Hi everyone! My name is Kristen Hasse and I am a second-year Occupational Therapy student at Salus University. I completed my undergraduate degree at Messiah College, where I majored in Applied Health Science and minored in Psychology. Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been living at home in New Jersey, an hour and twenty minutes from campus.
My love for the field of occupational therapy stems from the following sentence: “I can do hard things.” Spoken by a young boy who I’ve had the pleasure of babysitting for the past several years and who lives with a physical disability, this sentence encompasses the confidence I desire to instill in my patients each and every day as an occupational therapist. Taking a holistic approach to patient care, occupational therapists help individuals do the things they want and need to do to lead fulfilling lives.
Now onto my day!
Due to COVID-19, the majority of my classes remain online, minus the lab for my Geriatrics course. The transition to remote learning in March was certainly not without its struggles, but also not without constant support from my professors and classmates.
7:30 a.m.: Wake up, eat breakfast, and get ready. I’m definitely a morning person; while I do set alarms, I almost always wake up before them.
8:30 a.m.: Make the 5-second commute to my desk - definitely one of the highlights of remote learning! I always like to make sure that all of the day’s content is downloaded and saved to my computer before class starts. I take a few minutes to review the PowerPoints and any additional resources, then log into class.
9:00 a.m.: Behavioral Health Conditions. This class focuses on mental health conditions that we may come across in practice. Today we are learning about eating disorders.
11:00 a.m.: Lunch time. Before heading to the kitchen, I meet with a few of my classmates via Google Meet to discuss an upcoming project.
12:00 a.m.: Theory and Practice for Geriatrics. The Occupational Therapy program at Salus follows a developmental curriculum, meaning that we started with Pediatrics and have progressed through the lifespan to Geriatrics. We spend the first two hours discussing the day’s content (assistive technology, pain assessment and treatment) and the final two hours working in small groups on some case studies.
4:00 p.m.: What I do after class really depends on the day. Some days, I’ll spend a few hours doing work study, which involves helping my professors with any projects they may have. I’ve loved my time as a work-study student, as it gave me the opportunity to get to know my professors early on and has given me exposure to a wide variety of OT topics and tasks.
Today though, I start working on transitioning my notes from the day into Quizlet. I relisten to the lecture from this morning, adding in any notes that I missed in the moment and then reword the information into flashcard form. Quizlet has been my go-to study tool since high school. I really enjoy having the option to test myself in a bunch of different ways and having access to it whenever and wherever.
5:30 p.m.: Tonight, I have a meeting about my Level I fieldwork. This semester, I am working with a YMCA in Northeast Philly, assisting with their Student Support Center. These centers were designed to provide a safe environment in which students can learn among their peers during times of virtual instruction. Yesterday was my first day, so tonight’s meeting is mainly about discussing the needs I observed, the resources I have available to me and the objectives for the weeks to come.
7:00 p.m.: Dinner! Another perk of being at home is that I get to enjoy my mom’s cooking every night. Tonight is pulled pork!
7:30 p.m.: After dinner, it’s back to homework. I finish up my Quizlet and then spend some time working on a SOAP note for my Geriatrics class. Ensuring that my classmates and I have strong documentation skills is a major focus of this semester so this is just one of many notes that I will write.
9:00 p.m.: I shut down my computer for the night and start getting ready for bed. I usually like to spend some time relaxing before bed, whether by watching a TV show or reading a book/listening to an audiobook.
10:30 p.m.: Lights out! I aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night so I wake up ready to take on whatever the next day has in store for me.