First Week as a Working Gal Reflection  

Hello, Renrenspeakers! Happy Saturday! Can you believe how fast the month has been flying by? We are officially in the spring season! So much has changed in my academic career since last week. Last week, I was finishing up my last finals EVER and preparing to transition to my clinical rotations. I am happy to announce that I have completed the first week of my clinical rotations. This galie is 1/12 weeks down from being a pediatric occupational therapist, woohoo! (Might I note, without the actual license nor the pay, haha!) 

The last ten weeks of school before starting my internship were ones that honestly burnt me out. I know I say I am always burnt out, but every semester is different. This semester required so much writing that I was pumping out at least 2-3 writing assignments every week while developing my capstone project AND preparing for my internship. Just get through it was literally my anthem this semester, and though it did not feel like it during that moment, I did get through it somehow! I honestly am kinda impressed with my ability to pump out back-to-back essays at this rate. It has been soooo nice coming home and not having to write essays or study or do homework for hours on end. I finally am feeling a healthy work-life balance, at least for now. Anyway, let me get back to the more exciting part of this post! 

So, I started my internship this week at a pediatric outpatient clinic. I felt a lot of emotions before starting – mostly excitement, but nervous anticipation of what was to come. I think I felt more comfortable going in because I visited my clinical instructor (CI) about two weeks before starting my internship, and it was one of the best things I could have done to calm my nerves. If you know a little about me, I am kinda a perfectionist, and I like to plan for things ahead of time. Yes, I note that the perfectionist thing is something that I have to work on, so I have been way more flexible with it and have learned to release some control – though I admit, I still have a long way to go. But no one’s perfect, right? When I visited my site, I got to observe a session and then chat with my CI and site coordinator who were both very kind and supportive of my hesitancies. There, I felt more empowered to start my internship with a positive, hopeful mindset.

During my first week, I have already learned a ton about the pediatric population. This has been an opportunity to put my learning in the classroom to the test and see how this translates to a natural setting with actual clients. So far, I do feel like my pediatrics course has prepared me well to take on this setting successfully. Working in an outpatient pediatric clinic so far has been such a fun and rewarding experience. I have always had an interest in working with the pediatric population and not gonna lie, I think the kids like me LOL, so I think that this site is a great fit for me thus far. I have met so many new little friends who embody so much excitement and joy. Kids are so funny, and they say the wildest things. Rapport building is instrumental to working with any client. For peds, I have had to pair myself as a super fun, energetic older friend to get the kiddos’ buy-in to therapy. Sometimes, it does put me out of my comfort zone to tap into my creative, child-like demeanor, but hey, I will do anything for therapy to be productive. The days go quickly for me, meaning that I am either getting a lot of work done, I am truly enjoying my time, or probably both! 

My Passion Planner gave me the following quote of the week which was absolutely fitting to how I should approach this 12-week rotation: Every artist was first an amateur by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Then, my week’s challenge was the following: Whenever you find yourself thinking that your goal is impossible, remember that all experts were once beginners. Take each mistake as a chance to learn and soon enough you, too, will succeed. Shoot, it is like my planner KNEW exactly how pivotal this week would be for me! I think that the combination of knowing that God’s got me and this quote of the week kept me stress-free, grounded, and confident for the week. I was in awe of how natural and fluid my CI’s therapy sessions were and was thinking about how much I had to learn and master in my 12 weeks of fieldwork. However, I constantly recentered myself when doubt started to creep in and reminded myself that she has so many years of experience and I am a baby clinician who will one day be an expert just like my CI. Thus, this week has been a very positive one filled with tons of learning and growth just from reframing my mindset to be one that uses mistakes to my advantage so that I can strive to be better in the future.

This upcoming week will allow me to start to lead more treatment sessions and really put my clinical skills to the test. Wish me luck! Though it is nerve-racking, I am hopeful to learn the skills necessary to be a great student pediatric occupational therapist. Cheers to fieldwork!

Peace and love,