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Occupational Therapy

Carol Haywood

Carol Haywood photo

Waverly, Iowa

reality see the big picture

Good examples

“Many of the MOT faculty members continue to practice in the field, applying a holistic, social justice framework in their daily occupation and demonstrating how to be well-rounded in today’s demanding healthcare system.”

When Carol entered the program, one of her primary objectives was to understand the different practice areas of OT and find her own niche. As she experienced several settings throughout her academic career—inpatient, outpatient, schools and mental health—she realized what’s most important is understanding the fundamental belief of occupational therapy (engagement in meaningful occupation) and applying it to populations across the lifespan.


In his/her own words:

Why did you choose Ambrose for your master's program?

In high school, I was really interested in occupational therapy so I enrolled at Ambrose for my undergrad knowing I wanted to enter the MOT program. I was able to get involved in many activities as part of the liberal arts experience and really enjoyed my time as an undergrad.

How does Ambrose support you?

The faculty members have been extremely involved. Dr. Christine Urish, my faculty advisor, has provided amazing support for me throughout the program. I spoke with Christine when I first came for a campus tour, and she has continued to play a strong role in my educational experience ever since.

She consistently provides a strong example for students. She’s active in professional associations and in local and national chapters of advocacy groups for occupational therapy and mental health. Christine also continues to practice in the field and closely follows public policy affecting our profession. She sets a high bar for all of us!

How do you see the big picture?

I’ve always wanted to work with marginalized populations. At Ambrose, I met a priest from Tanzania, and he invited me to his country. I jumped at the opportunity! It gave me a chance to learn about his culture and see how healthcare was implemented in a country with such poverty. When I spoke about this to the OT faculty at Ambrose, they offered me a lot of support in understanding how my experience fit within the curriculum and the profession.

Have you been able to integrate what you learned there into your classes or field experience

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that there is never a perfect scenario; we do not treat patients in a controlled environment. As I am looking at how to apply occupational therapy to different populations, I have to understand and respect each person’s history and culture, knowing that their personal life experience will ultimately be the guide to their plan of care.


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