Archive for the ‘Becoming an Occupational Therapist’ Category.

Diving In!

I am diving in to my final occupational therapy fieldwork on Monday! So I’ll be rather incommunicado for three months, until the middle of June. It’s at a nearby public school system, which is fantastic, my passion has been pointing me toward pediatric OT for a while.

During this time, life will be very busy for myself, Megan and Abigail. If you can help reduce Megan’s stress (or mine) in any way, our whole family would appreciate it!

Spring Fieldwork, Hurray!

I am very relieved and excited to say that I have a fieldwork position for the spring semester at a local public school district. It will start in early March. The next 3 months will have me being very busy learning my craft, if I’m not calling you back, you know why.  After that, I’ll study for the licensing test for 6 weeks and (hopefully!) be a licensed occupational therapist!

Internship Postponed

With my eye medical problems, the university postponed my internship. That was the right thing to do. I had been missing whole days because of doctor visits, was having trouble seeing, and couldn’t focus on learning because of my worries.

Yesterday I went to an eye doctor, Dr. Michel Jumper in Walnut Creek. They took a really close look at my eye (from my vantage point, all the eye scans looked like awesome 1970’s science fiction movie trailers) and got a treatment for the macular edema associated with my CRVO (central retinal vein occlusion). Dr. Jumper injected Avastin in the vitreous humor of my right eye. It hurt a bit afterward. My eye was scratchy later in the evening. But forget all that. The pain and scratchiness is gone and I can see a little better in my right eye today! The doctor said it might take a few days for the best result. I am so relieved.

I’ve been in contact with my fieldwork adviser and I hope to have a spring semester internship to finish my occupational therapy master’s degree.

 

What a Small OT World It Is

In the next few years, I will personally know at least 1 in every 420 OTs in America. So if you were to ask if I knew your random OT friend, there’s actually a chance I’d say “yes”!

There are 115,000 OTs in the US
I personally know 270 (30 current occupational therapists, 80 students in my cohort, 100 students in the previous cohort, 60 students in the next cohort) 270 / 115,000 = 0.0023 . . . . 0.23% of the OTs in America, that’s 1 in every 420 OTs in America!

It is very important to not burn professional bridges!

I’ll Be Presenting My OT Poster Presentation at OTAC!

OTAC_40anniversary I was selected to present my research poster at the OTAC Convention (Occupational Therapy Association of California) in Pasadena October 27-30!

My big final research paper in school was about the relationship between stress and life satisfaction among
occupational therapy graduate students. I created a poster to highlight the important points and I presented it at a poster session last month. I applied to present the poster at the OTAC conference in October and the committee selected it!

OT Academics Done!

I am finished with the academic portion of my Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy at San Jose State University!

On May 27th I walked with my cohorts wearing cap and gown in a convocation ceremony.

In the coming months I will do two three-month fieldworks: a skilled nursing facility in Alameda and at a community senior center in San Francisco. In January or February I will take the NBCOT (the occupational therapy certification test) and start as an occupational therapy professional!

See Thank-you’s below the photos!

Here is the Acknowledgements section of my research paper:
The Relationship Between Stress and Life Satisfaction Among Occupational Therapy Graduate Students

Acknowledgements
Firstly, I have thank my loving wife Dr. Megan Flom for helping to make this grand project a reality. She has been there, supporting me from the beginning to the end. Great thanks also go to my brother-in-law Walt Flom for sharing his passion and helping me to appreciate and understand it.

I offer my gratitude to my research professor, Dr. Megan Chang for guiding and supporting this effort. I am also grateful for every professor and every student I have encountered at San Jose State. This has been a period of great growth.

I offer grateful thanks to my parents, Lee J. Sonko and Marlene M. Sonko for a lifetime of continued love and encouragement to follow my passions.

The person I need to thank the most can’t read this note… yet. I must thank my wonderful daughter Abigail for helping me every morning by reminding me of the joys of life and learning. As she says so excitedly, “Book-a-book-a-book-a-book-a-book!”

Lee Sonko
May 2016

Well On The Road to Becoming an Occupational Therapist

This week I finished my last class-work at San Jose State University toward my master’s degree in occupational therapy!

The Road Behind Me:

June 2011: needing a new professional life, my dad suggested a career in a medical field from an article he read in the local newspaper.

August 2011: Started three years of part-time classes taking prereqs like Anatomy, Physiology, Statistics, Sociology, Abnormal Psychology, and NeuroanatomySJSU Spirit Mark

Fall 2014 – Spring 2016: Academic program at San Jose State University. An intense, highly regarded academic program, 15 units per semester for two years.

 

The Road Ahead:

May 27: Walk with a cap and gown at Convocation with my cohort!

June 2016 – December 2016: Two fieldwork sites, a SNF/Rehab facility in Alameda and a community senior home care service in San Francisco.

December 2016: Graduation!

January 2017: take the OT Board Certification Test (NBCOT)

February 2017: (Hopefully) Become a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist!

 

What Grad School is Really Like

What Grad School is Really Like:

The Stress(ed) Researchers

Research Groups under Dr Chang - tired

OMG, I’ve got like 7 weeks of academic study left!

My Master’s Thesis

My master’s thesis will be on the relationship between stress and life satisfaction in occupational therapy graduate students.

Here’s our recruitment flyer.  (No need to respond, we’re only taking San Jose State OT students!)

Two Flyers

Looking for 85+ Interviewee

(Update: I’m pretty sure I found an interviewee, thanks!)

Looking for 85 year-old interviewee
I am looking to interview a person that is at least 85 years old and in well health for one of my Occupational Therapy Master’s program classes at San Jose State University. Do you know someone I might speak to?

The interview will take an hour or two and focus on the breadth of the interviewee’s life thus far. When I say “well health”, I generally mean that they are not having a current serious medical complication.

I believe the interview and the followup could be valuable and enjoyable for both interviewee and interviewer. The interview I did last semester for another project was very enjoyable for all!

All discussions will be held with strict confidentiality.