Pre-Occupational Therapy: IDS Essay

Since I was in high school I wanted my career to be in a field where I could benefit the lives of other I did not want to live life just making money. My mother recently went back to college and got her master’s degree; now she is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She works with people of all ages that need a little more help to live a normal life just like everyone else. This is why I choose to go into my program of Pre-Occupational Therapy. I not only wanted to fulfil my dreams of working in a field that helps others, but to also be able to follow in the footsteps of my wonderful mother. Pre-Occupational Therapy is a form of therapy for those recuperating from physical or mental illness that encourages rehabilitation through the performance of activities required in daily life. These actives are designed to help people in need to be able to fulfill their goals in life whether they are trying to get a job or to go to work. No other major at PSU could meet the needs of Pre-Occupational Therapy because there so many prerequisite classes that are needed from many disciplines. Plymouth State University simply does not offer the standard major of Occupational Therapy (OT).

             Pre-Occupational Therapy requires many courses from many disciplines that a contract had to be formed. This contract contains courses mostly from the disciplines of biology and psychology. This is due to having to know a lot about a patient’s body, their psychological state, and their disabilities that are limiting them from having a normal life. The first course in the contract is IS2222 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. This course is one of the key building blocks to my own major. It builds a structure opportunity to frame and plan a deliberate and thoughtful interdisciplinary program of study. My next course in my contact is IS4420 Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Seminar. This course is closely related to the IDS Intro class and is the other key building block to my major. This course is in my contract because it gives me a chance as a senior to reflect. When I am older and ready to graduate I get a chance to look back at my accomplishments and even my failures. Through this I am able to celebrate what I did and learn from what I could have done better. This course will teach me what it really means to be an educated person and how to take what I have learned and apply it into the real working world.

The next class on my contract is PE2731 Motor Development. In this course I will examine and analyze changes in motor behavior across the lifespan, the processes that underlie these changes, and the factors that affect them. This is greatly important to my program because as an Occupational Therapist we need to understand the underlying process of the development of motor functions and how those functions can relate to mental or physical disabilities. The next course in the contract is PE3270 Motor Learning. In Motor Learning I will be examining the theoretical foundations and related literature that underlie the learning, performing, and retention of motor skills with implications for teaching, coaching, and physical rehabilitation. This course is very key to my program; OT is about taking our knowledge, and sharing and teaching that information to those with disabilities so they can have a normal structured life. Continuing on the list the next course on the contract is PE3570 Kinesiology. In this course I will be studying the application of biomechanical principles and concepts to human movement. The course examines both qualitative and quantitative perspectives of muscular movement, the mechanics and analysis of human motion. This class in a fundamental class to all health sciences programs. In OT when working with a patient with a motor disability knowing how the body moves and what the mechanics of the movements are is extremely important. We need to understand what is happening and why the body is moving in certain ways to fully understand the disability.

The next course on the contract is PS2010 General Psychology. This will help me understand psychology as a scientific study. Having this knowledge is key to understanding the brain and how we think. While treating other we need to know what they are thinking and how they feel; this is important so we can design our intervention around the patient. The next course is PS2010 Lifespan Development Psychology. This course teaches the principles underlying physical, cognitive, emotional and social development through the life-span. Life is very predictable; OT’s need to understand predisposing conditions for certain disabilities in life. PS4320 Abnormal Psychology teaches the causes and methods of treatment of the major forms of psychopathology. This may be one of the most important classes on my contract. As an OT our job is to work with people with disabilities and be able to recognize their conditions and treat them in the best way possible.  The next course is PS3170 Child Development. This course will discuss information about an individual’s process of development from the end of infancy to the beginning of adolescence. The content includes factors affecting intellectual, social and physical development. This is also another key course because this stage of life is a very sensitive period for developing problems throughout life. OT’s also need to treat children so this course is very important. The next course is PS3100 Adolescent Psychology. The content that this course will hold will be the physical, intellectual, social and ethical development between puberty and adulthood. It is important for future occupational therapists to understand the development of the brain and body throughout all stages of life since in the field we will be working with varies populations of patients.

The next course in my contract is S02220 Foundations of Sociology. In this course we will learn and analyze issues that arise from social class, race, gender, religion and politics. This information is needed because we need to understand how the lives and environments of others can relate to certain disabilities. This information will help me understand how the environment influences peoples’ behavior. The next course in my contract is HE3220 Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living. In this course we learn about fundamental concepts of nutrition that are relevant to developing professionals in health field. This course allows me to understand how foods effect healthy living. HE3700 Drug Behavior will help me understand current scientific information regarding the relationship of drugs to mental and physical health. This is another key course to my program of Pre-OT because I will be working with patients that are prescribed varies drugs. Knowing what certain drugs do and when to inform a patient to take certain drugs is key.

The next course is SW3500 Health and Sociology. In this course we will examine current issues and problems in health, illness and health care delivery from a domestic and global perspective. As professionals in the health field I feel as though is a fundamental class we all should take. We need to understand the problems that people face through issues that prevent healthy living. The next course is MA2300 Statistics. This course is my QRCO course and it consist of both descriptive and inferential statistics. Statistics is important to every discipline and its uses when interpreting data. In my program I can use it to understand the evidence supporting OT research.

My next course is BI4780 NeuroBiology. This course examines the function of the nervous system in the brain and body. This course is another key course to my program. As OT’s, we work with people who have disabilities that mostly arise from nervous system dysfunction. It is important to how abnormalities occur in the system. The next class is BI2120 Human Anatomy and Physiology II. This class is another fundamental class that all health professionals need. This course examines the systems with in of the entire human body and how they work. Without this class every other health course I would take I would be lost because I would not have the fundamental information. Lastly the last class on my contract is BI2140 Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab II. This class goes hand in hand with the lecture part of A&P. It is just as important because it allows students to get hands on experience to what they are learning in lecture. Without this lab it would be hard to understand the concepts of the body because there is no visual aid to correspond with the lecture information.

I know that Pre-Occupational Therapy was a very interdisciplinary major, but as I reviewed my contract I got to fully see just how many disciplinaries are incorporated into the program. The major’s key disciplines are biology and psychology, but there are others such as health and math. This is incredible to see because as an interdisciplinary program I believe the more disciplines that are intertwined together the more there is to be learned. I will take all this and mix it together with my previous knowledge to continue my pursuit of an OT degree.


I am currently in the last semester of my undergraduate. Everything is seemly falling into place, but that was not without a few hiccups. I had to figure out how I would take Neurobiology because the class was not offered this spring semester . I needed this class this semester to graduate on time because I have no room in my schedule. I had to fill out an individual enrollment and create an outline of the book and sit in on certain labs to be able to graduate on time. Thankfully, many professors and my adviser help me out and it all turned out well. Over winter break to start planning for graduate school. My two options are UNH and MCHPS; these are the only two schools in New Hampshire that offer a Masters in Occupational Therapy. I have fully completed my application for UNH and am currently waiting on the response right now. The deadline for MCHPS is on March 1st so I still have about a month to get everything in order. I am happy with my contract courses and I am starting to see how all these courses throughout different disciplines are coming together to create one large picture. A picture of seeing the same information, but from different perspectives. I am beyond ready to being Senior Seminar and close this chapter of undergrad and open a whole new one, furthering myself into the working world.

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