Meet Shanteria Carr, one of our Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) students who has chosen to study in one of our newest technology-enhanced learning programs. Read on to learn about Shanteria’s path to becoming an Occupational Therapist, and what made her choose NYU Steinhardt to further her education.
What is your background and what made you decide you become an OT?
I currently reside in Washington, DC where I work as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist for the District of Columbia Public Schools. In undergrad at the University of Florida, I took a course called “Introduction to Health Professions”, where weekly, a different health professional gave a lecture to the class. It was through this course that I learned about the field of occupational therapy and the benefits the profession can provide individuals.
I began volunteering with a certified hand therapist at Shands Healthcare in Gainesville, FL. I was originally a psychology major in undergrad, however that quickly changed after a semester of volunteering with the occupational therapist. I was captivated by the interventions that were used to rehabilitate individuals to help them engage in activities after injuries. What I loved about the field was the various settings I could potentially work in, and also that I could work with individuals across the lifespan.
Although I had decided to no longer major in psychology, I was intrigued by the role psychology played within the field of occupational therapy when providing intervention to individuals. The experience from volunteering lead me to pursue a rewarding career in occupational therapy that I am forever grateful for.
What made you interested in the online OTD program at NYU Steinhardt?
I was interested in NYU Steinhardt’s online OTD program because of the flexibility the program offers. I have the ability to complete assignments around my work schedule and also select specialization courses based on my clinical areas of interest of in pediatrics and leadership. Being able to select courses based around my interests was important to me because it will allow me to further develop my skills as a clinical.
An additional advantage for me was the live classes offered through the program. I was excited about the opportunity to engage with professors and other doctoral candidates in real time because I did not want my learning to be limited through only online discussion posts or reading material.
What do you think is the most important thing OT’s do, or the most important aspect of the profession?
As occupational therapists, our most important role is being able to collaborate with clients and their families to gather information about our clients psychological, emotional well-being and physical needs and developed intervention plans to help our clients engage in meaningful activities. Through participation in meaningful activities our clients are able to improve their quality of life and live satisfying lives. Helping clients participate in meaningful activities after they experience an injury, illness or disability is the core and the most important aspect of our profession.