don't think that you'll be able to get as many credited as a bachelor of health science. Just warning that the first year subjects from EP, ESS and physio are pretty difficult. From my understanding if you don't enjoy science & maths/aren't too good at science & maths then I don't really recommend this path (at least in my opinion, but again everyone is different)

Option 3: Transfer from some other degree --> OT
Probably the least recommended option as you won't be able to get any subjects credited

Option 4: Do any undergrad degree --> MOT (Masters of OT)
This option isn't too bad except for that fact that the masters degree is pretty intense as it tries to teach what the undergrad degree teaches except in a small time space. You're also not guaranteed a place.

Option 5: Do OT at another uni. If you're passionate about OT then you'll do it anywhere :)


~~~~~

Hope this at least helped your understanding of OT just a little bit. Look forward to potentially working with some of you in the future :)
 
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rapturons

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Hi, thanks so much for writing this, I just have a few more questions about ot and uni in general

I'm undecided on two courses at usyd. Occupational therapy and physio. If I get offered physio and I don't enjoying t, am I allowed to change to ot in the first few weeks

Similarly can I change subjects in the first week or so if I don't enjoy them

How and when do I apply for hecs

Is the social life as good as everyone says it is

Is driving expensive compared to parking

if I was to do a post grad afterwards like masters of ot or physio, is there any point. Like are the job prospects better?
Similarly should I do honours

How hard/eas is it. To get a pass/credit/distinction/high distinction?

What happens if you fail a subject

I don't really understand what wam and gap are used for. Could you explain them to me and then tell me what they're useful for?

Thanks for that. Sorry to bother you
 

madharris

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Hi, thanks so much for writing this, I just have a few more questions about ot and uni in general

I'm undecided on two courses at usyd. Occupational therapy and physio. If I get offered physio and I don't enjoying t, am I allowed to change to ot in the first few weeks

Similarly can I change subjects in the first week or so if I don't enjoy them

How and when do I apply for hecs

Is the social life as good as everyone says it is

Is driving expensive compared to parking

if I was to do a post grad afterwards like masters of ot or physio, is there any point. Like are the job prospects better?
Similarly should I do honours

How hard/eas is it. To get a pass/credit/distinction/high distinction?

What happens if you fail a subject

I don't really understand what wam and gap are used for. Could you explain them to me and then tell me what they're useful for?

Thanks for that. Sorry to bother you
^^^

- No you can't change from any course in the first few weeks. You'll have to wait a whole year to transfer into OT or vice versa.
However before uni starts, if for example you get offered physio in the main round and gone and enrolled and everything and then you get offered OT in another round, you can unenrol from physio and enrol in OT... does that make sense?
However, I'm not sure if you can but it's just a thought; you might be able to transfer into a bachelor of health science after a semester, do OT subjects as your electives then transfer to OT for 2015.

- No, all OT subjects except 6 are core, the other ones are electives. If you don't like your core subjects, then too bad. You will have to deal with them or transfer to another course. In saying that however, if you don't like your electives in the first few weeks, you can change to another one.

- I think you apply or heck when you enrol (I assume it's the same as this year). You just fill in a bit of paper work, don't worry you'll get given the forms at enrolment day in January (i think) sometime :)

- The social life is what you make of it. At cumbo there are not many societies. There's ESSSA which is basically the group that hosts all the parties and then you have some other small ones. You don't need Access (which is the thing that you need to join societies and stuff on main campus), I think ESSSA is just a $20 fee. But yeah, as I was saying the 'Uni life' is what you make of it. If you choose to come to uni for class then go home asap then you can do that. But if you choose to come to uni and enjoy it, make friends, go out, etc then you can also do that. It really depends on you. :)

- Driving depends on how far away you live. As mentioned above, there's free street parking, a $4 carpark and a $5 one so it doesn't really matter.
