Harriet2017
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Hey,

So I finish college this year and have applied for BA social work at several universities.
Problem is, I am interested in occupational therapy too.

I’d really appreciate any student or qualified social workers and OT’s giving me some advice! Why did you choose your particular degree?

One thing putting me off social work is hearing how stressful it is!
And things putting my off OT is 1) There doesn’t seem as many opportunities for different job roles(I’m interested in mental health work) and 2) Is the actual degree very science based?!

Thank you if you’ve read all this!! 😊
Harriet x
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by Harriet2017)
Hey,

So I finish college this year and have applied for BA social work at several universities.
Problem is, I am interested in occupational therapy too.

I’d really appreciate any student or qualified social workers and OT’s giving me some advice! Why did you choose your particular degree?

One thing putting me off social work is hearing how stressful it is!
And things putting my off OT is 1) There doesn’t seem as many opportunities for different job roles(I’m interested in mental health work) and 2) Is the actual degree very science based?!

Thank you if you’ve read all this!! 😊
Harriet x
At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter why anyone else chose their career path, what matters is why you want to do it. It is quite normal to have some second thoughts or doubts when making such a big decision, but only you can identify whether these doubts are serious enough to justify taking a gap year to get more experience.

Both careers will be stressful. There are very few careers in healthcare and social work which are not stressful. Similarly, neither have a great deal of science content. There would likely be more in OT, but nowhere near as much as other courses. Much of your learning is reading about research in journals and lectures.

If you are interested in mental health, perhaps you would be more suited to a MH nursing degree or similar, as neither of these roles you are discussing are particularly MH focused. You may be able to specialise in MH, but you wouldn't be working too far outside your remit as this would be done by nursing staff.
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Abbiejadex
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Im a student SW on placement in an integrated LD team so Im working alongside OTs. I would say that SW is slightly more stressful though extremely rewarding as you're working with the whole person as opposed to the more physical things that an OT focuses on eg for someone with mobility issues the OT would maybe look at a stair lift whereas we would look at ways to prevent isolation like suggesting groups/befriending/providing a bus pass etc. I shadowed the OTs for a couple of days and I enjoyed it but I chose SW as I am interested in supporting people in all areas of their lives and getting people with LD out into the community. I also believe there is better career opps. In all areas of SW you work with a lot of people with mental health issues seeing as though 1 in 4 people suffer with MH it can be very MH focused but if your especially interested in MH you can become a MH social worker or an AMHP.
Good luck with which ever one you choose! X
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Harriet2017
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Thank you Charlottes Web and abbiejadex - you’ve both been really helpful!! I have always been more interested with the social work side of things rather than physical disabilities but I am considering both career paths. I’ll see what happens! Thanks again, harriet x
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Jarwolf
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Hey I'm an OT student in my second year. I think both career paths have pros and cons, but both seem very rewarding. My friend does SW and she loves it, although she has mentioned there is a lot of written work. Within OT you can work in numerous settings including Mental health. We have three placements throughout the duration of the course and one is in a mental health setting. The course does have some science based theory, and there is a biology/psychology exam at the end of year one and during the physical placement we have to put this theory into practice.If you have any questions just let me know
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Harriet2017
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(Original post by Jarwolf)
Hey I'm an OT student in my second year. I think both career paths have pros and cons, but both seem very rewarding. My friend does SW and she loves it, although she has mentioned there is a lot of written work. Within OT you can work in numerous settings including Mental health. We have three placements throughout the duration of the course and one is in a mental health setting. The course does have some science based theory, and there is a biology/psychology exam at the end of year one and during the physical placement we have to put this theory into practice.If you have any questions just let me know
Thank you for this helpful information! Sorry for the slow reply also - I have only just seen your message!
I am still very undecided! 🤷*♀️ I do have a couple questions if you don’t mind answering? Do you have a placement in the first year? (I realise unis will differ)
Also, how much teaching on campus if in the form of lectures? Do you do practicals in uni too?
The science part still concerns a little be but I think I would be fine, I’m just very passionate about helping others! Thanks again, H😊
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Fandoody123
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My undergrad is in OT and my post grad is in SW. I see myself as a blend of both rather than one over the other. They both have their merits and drawbacks but ultimately the best way of choosing should be based on where you would like your fuuture career to go. Health and Social care is fast paced and ever changing and fraught with budget cuts, and the more skills you have the more attractive you are to an employer. Sometimes being too niche can limit opportunity. I looked at the opportunities the degrees would give me not only within the specific field but outwith. I left uni and preferred to go on a social care route rather than hospital based as I love working within communities. I then chose to do SW as a post grad to complement my undergrad and to ultimately open up even more opportunities within social care at higher management levels. You can potentially be qualified to take roles in advocacy, case management, training, community development, residential care management and much more. Im not sure how helpful this would be to anyone making a choice but both degrees have good sound training in supporting people to overcome obstacles in their lives, both are stressful but rewarding and both will qualify you to be more than just OTs and SWs, so it may be worth researching non-traditional roles in addition to the traditional to see if anything further inspires you.
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AJ4515
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(Original post by Harriet2017)
Hey,

So I finish college this year and have applied for BA social work at several universities.
Problem is, I am interested in occupational therapy too.

I’d really appreciate any student or qualified social workers and OT’s giving me some advice! Why did you choose your particular degree?

One thing putting me off social work is hearing how stressful it is!
And things putting my off OT is 1) There doesn’t seem as many opportunities for different job roles(I’m interested in mental health work) and 2) Is the actual degree very science based?!

Thank you if you’ve read all this!! 😊
Harriet x
Hi,
I have a similar predicament and I wondered what you ended up studying and how you're finding it? Thanks x
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