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Occupational Therapy Statement of Purpose Sample for the Master's Degree in OT

I cannot wait to get to work every day since I so very much love what I have been doing full-time now for the past two years, working as a Physical Therapist at an outpatient rehabilitation facility. Now, after a great deal of research and reflection, I am ready to begin graduate school and I have decided to build a career as an Occupational rather than a Physical Therapist because of my increasing passion for the personal nature of OT, the depth of the contribution to the patient in this field, and the sheer joy of bonding and sharing that takes place. I am attracted to the spirituality and the nobility of OT. The more I read about the principles that guide the OT profession, the more I become thoroughly in love with the ideals of OT and want very much to make it my own.

The most exciting thing in my life so far has been when the patient has that ‘Ahaa moment’, when they themselves realize that their therapy is working. So many patients have come in for therapy because "their doctor told them to" and they are not sufficiently motivated. However, once they've been to a few sessions and can experience the profoundly positive impact that therapy can have on their body and their life; then they understand and express their gratitude. I love helping people adapt to changing lifestyles as they get older. Often, people don't realize how small changes in their everyday behavior can make such a big impact on their quality of life down the road. This is where I hope to end up in the many career path as an OT professional.

What I love most about OT is the privilege of making a positive, profound, and lasting contribution to the quality of someone’s life. I really enjoyed seeing OT patients learn and continue to make life-style changes that improve their quality of life. It is really awesome to see people thriving in life as a result of the help you have given them. No matter how much progress is made, even if it is very modest, it is always rewarding. One gentleman told me: “if it wasn’t for the help of his OT, my son wouldn’t have a life.

I have learned many valuable things about patient care and the therapeutic process in general by serving in the PT setting. I enjoy my work as a PT immensely but I see OT as representing a still more meaningful career in the long term, more intense in the deepest spiritual sense. I really see myself helping older individuals adapt to living alone or just more independently, or working with children and their parents on feeding and play techniques that further learning processes. This is how I see the essence of a career in OT, helping people move from one stage of their life to another.

Learning Spanish over the course of these last few years has been another important aspect of my life, especially so as I look forward to using this language professionally in the future with members of the Hispanic community. I look forward to going on missions to Latin America in the future as well, as an OT professional. There have been so many occasions where I wish I knew more Spanish to communicate better with people or patients I’ve come across, and I just wasn’t fluent enough, yet; but this does not discourage me, it just increases my motivation to improve. I love to travel and helping the underserved tops my priority list, so it definitely looks like I will be getting better acquainted with Latin America and/or the Caribbean after completing your program, and for the balance of my career.

I want to learn increasingly to think in a holistic fashion about the needs of those who I am helping to achieve improvements in their lifestyles, whether that may entail, diet, exercise, etc. I want to be able to make a daily, positive improvement in people's lives, and the best way I can think of doing that is by helping them get through the everyday challenges that are difficult for them.  I have fallen so deeply in love with the world of therapy and healing, positive energy and spiritual enrichment that I cannot imagine doing anything else for the balance of my professional life. I've learned so much by being involved in multiple therapy settings; and I have become accustomed to constant growth and creativity on personal as well as professional levels.

I have wanted to be a therapist since high school and have been working hard towards that goal. Being the first member of my immediate family to go to college, it has been a great learning experience and I feel humbled and honored to be entering a field as noble as OT. I truly cannot see myself being completely happy in any other career. I really enjoy the personal connection to people that OT offers and haven't been able to find anything else that compares. Overall, I think that my patience and understanding of people as well as optimistic mindset is what draws me to this career field and it is these qualities that I believe will make me a great Occupational Therapist.

I attended XXXX Community High School in XXXX, graduating in May 2012. I then went to community college for 2 years before transferring to XXXX College where I completed my Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology, graduating in December of 2016. My education thus far has me very engaged with lifestyle management research, especially as directed towards certain, specific demographics. As our society in general continues to age, older people are in need of greater resources and useful information on how to successfully age, and I want to contribute to this effort. My mom serves as a constant reminder that even though she is older and wiser than I am, she is always in need of support as she faces new challenges as she ages, and she needs to stay busy. I practice on her already, making suggestions as to how to stay occupied in creative ways, filling voids left by her children who are now adults and busy with their own lives.

Finally, I also have experience as a volunteer, having volunteered in a hospital in a variety of settings, helping out where ever I was needed. I shadowed an OT in an early childhood school setting. I am currently looking for professional and volunteer opportunities, working with autistic children or children with developmental disabilities, to gain more experience in preparation for entering a Master’s Program in OT.

