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MCPHS Occupational Therapy student Sarah Neuhaus

Student Spotlight: Sarah Neuhaus MSOT ’18

  • Occupational therapists have the ability to empower patients to improve and maintain their day-to-day skills, often giving them back their independence.

    Or, as Sarah Neuhaus OT ’18, puts it: “Some patients may think they are no longer able to partake in the activities they love or that are important to them, but with help, modifications, teaching, and time, occupational therapists can change lives!”

    Now in the final year of the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), Neuhaus is already passionate about her chosen career and is looking forward to the future.

    We sat down with Neuhaus to hear more about the OT field, her future plans, and her insight into the Manchester campus.

    What inspired you to pursue a future as an occupational therapist?

    I think a lot of people want a career in healthcare because they want to help others. That was true for me. I enjoyed anatomy and science, and I have always been a helpful and empathetic person. Through internships I had completed while pursuing my bachelor’s degree in clinical exercise and sports science, I was able to observe speech therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists in a school setting. I learned so much during that time, and it sparked my interest in OT because I had never heard of it before. After learning about all the possibilities that OT has to offer, it described what I had aspired to be all along—a clinician who helps others improve or maintain skills for day-to-day activities.

    Tell us more about the role of the occupational therapist.

    Working in partnership with their patients to recognize important and valued activities that are difficult to do, occupational therapists play a crucial role in their patients’ well-being. What could be more important than helping people achieve their goals?

    What’s your dream career within the OT field?

    One of the most incredible things about this field—perhaps my favorite thing—is the versatility. You are never tied to a single setting or population. You could work with children in a school setting, patients living with traumatic brain injuries, the geriatric population in a skilled nursing facility, outpatient settings specializing in hands, premature babies in a NICU—the list goes on and on. Because of this, it has been a challenging thing to narrow down! I am hoping that with further exposure to different settings during my fieldwork, I will get a better idea of where I should start. I feel confident that I would like to work with the adult or geriatric populations, but I also have an interest in wounds, prosthetics, and orthotics.

    What is your favorite part of the program?

    My favorite part of the program is the approachability of our professors. They are always willing to help clarify questions and give more insight or suggestions!

    What are your professors like?

    The professors have been wonderful resources. I’ve always felt that I’ve learned best in smaller settings, and the OT department has really delivered. The professors know who you are, your strengths, what your interests are—you build a relationship with each faculty member. I’ve always felt that I could go to them for questions or advice.

    What’s your advice for someone considering pursuing a future as an OT?

    I don’t regret my decision for a second. It’s hard work, you will be challenged to think outside the box, but nothing worth having comes easy! Stay positive, ask questions, befriend your peers, and have fun!

    Why did you choose to attend MCPHS?

    I chose MCPHS because I know alumni of the University who are very successful now. The school is well known and has a wonderful reputation. I found that the opportunity to start my journey toward becoming an occupational therapist with the new master’s program was one I couldn’t pass up.

    What do you like about the University’s location in Manchester?

    The Manchester campus was a great fit for me. The campus is small and homey, but there is still a small city outside of it. There are lots of cafes, restaurants, and activities to do, all within walking distance of the campus.

    In the full-time, two-year Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program on the Manchester, NH, campus, students work alongside professional experts in advanced simulation laboratories and experience a wide range of clinical experiences on and off campus.