School-Based OT Directly Out of Grad School
An OT student asked if going into school-based OT advisable straight out of school, saying “a couple people have warned against this because it requires a certain level of autonomy as a new practitioner…” Here is my answer:
I’m in my 6th month of working school-based, straight out of school. To survive, you certainly need to have some supports. I had school-based fieldwork, I chat often with a close family member who works in special education, and I’m working part-time. I still yearn for more supports. There are a lot of moving parts… a wide array of pediatric conditions, parents, assessments, reports, the variable school environment, multiple campuses, IEP meetings, never enough time in a day or resources. Be prepared to not be prepared. That said, it can be done if you have the supports. If I didn’t have my supports, it would not have worked.
At the end of my SNF fieldwork, I felt like I almost had it down. At the end of my school-based fieldwork. I didn’t feel nearly as competent, partially because of the particular experience I had (ask me about it privately) and partially because the job is more faceted.