I recently graduated from the University of New England, studying occupational therapy. I plan to pursue a pediatric position. Occupational therapists are healthcare professionals that promote independence at work and in daily life. I aid children in learning and development at hospitals, schools, outpatient clinics, at home and in the community. I help people at all stages of life with life skills such as dressing, bathing, eating, feeding, socializing, handwriting and body awareness.
While at PBA, I shadowed occupational therapists throughout south Florida. At graduate school, I completed two one-week level one and two three-month level two fieldwork / clinical experiences. Some of these took place at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the inpatient neurorehabilitation unit and at Tufts Medical Hospital in Boston, in both inpatient and outpatient pediatric settings. Others were set at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts in the acute care setting and Margaret Murphy Center for Children in Saco, Maine; in a school for children with autism. All helped me solidify my passion, gain knowledge and experience, advance my clinical skills and build my confidence as a practitioner.
It's okay to admit that you do not know everything. Working in a field with unpredictable circumstances, you feel pressure to excel in every area, often agreeing to things that may not be in your scope of practice. In these situations, it is fine to say that you may not be as knowledgeable in a topic and to recommend going to someone who is specialized.
"I believe that giving your all shows high levels of leadership, perseverance and passion."
PBA provided me a strong foundation and support system to get through any work-related experience. The faculty helped me develop as a professional, instilling in me important values, knowledge and work ethic. My professors were role models, showing me how to be a servant leader; compassionate, caring, and considerate.
Step outside of your comfort zone and always put your best foot forward. I have often been told that I “go the extra mile.” Giving your all shows high levels of leadership, perseverance and passion. It also helps you grow and develop in all areas of your life.
My mentors were often my professors and clinical instructors. Whenever I had a question or did not feel confident, they alays lifted me up and believed in me. Their mentorship was so powerful. To have someone who has been in similar situations, meet you where you are at and help you through your challenges, was beneficial for work, but also in adult life.
Spotlight posted in June 2018. For current updates from Jenna, visit her LinkedIn page.