I thank you for consideration of my application.

All of the Statement samples on this web site were written more than 2 years ago and all are anonymous.

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Letter of Intention to Remain on the Wait List for Graduate Admission to the Occupational Therapy Program

I am writing to reaffirm my interest in being a part of the Graduate Occupational Therapy Program at XXXX College. Your program is my first choice for returning to graduate school for several reasons. I live in New York and completing your weekend program would allow me to continue in my present position in the area of human resources so as to be able to fund my attendance at your weekend program at XXXX College.

In a few days, I will begin serving as a volunteer with XXXX Therapy of Rockland, NY. This organization is comprised of highly trained OT professionals who treat various conditions such as fractures of the upper extremities, reconstructive hand surgery, traumatic injuries, and also have a special concern for children and pediatric issues in OT. As a volunteer with this organization, I will be able to spend an entire year closely observing some of the most distinguished OT professionals in my area in preparation for entry into your program. I intend to give my all to this organization so that upon my enrollment at XXXX College I will already have extensive experience in OT issues, challenges, and will be better positioned to excel as a student in your program.

As a Haitian woman who has spent her entire professional life in the area of Human Resources and Development, I have long distinguished myself in the areas of diversity and inclusion. I look forward to bringing this experience to your program and sharing in your celebration of diversity at XXXX College. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reconsidering my application for admission to your distinguished program.

Many OT Programs, if you make the first cut in the selection, will send you additional questions to answer, a sample of the response to which follows. You should coordinate these responses with the statement that you submitted previously.

 At XXXX hospital where I volunteered, I met several patients who were coming to see occupational therapists due to discomfort in their hands. Most of the patients were middle-aged adults and most of the causes of their discomfort were due to overuse of their hands at work; other problems were the result of rheumatoid arthritis. I would assist these patients by putting their hands in a paraffin bath to reduce the swelling while soothing the pain in their joints and muscles.  Other patients came to see a therapist to regain function lost as a result of recent injuries such as falling down the stairs. We helped all of these patients by educating them and providing them with assistive devices that would help them to carry out their daily activities until they were able to fully regain their lost functions. 

 I observed an occupational therapist in the inpatient unit conducting evaluations so as to be able to discharge some patients and admit others. Thus, I learned the great importance of documentation and how to document a patient’s progress notes and evaluation reports so as to record the status and condition of the patient and the treatment that has been or needs to be provided, all of which may be read by other health care professionals and/or third party payers.

 At XXXX College, I was known as student who strived to become a tremendous asset to the college by devoting all of my talents and time to my studies and volunteer activities.  I served, for example, as a mentor scholar in the ALANA Men in Motion Program, a college organization where minority male students meet once a week during the school semester to discuss current issues in the media. I also served as a tutor at the center for academic program support where I assisted student with their math, chemistry and computer science course work. One of my greatest achievements was being nominated to the Green Key Honor Society, a college honor program that represents HCC in the community by organizing events to raise money for charitable causes.

I want to help you get accepted to Graduate School in Occupational Therapy, OT Degree Programs

As a young man, I enjoyed very much working with autistic adolescents, despite the great challenges involved. As a result, I especially appreciate the opportunity to help applicants to graduate school in OT to get accepted and to have fulfilling careers. Now, as an older man, I try to be a young father to my only child, David, now 7, who is on the Autism Spectrum. Thus, I am in a good position to understand the critical role played by Occupational Therapy in the lives of so many of us.

There are many excellent graduate programs in Occupational Therapy that will prepare you for a lifetime of distinguished service in OT, providing you with the knowledge, skills and value of lifelong learning to practice occupational therapy in customary and innovative ways within an ever-changing world. Throughout the course of your studies, you will become an exceptionally keen observer, active listener, creative strategist, critical thinker, resourceful leader and practical educator who helps people set and meet goals, overcome challenges and thrive in the face of adversity.

I began my studies in the humanities and social sciences, first thinking about psychology and ending up majoring in philosophy as an undergraduate student. Along the way, I had several work study jobs that made big impressions on my long term career development, including in the area of occupational therapy. I was employed for about one year for the Occupational and Developmental Training Center in Bloomington, Indiana. I went in at night in order to care for developmentally disabled adolescents, getting them up and rolling in the morning to greet their day, breakfast, toiletries, etc. One client in particular has proven to have etched out a most enduring memory in my mind. My client Tracy was 16 years old and built like a Sumari Warrior. She also had razor sharp teeth, all of which made her rather dangerous because she had the mental development of a 6-month-old baby. On my first day of work, within hours of my arrival, I found myself prying her mouth open to secure the release of the fingers of shrieking staff person whose fingers had been bitten to the bone.

