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Master's Degree Occupational Therapy, Pakistani

I was awarded a B.Sc. (Occupational Therapy) by the School of Occupational Therapy of the Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre, Karachi Pakistan in 2000. I graduated top of my class. The School and its curriculum are approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. I have also been given credit feedback, with an aggregate GPA score of 3.88, by the accrediting agency, Global Credential Evaluators which is based in the United States.

Having graduated, I worked as a Registered Occupational Therapist for the Institute of Behavioural Psychology, Karachi, an internationally recognized organization which provides educational, therapeutic and psychological services for children, young people and adults and various corporate services.

During my five year service with the Institute, I worked with adults with upper limb injuries and physical dysfunction and disabilities following strokes. I also worked with children suffering a wide variety of issues such as developmental delays, learning difficulties, intellectual disabilities, attention and behavioural problems, deficits in sensory processing and modulation and verbal and non-verbal communication problems. I found great satisfaction in this work in which I felt that I was making the beneficial difference to clients’ lives that I had sought to make when choosing my career path. I shared the joy of clients when they made, perhaps slow, but solid progress towards their goals.  As well as developing therapeutic skills and knowledge, my natural characteristics of patience and empathy were further developed. I also learned the importance of formulating realistic but challenging care plans involving other professionals in a multi-disciplinary approach. I enthusiastically participated in many courses, classes, workshops and seminars to augment my professional knowledge and skills during this period and also assisted in the supervision and training of new therapists in the later part of my service.

My second job was as a school therapist assisting underachieving students at all grades by identifying and treating underlying problems such as learning difficulties, developmental delays, fine motor difficulties and behavioural problems. I collaborated with other professionals such as special education teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists and resource teachers and liaised with family members to remove or moderate learning barriers and promote the inclusion of students into the general educational environment. I also conducted a number of workshops to educate teachers and family members about my role and the ways in which they could assist in achieving our common goals and assisted in the development of individual educational plans working closely with teaching staff.

During my career, I have at various times served as a program administrator with supervisory responsibilities for a team of rehabilitation professionals such as occupational therapists, rehabilitation aides and students in training. I was recognized as being an effective and approachable teacher and leader which roles I thoroughly enjoyed. I took great pleasure in seeing subordinates and students reach challenging goals and sought to share my professional passion. 

Since moving to the US, in 2009, I have sought to take up the career I love but there have been multiple obstacles to this strongly held desire. My degree does not meet entry-level requirement for the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy. I was advised to complete a bachelor degree and then seek admission to an entry level Master’s program. However, I was unable to find a bachelor program and I thought that I may have to abandon my goal, my family obligations also took precedence at that time and I put the matter ‘on hold’. However, I took great care to ensure that I kept abreast of developments in the profession by reading professional journals and books. A few of the titles I studied were: ‘Occupational Therapy and Mental Health’ by Cantan Brown, ‘Occupational Therapy in the Promotion of Health and Wellness’ by Marjorie E. Scaffa and ‘Applied Theories in Occupational Therapy, a Practical Approach’ by Rusanna Tufano and Marli Cole.

My family matured and I decided to make every effort to return to the profession and, if possible, at a senior level.  I was delighted to discover the program that you offer which will enable me to update and enhance my knowledge and skills on-line and to return to the practice of the profession that I love and in which I felt so capable and satisfied. It will also satisfy my second goal which is to re-join the profession at a senior level so that my professional experience and supervisory and training experience can be applied.

My favored electives are: Community Development for OT, Aging and Continuing Care, Measuring Health Outcomes and Chronic Condition Management. I am very aware that there is a growing need for the provision of OT services to an aging population. This need is rapidly increasing presenting particular challenges to most areas of health service provision, and not least in OT which has the potential to play a very significant role in assisting the aged to live independent and happy lives. I come from a culture in which the aged are treated with particular respect and affection, which may not always be true in western cultures. I enjoy the company of the aged and would be very keen to be part of the solution to the accelerating need to provide specialist services to them.

For my Practicum experience, I would seek to assist an organization providing healthcare to the aged who live at home to enable them to do so for as long as possible by seeking inter-disciplinary solutions to known problems and, by careful information gathering from elderly themselves about their OT-linked needs and how they might be met. It is clear that the profession faces a situation where demand will far outstrip supply for services. To face this situation, it will be necessary to provide innovative solutions and I am interested in the possible development of ‘one to one’ or small group, on-line therapeutic advice, demonstrations and discussions to enable an element of self-treatment by the patient, or provision by a family member.

I wish to point out that my studies would be fully self-funded and that I am wholly encouraged and supported by my husband in submitting this application. I have carefully considered the demands that on-line studies will make and I am confident that I have the self-discipline, commitment, the intelligence and the experience to excel rather than merely succeed in the program and in my future career. Thank you for considering my application.

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