If you catch a train/bus to uni you should get a my multi 2. It's $26 for concession. If you just catch a bus then you need a mybus1/2/3 depending where you live, and if you catch the train then you can just use the ticket machine :)

- No, masters of OT is the same as undergrad, it's just as much of the undergrad content as possible squeezed into 2 years.
Scroll above for my views on honours. But as I mentioned, it's ultimately your choice :)

- It ultimately depends on how much effort you put in, whether you read the marking criteria/instructions properly and the individual subject.
For anatomy there is a very high fail rate, simply because there's a lot of content, and a lot of people cram. however if you put consistent effort into the subject, then you'll be fine. The assessments and exams aren't that difficult once you understand what they want, you just need to put a bit of effort in and you'll be fine :)

- If you fail a core subject, you must repeat the subject. This means that you will have to pay again, attend all the tutorials/pracs, etc.
If it's an elective, you can either choose to do that elective again or do another one, but you will still need to do an elective.
You have one of 2 options if you fail a subject; 1 - You degree becomes 4.5 years, 2 - ask and hope that you can overload a semester and do 5 subjects

- WAM and GPA are just your overall mark from all of your subjects in your degree. They're just 2 different ways of calculating it, at usyd I think they just use WAM (but not 100% sure). I think you use them if you want to transfer courses, do a postgrad course, and also if you want to get offered honours.

Hope that clears a few things up for you :)
 

OzKo

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Hi, thanks so much for writing this, I just have a few more questions about ot and uni in general

I'm undecided on two courses at usyd. Occupational therapy and physio. If I get offered physio and I don't enjoying t, am I allowed to change to ot in the first few weeks

Similarly can I change subjects in the first week or so if I don't enjoy them

How and when do I apply for hecs

Is the social life as good as everyone says it is

Is driving expensive compared to parking

if I was to do a post grad afterwards like masters of ot or physio, is there any point. Like are the job prospects better?
Similarly should I do honours

How hard/eas is it. To get a pass/credit/distinction/high distinction?

What happens if you fail a subject

I don't really understand what wam and gap are used for. Could you explain them to me and then tell me what they're useful for?

Thanks for that. Sorry to bother you
If you want more information regarding the WAM/GPA, check out the guide brent012 wrote up recently here:

http://community.boredofstudies.org/showthread.php?t=313685
 

KidDang

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Very informative and educational, Rep on me
 

spritzersmrits7

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Thanks so much for this, madharris! can someone pretty please do something like this for speech pathology?
 

pokemon4lyf

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Stumbled across this and I must say, THIS IS AMAZING!
Would have answered all the questions I had a year ago :)
 

andiii

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This has been really helpful, so thank you for putting this up! I feel like I want to get into healthcare, but I don't know which area, and I've been thinking OT or speech pathology (leaning towards OT)... So I've really been tossing up between doing an Applied Science degree or doing a Bachelor of Health Sciences. Would you be able to help me with pros and cons? So far I feel like it would be better to do the Applied Science (because it's quicker), but since I'm not sure of what I want to do, I thought the Bachelor of Health Science would give me more options? Am I right in thinking like this? Do you have any other advice regarding this?

Thanks so much :)
 

madharris

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This has been really helpful, so thank you for putting this up! I feel like I want to get into healthcare, but I don't know which area, and I've been thinking OT or speech pathology (leaning towards OT)... So I've really been tossing up between doing an Applied Science degree or doing a Bachelor of Health Sciences. Would you be able to help me with pros and cons? So far I feel like it would be better to do the Applied Science (because it's quicker), but since I'm not sure of what I want to do, I thought the Bachelor of Health Science would give me more options? Am I right in thinking like this? Do you have any other advice regarding this?