It is our duty to make sure that Tracy’s life is fulfilling. Given what Tracy has to work with, this is no easy task. OT is a science and an art of its own with some of the greatest challenges in the world. I am convinced that this area of studies attracts applicants many if not most of whom have golden hearts and a passion for service to the weak and disabled, those who need them most. This is why it is a great pleasure and honor for me to help you in the drafting of a statement that is highly effective and will be successful at getting you admitted to the program of your choice in Occupational Therapy.

I have developed a special interest in Occupational Therapy primarily because I think that this field attracts good people who are interested in the most important things in life, rather than primarily making money and showing off what it can buy. Most of all, it is their sense of service to their fellowman. I also do a lot of work for nurses and social workers, for the same reasons. Five years ago exactly, I was living in the south of Mexico, working hard on my computer, drafting statements, and I lived with a family. Grandpa was in a wheelchair, and he would get daily visits from an OT professional. As I worked, I would look up and observe. I reflected at that time about the importance of what I was observing, especially for grandpa. But, it is also important to note that I feel strongly that the OT visit to grandpa was also healthy for the entire family and the visitors like myself as well. Especially his two grandchildren, who at that time were about 8 and 13. Clearly, this served to cultivate a sense of community in the children as well. It was healing for them to see someone caring for their grandfather.

The value of Occupational Therapy in unusual situations.

Occupational Therapist discusses her typical day at work

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Sample 1st Paragraph OT Masters, Certified Athletic Trainer

I feel strongly that my undergraduate focus on Athletic Training combined with my work as an Outreach Certified Athletic Trainer since graduation have provided me with something special to give to the Occupational Therapy Profession. Furthermore, I now hold two professional positions; also working as a Direct Support Specialist for Dependable Home Health Care in St. Paul, Minnesota,  providing home patient care for the physically, developmentally, and intellectually disabled – from pediatric to geriatric patients. I have only been working in this new position since this past May, 2014, but my heart has already been stolen by my patients. I see my future in their faces, helping them to live to the fullest each day. For this reason, a Master’s Program in OT as ideally suited to the realization of my professional goals, for the long as well as the short term.

Statements of Excellence for Admission to Master's Degree Programs in OT

The Heroines of Occupational Therapy

Forbes reports that women make more money in a few female-dominated education and healthcare jobs. Occupational therapy is one of them.

Suzanne Rastrick

Suzanne Rastrick knew from age 12 that she wanted to be an occupational therapist: “There was something about problem-solving, about looking for solutions for service users and being able to make a difference.”

Rastrick began her career in the hospital sector, specializing in biomechanics and orthotics. By age of 25, she was a head OT. Four years later, she took on her first general management role as a hospital matron, a position that was soon followed by a range of senior management positions. She was director of nursing, a primary care trust chief executive and director of quality for a clinical commissioning group during that time.

Today, Rastrick is chief allied health professions (AHPs) officer for NHS England. She is responsible for all 12 AHPs, including OTs. Rastrick, who took up the job in September, says: “For me, it has always been about applying my OT skills in any role I have taken on. Having that professional curiosity, to seek solutions for service users and then to translate that into better services. Finding solutions for one’s patients and carers, you have to listen to what their needs are and quite often that translates very well into leading and managing services.”

Working in an integrated landscape also comes naturally to her because of her professional background. “The ability to work across different sectors is what OT is about,” she says. “For me that is just fantastic.”

Sarah Lyon

Sarah Lyon is a UK OT and has a lot of great things to say about her career. She is another female OT we admire.

Sarah entered the healthcare field because she wanted to help people. The classic stereotype. But starting a career is a lot like getting married: you have no idea what you are signing up for, she says.

Sarah still loves her profession, though, because she gets to help people. However, there are so many factors that contribute to career satisfaction that she did not consider when applying to occupational therapy school. She feels like she got lucky. Here are some unforeseen reasons why she loves her career:

Autonomy

Yes, Sarah works in an industry brimming with regulation, but when she begins each treatment session, it feels like the brush is in her hands. Within certain limits, she can bring whatever creativity and insight she believes will bring the most value to her patients. 

