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"Occupational therapy" - PERSONAL STATEMENT, why I chose OT?


deedi4484 1 / 3  
Jul 19, 2011   #1
Why do you choose OT as your career?
Hi everyone, I have never written a Personal essay before and this is the only part I am missing to complete my application. I need help please!! I am still missing my conclusion and I feel that I am missing much more... not sure what though.

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." This quote by William James has such as strong significance for me, mostly because I truly believe that no matter how a person helps another, you can have the opportunity to make a positive impact on that person's life. This is why I want to pursue a career in the field of Occupational Therapy; because I would like to make a difference in someone's life.

I have always had a desire to help others, I completed my undergraduate degree in forensic psychology and I was preparing to apply for my masters in Psychology, but for some reason I decided to wait, partly because I had a feeling that I needed to make sure that the career I was choosing, truly reflected on who I am as a person and my professional aspirations. I had never heard of occupational therapy until I started working in an Early Intervention program and also had a very personal experience that allowed me to discover such a life changing career.

Last year my grandfather suffered from a fall which resulted with a fractured hip and arm. My grandfather, whom had suffered from several heart attacks previously, could not undergo a hip replacement surgery due to fear that he would not survive the operation. This was a very hard decision, but we could not risk losing him. My grandfather has always been my hero, serving in the Military as a general for many years, I had grown up admiring his strength in character, his liveliness and overall his independence at his age. However, after the fall , there was no other option but to be bed bound for several months, with a partial body cast from his waist down to his right knee, and also his right arm. I observed the transformation my grandfather underwent. He became frustrated with his limitations of mobility, but not only that, he became mentally unstable, to the point of depression, because he was unable to do things on his own. He was unable to do the simplest things such as put on his clothing, utilize the bathroom on his own, for very basic needs such as bathing, and therefore became very much dependent on family members. He felt helpless and this was destroying him. Not only was my grandfather affected, but also my family was also strained.

It seemed like a miracle, but after a couple of months his hip fracture was almost healed and his doctors recommended that he slowly start rehabilitation. He started to work with a physical therapist and also an occupational therapist. I observed how both rehabilitative therapy's helped him, however the occupational therapist focused every aspect of his rehabilitation.-<<take out? I observed that not only his physical needs were being addressed but also his emotional and psychological well being, The occupational therapist developed creative everyday activities that slowly allowed him to regain most of his independence. What truly surprised me was that she also worked with my family to in helping develop ways to promote my grandfather's abilities and also his limitations. This is when I realized that I found the career I was looking for, a profession that allows a therapist to utilizes tangible methods as well as addressing the cognitive needs of the client.

Occupational therapy is a field will allow me to incorporate/ unite/ combine my interest in mental health and also my desire to work in an environment that focuses on what is important to the client, by allowing me be creative and to think out of the box, in order to address the individual needs of a person.

Working as a service coordinator in an Early Intervention program has allowed me to obtain experience working with occupational therapist in a pediatric setting. I believe that having this experience has provided me with a vantage point of the diverisity of this profession. Observing occuopational therapist work with children has allowed me to

diane sanchez
cchcal 3 / 6  
Jul 20, 2011   #2
Hey Diane

Just a quick thought.

I glanced through your essay and here's my feedback.

1. I personally would not start a SOP with a quote. It might appear a tad too cliched.
2. I think you went a little too long with your example of the hospitalization of your granddad before summing it up in the few lines why OT means a lot to you.

3. Try and make this shorter 'I have always had a desire to help others, I completed my undergraduate degree in forensic psychology and I was preparing to apply for my masters in Psychology, but for some reason I decided to wait, partly because I had a feeling that I needed to make sure that the career I was choosing, truly reflected on who I am as a person and my professional aspirations. '

4. 'I had never heard of occupational therapy until I started working in an Early Intervention program and also had a very personal experience that allowed me to discover such a life changing career. ' You might consider rephrasing it to ' my first exposure to OT ...' Writing 'i had never heard of.. ' gives a first impression that you JUST heard of the field and might seem somewhat a late bloomer.

Hope this helps.
OP deedi4484 1 / 3  
Jul 20, 2011   #3
Hi ,

Thanks for the suggestions! I will definitely take them into account. Starting with taking out the quote, I totally agree with you.

Thanks!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jul 22, 2011   #4
This was a very hard decision, but we could not risk losing him. ---Here, you are talking in the past tense. So, when you move into the "perfect" tense, use the past perfect: My grandfather had always...

... been my hero; he had served in the military as a general for many years, I had grown up admiring ---No need to capitalize military.

I am missing much more.

You feel like you are missing something because you are expressing a very general idea -- helping others.

You should express an idea that is more specific. For example, you can combine the ideal of helping others with the idea of dignified fearlessness, such as that exemplified in your grandfather. Do you know what I mean? Sharpen your message and make it more specific.

If the theme of the essay is just "helping others," that is too nonspecific. It is better if you discuss some articles by occupational therapists, some books, and most importantly a theme that is as unique as you are. It just has to be unique in the sense that you express your own unique perspective on it.

I think this essay is already impressive!!
OP deedi4484 1 / 3  
Jul 25, 2011   #5
Hi Kevin!

Thank you so much for your imput, I have started to make some changes and I definitely agree that I need to make my essay unique. I loved the suggestion of combining the ideal of helping others with the dignified fearlessnes of my grandfather. I will work on how expand on this idea in my essay.

English is my second language, so I find it difficult to express what I am thinking on paper and this can be very frustrating. So I appreciate your feedback.

I also agree with adding more information on OT literature.

Thanks


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