Thanks so much :)
Applied science Cons
- Very specific, won't know if you like the course or not until you do it
- Very specific, may not know if you like the subject until you do a placement (which varies with each degree)\
- 1st year subjects can be broad/boring so may not be a true representation of what you'll be doing as a profession in that it's the very basics to catalyse your mind into thinking like that profession
- With OT or speech if you wanted to transfer out of it, you wouldn't get many credits meaning you'll be in uni longer

Applied science pros
- If you know that you want to go into this side of health then it's a straight 3/4 year course to get you into that area (mind you to be totally honest, I didn't really have much of an idea of OT when I did it)

Health Science Cons
- Can't get too much out of this degree when graduating this subject unless you wan't to transfer into a masters or do something like health promotion (people refer to it as the arts of the health faculty - but don't let this deter you)
- Might not get the marks to get into the masters degree or transfer into the the applied science degree (e.g. with physio @ usyd, a lot of my friends with HD averages in sport science and health science didn't get in)
- A lot of my friends who did health science and transferred say that it was a pretty badly structured degree that they didn't enjoy and wish they went straight into the course of their desire
- Transferring will mean that your degree may be longer
- ~400 people in the course meaning that it's kinda of like a science/commerce degree where it will potentially be more difficult to maintain friends (however in saying this, you'll meet a lot more people)

Health Science pros
- If you don't know what you want to do then it's a good starting block to decide through the various majors
- Lower atar so it's easier to get in so that you are able to potentially transfer to your desired degree

These are just from the top of my head and are also my own opinion from my knowledge of a BHS and an applied science degree.
There are probably a lot more pros and cons (especially pros) but that was all I could think of.

Good luck :)
 

andiii

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Thanks for that :) - you've given me a lot to consider. I'm still not sure what I want to do, but hopefully by going to open days and stuff, I'll be able to get a better idea. Sometimes, I just want to leave the decision up to the ATAR I get, and go with whichever I can get in to (that doesn't really sound like good decision-making though). If you don't mind me asking, what was the clincher that really made you decide to go with OT over other (somewhat similar) fields? I'm sorry if I'm being a pain, but this is pretty much the only place I can go to ask these questions... :/
 

madharris

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Thanks for that :) - you've given me a lot to consider. I'm still not sure what I want to do, but hopefully by going to open days and stuff, I'll be able to get a better idea. Sometimes, I just want to leave the decision up to the ATAR I get, and go with whichever I can get in to (that doesn't really sound like good decision-making though). If you don't mind me asking, what was the clincher that really made you decide to go with OT over other (somewhat similar) fields? I'm sorry if I'm being a pain, but this is pretty much the only place I can go to ask these questions... :/
Well I was thinking either physio or OT. I just did a bit of research and watched youtube videos and thought that OT appealed more to me because of the functionality of the intervention.

Mind you, OT was totally different to what I expected it to be (in a good way :)!!!!), and no amount of research will prepare you for the actual thing (This goes for any course in the health faculty).
 

andiii

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Thanks so much for the advice, I am starting to feel more confidant that it's what I want to do :)
 

Sweetbee96

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Hi, i have looked at the essays/reports and most have word limits. i was wondering do the word limits include the full reference list at the end or not? I am in my first year of uni (UTS medical science) and absolutely terrible at essay writing (especially lengthy ones) and report writing. I find it extremely difficult finding information from journal articles and sifting through pages and pages so I am scared of the assessments! anyone please help!
 

madharris

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Hi, i have looked at the essays/reports and most have word limits. i was wondering do the word limits include the full reference list at the end or not? I am in my first year of uni (UTS medical science) and absolutely terrible at essay writing (especially lengthy ones) and report writing. I find it extremely difficult finding information from journal articles and sifting through pages and pages so I am scared of the assessments! anyone please help!
I think it depends what type of referencing you use.

Usually the references don't count towards the word count, however the in text citations do.
You should ask your tutor/unit coordinator though.

If you're unable to do that, then it should say somewhere what type of referencing you should be using (either in the unit outline, or on the assessment outline). Once you find out then just google and check.

Hope that helps :)
 

andiii

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Hi again

I was just wondering whether you would think it's a good idea to do a biology bridging course before going into this course... In terms of science, I only do Chemistry at school...

Thanks!
 

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