And while she loves autonomy, she is also glad that she doesn´t have ultimate responsibility over matters that can literally be life and death. Doctors can take on that stress, she adds. Doctors typically sign off on OT treatment plans. But if something goes terribly wrong, there is an emergency button she can push and a care team will come running.

The Opportunities for Specialization and Mastery

Lymphedema management; women's health; wheelchair management; assistive technology; hand therapy; myofacial release, neonatal care; low vision; sensory integration—the list goes on.

The opportunities for specialization in this field are really extensive. When Sarah was first looking into careers, she did not consider how long a 40 year career could be and the drive she would feel to keep learning and honing her skill-set. She is thankful there are so many avenues to pursue with an OT license. Many therapists will pursue multiple specialties over their careers, and enjoy every minute of it.

Schedule Flexibility

School teachers have to teach during the school year; nurses have to provide 24-hour care—there are obvious scheduling challenges in many helping professions.

Luckily, OT schedules usually happen between 9-5 on weekdays. Due to the demand for therapy, full-time, part-time and contract positions are often available, too.

Sarah got very sick during her pregnancy. Reducing her hours to part-time allowed her to keep working, while also taking care of herself.

The Job Market

Sarah receives voicemails and mailings at least weekly from OT recruiters. These keep her from feeling trapped in her job. There is great comfort in knowing that there are other jobs out there and, ultimately, she is making a choice to stay in her current position. 

Getting out of Debt Quickly

Sarah received her masters in occupational therapy and was able to get a full-time job lined up before she even passed her boards.

To be a physical therapist, you have to have a doctorate (more school and more debt). Occupational therapy is heading toward the entry-level doctorate in the UK, but Sarah feels lucky to have gotten licensed at a time where she could receive a similar education to her doctoral counterparts and contend for the exact same positions.

There are of course many factors to debt reduction. However, taking on less debt in the first place is a good way to start.

The Balance of New and Routine Tasks

This may be one of the reasons why many healthcare professionals love their jobs. The type of work lends itself to a nice balance.

To keep us grounded, we have an established community of coworkers and certain tasks that we need to do every day—but you never know who is going to be on your caseload! This variety provides new challenges and gives you something to talk about with colleagues over lunch break.

The International Network

Sarah´s Twitter community hails from England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. OT is a booming industry globally. It is fun to connect with colleagues from around the world. In college, Sarah talked a lot about becoming global citizens with her fellow students. She never would have dreamed that becoming more invested in her local work would lead to global connections, but it has and she loves that about her work.

The Patients

Sarah´s patients keep her coming back to work. She has been so inspired and moved by the lives she have encountered. Sarah can only hope that she has helped them half as much as they have helped her grow as a therapist and as a person.

Are you looking forward to enjoying a career in OT as much as this? We´d love to help you get the jobs you want, and get onto the programs you´d like to study on. Let us know if we can help!

How positivity, creativity and play can help children in therapy.

Sample 1st Paragraph for Occupational Therapy Master’s Degree Program

I have a developed a special affinity and affection for the guiding ethical and human principles that drive the discipline of Occupational Therapy. I can see nothing that would be as noble for me to pursue than a professional lifetime spent giving my all to helping individuals to recover function, thereby enabling them to improve their lives through activities that enhance their psychological and emotional well-being, in addition to their physical health. In love with the discipline itself, and still only 23, I look forward to having broad ranging experiences helping vulnerable members of my community and their families as an OT professional, working with clients that range from pediatric to geriatric. I love the diversity of OT.

Sample 1st 2 Paragraphs for the Masters Occupational Therapy, Korean, Sports

I am a young woman from Korean, now 27 years old, and I am making America my permanent home. I finished my undergraduate studies at XXXX University in 2013 in Biology with a minor in Communication and Cultural Studies and spent a total of 8 years in the USA, in Michigan as well as Indiana, which enabled me to bring my English skills up to a professional level. I also have relevant experience that has increased my confidence that Occupational Therapy is my ideal career, since I worked for a sports rehabilitation center for professional baseball players as a business developer and coordinator. This experience left me with the impression that, while I excel at business development, my true calling is that of a therapist.

Most of all, however, my great passion for Occupational Therapy comes from the experience of my uncle. Most Korean families are very close; and my uncle was always a central figure in my family, filling a leadership role and working hard on behalf of all of us. When he was injured and became incapacitated, it was a terrible blow to my entire family, especially since his wife abandoned him as a result of his accident. Since that time, I have watched my uncle recover little by little, slowly rebuilding his life, something that would not have been possible without extensive rehabilitation and occupational therapy.