Archive for the ‘School’ Category.

Looking to Interview a Person with Parkinson’s Disease

I am looking to interview a person with Parkinson’s disease that is between 40 and 65 years old for one of my Occupational Therapy Master’s program classes at San Jose State University. Any help you could give in finding an interviewee would be greatly appreciated. The interview will take maybe twenty minutes to an hour and focus is on how Parkinson’s affects their daily life. I believe the interview and the followup could be valuable for everyone involved.

All discussions will be held with the same confidentiality as any medical professional. You can contact me at or by phone at 415-306-2151

Dr. Adolf Meyer meets Dr. Herbert Hall

Dr. Adolf Meyer meets Dr. Herbert Hall

We gave presentations in History of OT class. I presented a speech written by my classmates and I as Dr. Adolf Meyer, arguably one of the founders of OT in America. My classmate Casey presented as Dr. Herbert Hall. We all rocked.

Thanks to my brother-in-law Jeff for the 1920’s suit. It looked gooooood!

How I get from Kensington to San Jose State every morning

Here’s my current commute:

  • Drive to North Berkeley Bart 11 minutes and park. $2.50/day
  • Train BART to Fremont, 50 minute ride, $8 round trip
  • Bus VTA 181 express to downtown San Jose, 40 minute ride, $0.00 with my SJSU pass ($8 round trip w/o)
  • Walk 10 minute to class

It usually takes 2 hours, 30 minutes door to door.

The train/bus runs every 15 minutes like clockwork all day.
I always get a seat on the train, almost always a seat on the bus (the folks coming on the train from San Francisco sometimes have to stand)
I usually get about an hour of work done on the train with my laptop tethered to the internet on my phone. And I usually get just a bit carsick on the bus. :-(

Occupational Therapy on the Radio

I’ll be entering an Occupational Therapy Master’s Program at San Jose State University in August. What is OT?┬áHere is an article about it from NPR.




Some people are calling the current economic downturn a man session – really. That’s because the jobless rate for men is about 2 percent higher than it is for women. While it is more of a struggle for men to find a job than women in this economy, men take note: One profession needs and wants more male bodies, and it even pays well.

Jenee Darden reports.

Mr. FARLEY HOM (Occupational Therapist): How bad is your pain, from one to 10?

JENEE DARDEN: Farley Hom is an occupational therapist. Today, he’s helping a patient at a rehab center for seniors in Southern California. The elderly man recently fractured bones in his neck after a fall. Hom tries to help the man move from his wheelchair to his bed on his own.

Mr. HOM: We’ll see when you can have your pain meds next, OK? You want pain medication?

DARDEN: Hom has been an occupational therapist for 15 years. In case youre wondering, OT and physical therapy are not the same.

Mr. HOM: To this day, even my parents have difficulty explaining to their friends what I do for a living.

DARDEN: Here’s how he breaks it down.

Mr. HOM: Occupational therapists help people to be as independent as possible with their activities of daily living. That can be anything from getting themselves dressed to brushing their teeth to driving.

DARDEN: Hom is the only male OT at the center, which is not unusual. Men make up only 10 percent of therapists. Historically, the profession has focused on recruiting women. Now, it’s pushing for gender balance and actively reaching out to men. Hom says they want workers to be diverse, like the people they serve. For instance…

Mr. HOM: A male might prefer another male to be with him in the bathroom when we’re working on toileting issues, simply because of dignity issues, privacy issues.

DARDEN: But Hom says there’s a growing need for OT’s in general, especially as baby boomers retire. Labor Department stats back this up. They show occupational therapy growing more than 20 percent over the next few years.

Mr. HOM: I’ve always been able to find work. I’ve never had a problem finding work.

DARDEN: Now that’s something you rarely hear today, and the pay isn’t bad, either. In California, an OT fresh out of grad school can start making up to $80,000 a year. Nationwide, the mean salary is about 67 grand. Good pay, steady work and a demand for male workers – in the so-called man session, why aren’t more men signing up?

Mr. SHAWN PHIPPS (President, Occupational Therapy Association of California): I think occupational therapy is one of those best kept secrets.

DARDEN: Shawn Phipps is president of the Occupational Therapy Association of California.

(Soundbite of children chattering)

DARDEN: On this day, he supervises therapists at a rehab center for kids with disabilities. He says people dont know about the profession, and a number of those who do view it as women’s work.

Mr. PHIPPS: I think that occupational therapy is sometimes seen as a caretaking profession like nursing, and men traditionally have not been drawn especially to caretaking professions.

DARDEN: But OT’s go beyond bedsides. Some work in technology and develop ideas to help people with disabilities function in everyday life. And you can find OT’s treating injured workers.

Mr. PHIPPS: I’m aware of a number of men that work in industrial rehabilitation. An occupational therapist can play a role evaluating that worker’s capability of returning to the workplace.

DARDEN: But Phipps says he notices men are starting to pay attention. He even convinced one of his friends to consider the profession. Sergio Sandoval worked in marketing research for 12 years, but was laid off more than a year ago and can’t find work. Now he plans on applying to an OT graduate program. Sandoval says he made the career switch for a few reasons.

Mr. SERGIO SANDOVAL (Occupational Therapy Student): The ability to work with people with disabilities to make a difference in their lives, and to also have steady work and create a future for myself.

DARDEN: And the perks dont stop at steady work, whether youre a man or a women. Money Magazine recently listed occupational therapy as one of the least stressful jobs in the country.

For NPR’s, I’m Janee Darden in Los Angeles.


Occupational Therapy Salary Survey

First, I love the idea that every OT has told me that they love their job. Following that, I love that OT salaries are high and unemployment is virtually nonexistent.

Here’s an article talking about OT salaries in 2012. Here’s the summary:

* Average salary for therapists in the first 5 years is $64k
* Average salary in the US is $71k
* Average salary in California is $88k (just about the highest, Alaska is $113k but hey, that’s Alaska)
* Men make on average $8k more (it’s unfair but hey)
* unemployment is extremely low
* Most common employment
25% primary and secondary schools $63k/year
17% Skilled Nursing Facilities $78k/year
8% clients’ homes, $80k/year

Neurobiology Class Done. Now Occupational Therapy Grad School!

I just completed the last prerequisite class before entering my Occupational Therapy Master’s Program at San Jose State. I’m just a tiny bit proud that I got an “A” in this graduate-level class. The class had two sections; the other section was full of med school students.

Classes at San Jose State start August 25th and the program runs for about 24 months straight.