OT student feels down for getting a bad grade….

I get a lot of questions in my email….here is one I wanted to share as I am sure it is a rather universal thing to happen/way to feel!!

Question Received: I’ve been a fan of your blog since I started the OT program at XXXXXYYYYY. I don’t know if you’ll get to this email ,but I felt the need to seek advice from someone who recently used to be a student, but is now working as an OTR. I just finished the didactic portion of the program and will start my fieldwork level II’s in September. I’m emailing you to see if you can impart advice to me since i’ll be starting FWII soon. Actually, to be honest, I just got my test results back from my Geriatric Assessments class and i received a “C”! It’s actually the first time I received a “C” on a test in this program. It was case study where we had to list out the problems and recommend the most essential assessments to use as well as how to administer, the purpose, etc. I didn’t get the test back, so I’m not sure what I missed, but I’m feeling unprepared for my internship and worried that my clinical/critical thinking skills are not good enough. After 2 years of studying all these assessments and going over case studies, i thought that this test would be a breeze…boy, was I wrong. I’m feeling down and doubtful that I can be a good therapist. Do things get better? When did you start to get the hang of it? I’m feeling lost and disappointed.

My answer:

I know it is disappointing to get a C, especially when you thought it would be a breeze, but that in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY means you don’t have the hang of it!! A test does NOT equal real life. Who knows why you scored low – if at all possible I recommend you find out why, if it’s not too late to contact the professor. Especially since it affected you so much. It takes a while to get the hang of things, but you have support from your fieldwork supervisor and others. You are not expected to be a walking textbook. A lot of it comes from intuition based on the theory you have learned.

I promise you, do not let that C bring you down and make you feel you are not ready! As long as you bring your best attitude and a willingness to learn, you’ll be fine. You can learn everything you need to know knowledge-wise for OT, what they can’t teach you is the stuff you already possess, like a strong work ethic etc. Believe me, I’ve heard repeatedly from higher-ups, that it’s not about what you know, it’s about your attitude – they can teach you the rest. So focus on your strengths and work on your weaknesses and it will be OKAY. Do not start your fieldwork down on yourself! Have confidence in what you CAN do and the rest will follow, I promise.

So….cheer up my friend. I promise, the fact you doubt yourself, is a sign you will be a great OT, because you care and will try hard. 🙂

Her response: Thank you so much for the encouraging words! I feel so much better after reading your response. I am even more determined to be the best OT I can be.

Jul 17, 2012 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1