Hi! My name is Mauli Chothani and I am a second-year Occupational Therapy (OT) student at Salus University, graduating in May 2020. I grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, in 2018 with a major in Kinesiology and Health. I decided to attend grad school at Salus University because of the curriculum, 100% board pass rate, and interdisciplinary opportunities between the other healthcare programs.
Salus also offers many ways to get involved. I was the former president of the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) and through that, I got the opportunity to go to the 2019 national American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
I knew I wanted to become an OT from a young age. OTs help clients get involved in meaningful activities that “occupy” their time. OTs have a large scope of practice, but some of the diagnoses we work with are sensory processing disorders, traumatic injuries, neurocognitive disorders, autoimmune diseases, and orthopedic conditions. We can work in schools, nursing homes, hospitals, outpatient clinics, community centers, and much more.
The fall semester of 2019 is our last didactic semester before we are off to fieldwork level two for six months beginning in January.
Here is what a day in my life is like…
7:30 a.m.: I wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, and pack my lunch.
8:30 a.m.: I leave for school. Luckily, I have an apartment 10 minutes away, but I like to leave early so I can review my notes.
9 a.m.: Time for the first class of the day – Behavioral Health Conditions. This class is interesting because we learn about mental health conditions our clients may be experiencing.
11 a.m.: We get an hour lunch break. I usually use this time to work on group projects with my classmates. But today, I spent time talking with my friends about our experiences from our last fieldwork level one. My placement was at an elementary school in New Jersey, which is relevant to my interest in pediatrics.
Noon: The next class is Geriatric Theory and Practice. We discuss different types of wheelchairs and work on a case study.
2:15 p.m.: Since the class gets broken up into two groups for lab, I have an hour break. I use this time to work on a group case study assignment and review an exam I took last week in Mental Health Theory and Practice.
3:15 p.m.: Time for lab. This week is special because we got to trial different types of wheelchairs, such as a power wheelchair (left) and a sports wheelchair (right).
4 p.m.: The second half of lab we got to practice car transfers. OTs can help clients get safely in and out of cars while maintaining their precautions post-surgery.
4:45p.m.: After class is over, I drive back to my apartment.
5 p.m.: I take a small break when coming home. I eat dinner and briefly browse through social media on my phone.
6 p.m.: I use this time to transcribe my lecture notes into an outline, study, and work on any assignments. After transcribing my notes and studying today’s lecture content, I work on a paper for Mental Health Theory and Practice. For this assignment, we had to simulate having a disability and using a wheelchair in the community, and then reflecting upon our experiences.
10 p.m.: I use the last hour before bed to unwind after a long day. I socialize with my roommates or call either my family or undergrad friends to catch up. Sometimes I watch YouTube videos as well.
11 p.m.: I’m off to bed. I aim to get at least eight hours of sleep so I can make the following day just as productive.