I am happy to be writing to you about the most nerve-wracking and rewarding experience I had this year!
During the first semester of the third year in college, we had been working really hard during the module “Critical Considerations of Occupation and Occupational Therapy” where we revised and “reconstructed” every theory, model, and what else, connecting them with theories and phenomena from different professions. We had an amazing and hard-working module coordinator Mr. Petros Meladakis who helped us understand all the concepts we were analyzing, whether they were simple or complicated.
As a final exam for this module, we were told to pick a phenomenon or a situation in general that we would like to see through different, unique lenses and learn about what affects it on a micro/ macro level and what its effects are on the same levels as well. After a lot of brainstorming, I decided I wanted to get my hands on psychiatric diseases (depression to be exact), stigma, and the workplace. I think it is one of these assignments that you keep and keep on working on but it never ends, and when it does you feel like you have completed a chapter in your studies that you will remember for the rest of your life, or maybe that is just me.
Once we had presented our assignments we really did not have enough time to think about the outcomes since we continued working and studying for the next semester. After a month or two we received a notification about how they had been graded so I rushed to see what the outcomes were and with great surprise, I realized that I had never gotten such a high score on any of my exams! Fortunately, the grade of this module was not the only thing that took me by surprise. Both I and two dear colleagues of mine did professional and comprehensive work and we ended up meeting (online) with our Program Leader Ms. Elena Gliki who wanted us to present them once again but this time during a Symposium!
As time went by I, Aspa Argyri, and Charis Pavlidi scheduled a couple of meetings so we could work on our presentation. We gave each other feedback and solved a ton of questions that arose being in constant communication until the last minute.
6th Symposium of OT
The Symposium took place on the 22nd of May and it revolved around occupation and Sustainable Development and how different professions could contribute to the agenda of 2030.
First of us, students, to present was Aspa who broached gender equality, unpaid work, and how they can affect one’s wellbeing and occupational justice (5th goal). Next up was Charis presenting about education in Africa, occupational injustice, and deprivation (4th goal). And finally, I presented about depression, stigma, and its effects on productivity.
Experience and feelings
Even though I have to admit that it was a very demanding and nerve-wracking experience, the feeling of belonging to a multidisciplinary team was fulfilling. Besides getting to join a Symposium with respectable professionals we got to discuss and learn about how each profession can help in the development of a sustainable society. The best part about it was that we got the chance to stand up for Occupational Therapy and explain how useful of a profession it is for groups of people that are not experiencing sustainability. Last but not least, I think I speak for all three of us when I say that we felt welcomed, and honored by seeing everyone being very accepting of us and our work.
If it was not for Dr. Siaperas (coordinator of Institute of Occupational Science and Rehabilitation of Metropolitan College and member of ENOTHE) we would not be able to present our work during the Symposium. He was the one that coordinated it and made extra room for us, students, to speak up about inequalities, occupational injustice, and how we OTs can be of help.
I will be sharing my experience for the “a day in the life of..” day on the 11th of June on our Instagram, so stay tuned to see what I did on that day via the pictures we will be posting.
Thank you everyone for reading our monthly blog, till next time stay safe and active!
Emmanouela Kanetaki | SPOTeurope’s Blogger