A day in the life of an occupational therapy student

Thalia, a second year occupational therapy (OT) student, shares with us her typical Monday this semester. Hopefully, this gives you an insight into what she is learning about and the busy life of an OT student.

Monday mornings can be a challenge sometimes, especially after a great weekend.  This semester I’ve enjoyed early Monday morning starts while studying Occupational Therapy for Children and Youth II (OCTY2208) with lectures starting at 8am. Although this is early the lecture content is always very engaging which makes it a good start to my day.

So far this semester, the course has filled us with knowledge about working with children and youths who may be experiencing social emotional challenges, at risk of developing mental health issues or developmental and acquired neurological conditions that impact their occupational performance and participation. My most recent lecture focused on developing upper limb function for participation including the evidence-based approaches to treating the upper limb, presented by guest lecturer Dr Leanne Sakzewski, Senior Research Fellow at the Queensland Cerebral Palsy & Rehabilitation Research Centre. Dr Sakzewski provided us with an insightful overview of assessments and current treatment models used with children and adolescents who have difficulties with upper limb movements as a result of Cerebral Palsy.

Following our lecture we have an hour break which I usually spend with friends in the therapy student hub re-watching lectures and possibly procrastinating by completing a few BuzzFeed quizzes. Apparently, Dwight Schrute and I would be best friends if I were to move to Scranton.

The therapy hub is where you will find a room full of OT, speech, audiology and physio students working on group assignments, studying hard for their next assessment or relaxing after lectures.

My next class is a tutorial for OCTY2208 where we watch videos of clients pre and post the occupational therapist’s interventions that were discussed during our lecture and talk about the developments each child had made. Being able to see the real differences OTs can make in a client’s life is really wonderful and motivating.

Each week I rush off from this tutorial over to the Architecture and Music Library to get to my UQ Chamber Singers rehearsal. Being a part of this wonderful group has allowed me to maintain my passion for music while studying.

And then it’s back to my studies as I rush from rehearsal to my final lecture of the day from 2pm - 4pm. Mondays are definitely a packed lunch kind of day!  I think the only way most students are able to remain ‘switched on’ in Monday afternoon’s OCTY2210 (Occupational Performance & Participation for Adults with Acute & Chronic Medic) lecture is due to our amazing lecturer (and Head of OT) Professor Louise Gustafsson. All of our OT lecturers and tutors are the loveliest people you will ever meet, not to mentioned, extremely knowledgeable in their fields. This afternoon Louise made the lecture, Approaches to increase intensity and practice, exciting and engaging - a lecture not to miss. With assignment dates looming and fieldwork starting again, my Monday night's consist of conversations with my fieldwork partner about the plans for our clients and researching the efficacy of group programs for our OCTY2209 (Psychosocial Aspects of Occupational Therapy Practice) assignment, with a sprinkle of downtime watching The Office and eating popcorn.

If you are interested in studying occupational therapy at UQ, signing up for UQ Health news and check out the study page.


Meet the author...

Hi, I am Thalia. I am currently in my second year of a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours). This year I was a part of OTSA the student association who arranged the recent 2016 OT Ball. The more areas of OT we learn about the more I am unable to decide which field I would like to work in after graduation. There are so many interesting and growing areas!

Last updated:
12 October 2016