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- Published: 22nd November 2021
- Price: Free download
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Have you ever had a moment where you thought to yourself, “This is exactly where I am supposed to be”? This exact thought runs through my mind as I work toward my goal of changing career paths, from healthcare administration to a career as an Occupational therapist. My interest in the profession began in high school while working at a home health and rehabilitation company. Occupational therapy attracted my attention because not only does the discipline address physical needs, but it addresses the psychological and emotional needs of individuals. I have always wanted to work in healthcare, to work and interact with people, and the opportunity to assist others in leading healthy and fulfilling lives; which makes Occupational therapy the perfect fit for me.
Initially, when I began my undergraduate studies at Slippery Rock University, I was an exercise science major with every intention to pursue a career in Occupational therapy. Unfortunately, during my first semester I dealt with difficult personal issues that caused me to struggle to adjust to the college environment and focus on my coursework, therefore negatively impacting my academic performance. Being new to the university, I was unaware of the resources available for emotional support nor the option to withdrawal from the courses in which I fell behind. This experience left me with a lack of confidence and confusion in regards to my capability of succeeding as an exercise science major. Despite the challenges that I was facing, my fervor for helping others persisted and I was lead to my major in Healthcare Administration and Management, where I found my work could still benefit others while working behind the scenes in administration.
While I had once believed that a career in administration was right for me, after graduation I decided to pursue Occupational therapy based on my experiences with my grandfather who has Parkinson’s Disease. While other members of my family are living with Parkinson’s, it was not until my grandfather was diagnosed in 2016 that I fully understood it’s effects. This diagnosis has a rippling effect, radiating onto the individual as well as their loved ones. It has been incredibly difficult to watch as Parkinson’s disease attempts to strip my grandfather of his self-reliance and ability to do the things that give him fulfillment. Occupational therapy allows him to hold onto his independence and to remain living safely in his home. His occupational therapists have provided him with intervention such as the special pencil grips that enable him to complete his nightly crossword puzzles, an exercise plan that allows him to maintain his strength, and education on safety in the home and safety during transfers. The positive impact that occupational therapy has on my grandfather’s quality of life is the reason that I have chosen to pursue this path again. I too, want to be someone who enhances and enables others to participate in the everyday activities that give their lives meaning.
I believe that my undergraduate degree in Healthcare Administration and Management is my strength and makes me a unique applicant. My degree provided me with the knowledge in the principles behind healthcare leadership, healthcare quality improvement processes, motivation, teamwork processes, healthcare information systems, the legal and regulatory environment, as well as managed care and healthcare reimbursement. I have had the opportunity to gain insight and experience by working in a variety of settings such as home health, long-term care, and adult day health care. By working in administration, I have seen firsthand how Occupational therapists work cohesively with different departments in order to ensure that patients receive the best quality of care. I have grown professionally through my experiences in healthcare, by developing a strong work ethic along with key skills such as communication, team work, social perceptiveness, problem solving, and organization – all which are skills that I will carry with me into a career in Occupational therapy. I possess knowledge not only in the science and anatomical requirements necessary to pursue a graduate degree in Occupational therapy, but also in the skills needed to become a leader in the field. As the healthcare industry evolves, Occupational therapists are being asked to take on leadership roles which include a greater understanding of the business of healthcare. My degree in healthcare administration and management has provided me with the assets needed to successfully take on these roles.