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How I Got My Job: Occupational Therapist

How I Got My Job: Occupational Therapist

Sue Dye Babson, Kansas City Star

Janae Stockwell, 24: Occupational Therapist

About the employer: Manor Care of Overland Park is a post-acute, long-term-care and assisted-living facility.

My role: I collaborate with other professions to carry out a rehabilitation plan that will result in the patient returning to the highest possible level of functioning.

How long have you been in this position?

Since June.

Is Occupational Therapy the Right Place for You?

1. Are you comfortable in a position of authority?

Of course!

How did you find your job?

I had been assigned to Manor Care of Overland Park as one of my three-month fieldwork experiences in my last year of occupational therapy school. I was supervised under an amazing occupational therapist, and when my fieldwork was over, I expressed an interest in returning as a full-time employee after graduation. I submitted a cover letter and my resume to Laura Gardner, director of rehab, in December 2007. We stayed in contact throughout my last semester of school. In April, she called me in for a formal interview. I also interviewed with the director of human resources that same day.

What helped the most in the job search?

Being professional. I could have given our director of rehab a Post-it note with my phone number after we talked. However, I went to the trouble of writing a cover letter to attach to my resume instead.

Did you reach a low point in this process?

Yes. I reached a low point when comparing the possibility of a career at Manor Care of Overland Park with St. Luke’s South, where I had worked as a rehab tech during my master’s program. I had to weigh the pros and cons of each, and the decision was very hard. By taking a “prn” (as needed) position with the hospital, I’m now able to experience the benefits of both career opportunities.

What is your best advice for others in the job search?

Jobs in occupational therapy and health care in general are booming. Unfortunately, most facilities don’t advertise. Therefore, marketing yourself and asking fellow health care professionals are helpful ways of discovering where to apply.

What is your educational and work experience?

I attended Fort Hays State University for 90 credit hours before entering the University of Kansas occupational therapy program. I received a bachelor’s degree in occupational studies from KU in May 2006. I received my master’s in occupational therapy from KU in May 2008.

© YellowBrix 2009

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