The Importance of Our OT Students
Today we want to tell you all about an exciting program we have here at Cutting Edge Pediatric and Adult Therapy that we’re really proud of. We have contracts with 20-25 different universities to provide educational experiences for students who are studying speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. We are proud of being able to invest in future clinicians and provide exceptional training before they go out into the working world. Each discipline is required to go out and get hands-on experience in a fieldwork setting. Many student clinicians work in more than one field setting, depending on the discipline and the program. They can spend anywhere from 6-8 weeks to 16 weeks in a setting, depending on whether it’s a master’s program of a Ph.D. program.
How Our Students Enhance Therapy
We know you all, kids and parents alike, have seen all these students coming through our facility. And yes, there are a lot of them! They come in cycles and they’re here all year. The only time they’re really not here is the Christmas holidays, and then the cycles start over in January.
The students have really enhanced our program and have offered some exceptional insights that we don’t always see ourselves as clinicians. When our students come in they come in with fresh energy and ideas, and sometimes they see something, or they create and try something, that we didn’t think of. Plus, if a student is working with your kiddo’s therapist, they spend an awful lot of time thinking about your kiddo! I feel like having the students here offers our families a huge advantage, because it’s almost like getting two clinicians for the price of one!
Our fieldwork guidelines are very specific, and your clinician is directly involved with your kiddo along with that student, every step of the way. By no means are we all out at lunch while the students are here treating kids! That is something we could not be doing. But we do think it’s a great advantage to have these students here, because many of them will end up doing projects or case studies about your child, and will address an area that sometimes your clinician doesn’t have the time to put into that specific activity.
How Many Students We Educate
In all three of our locations, we probably educate close to 50 students a year! This is a very large program, and we’re really proud of it! We appreciate the universities working with us on this. We also appreciate your support as parents, so that the new and upcoming clinicians can be well prepared to work with kids.
Your kids love this program too! It gives them a great opportunity to work with other clinicians and to generalize their skills to different people. They’re often quite sad when the student therapist moves on! Many of them become quite attached! We work on that transition process to make it easier, talking to the kids about the transition well in advance so that they can adapt.
So when you see students around, now you’ll understand who they are and why they’re here. Please feel free to ask your therapist or me about any questions about any students present. Usually, we’ll make an announcement on our social media about new students, introducing them, talking about what school they’re coming from and how long they’re going to be with us. Thank you for your support for this wonderful program!