Becca’s back! Becca Ludwig is an experienced HAPS blogger and brought us a series of five posts in March 2015 from the A&P student perspective. Now we get to hear from her again, this time as successful graduate!
For nearly three years now, I have been a member of HAPS – first as a student and now as an occupational therapist in the professional world of health care. I have to admit that I feel liberated now that I am done with school; however, in many ways, it seems like I’m actually still in school.
I can honestly say that I have not missed the daily grind of going to class and then going home to study and do homework. I also have absolutely no guilt about sitting around and watching TV rather than walking around with a stack of 500 note cards that I have to stay up all night to learn. It has been great to be out of school! My initial thought after graduating was that with all of my new-found free time, I could probably start up a new hobby – or connect with old friends. Those were my thoughts for a little while…. until the big-kid world hit me.
It was soon after I began working that I realized that those in the health care field are expected to continue to learn and apply evidence-based practice. While in school, I thought words like “evidence-based practice” were just a few buzz-words used in research classes. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that in reality they actually do mean something! In fact, evidence-based practice is the process of integrating clinical expertise, patient values, and sound research into the decision-making process for patient care. That means that reading journal articles for new and emerging practice techniques and participating in continuing education classes are strongly required. And the good news is that these educational opportunities are often paid for! So my freedom from reading countless journal articles and sitting in class was short-lived, but I’m glad that my profession gives me the opportunity to still learn. In fact, I’ve realized that everyone, whether in the health care profession or not, really should be a lifelong learner in order to provide the best care, technique, and/or service to the recipient.