OTSH 70: Insights from a SBOT Trained Outside of America Feat. Ushma Sampat, MS, OTR/L, CAS



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Welcome to the show notes for the Episode 70 of the OT School House Podcast.


Whether you trained in the USA, Greece, India, or anywhere else in the world to be an OT, this episode with Ushma Sampat is sure to teach you several valuable lessons on understanding cultural differences, systematic biases, and how to be a better school-based OT! Ushma is a now a private practice owner in the Bay Area of California where she see clients in their natural setting, including kids in school. But to get to this point, she had to learn so much. This is not an episode to skip!


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Episode Transcript

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Amazing Narrator 00:01

Hello and welcome to the OT schoolhouse podcast, your source for school based occupational therapy tips, interviews and professional development. Now to get the conversation started, here is your host, Jayson Davies. Class is officially in session.


Jayson Davies 00:18

Hey there, welcome to the OT school health podcast. My name is Jayson Davies and I am a school based occupational therapist in Southern California. I am so excited to be here with you today. I am actually really excited today for two reasons. First and foremost, you are about to hear a wonderful conversation between myself and Ushma Sampat, who is a private practice owner up in the Bay Area of California. However, she was a school based occupational therapist for five years, and she has so much to share with us today. This is honestly been one of the best conversations I've had in a long time, so you will not want to miss this. The second reason that I am excited is much shorter. And that is just because summer is coming and I love summer. I completely feel like Olaf right now the snowman. So anyways, we're gonna keep this intro pretty short. We're gonna dive right into it. Please, please listen all the way through. This is an amazing episode. Put your phone in your pocket. You don't need it. Just press play. Let it go. Here is Ushma Sampat. Good morning, Ushma! Welcome to the OT schoolhouse podcast. How are you doing today?


Ushma Sampat 01:27

I'm well, thank you for having me here. I'm excited.


Jayson Davies 01:30

Thank you. Yeah, I'm excited to have you here as well. I mean, we both have a course for school based occupational therapists. So I'm excited for for everyone, all the school based OTS out there to get to know you a little bit further. So that's gonna be fun.


Ushma Sampat 01:44

Thank you.


Jayson Davies 01:45

Well, we have several topics that we would like to get into today. But first, I want to start off by asking you about your current practice, you own a private practice up in the Bay Area in California, right?


Ushma Sampat 01:56

Yeah, World of OT serves children and the whole world. So we serve families, schools and other professionals. And we do so through direct services, concepts, and an online course, as you mentioned, for fellow OTS who are new to the school system.


Jayson Davies 02:12

And so how do you work in the schools through the world of OT?


Ushma Sampat 02:16

So I work with kids in in variety of ways. So firstly, because I provide services in the child's natural environment, I'm seeing some of my private kiddos in the school. I also provide console services to early headstart and Head Start preschool programs. But that's another way I'm connected with the education system.


Jayson Davies 02:38

I thought I actually thought that you contracted with the school directly, but you're actually seeing private kids in the school. Is that did I hear that? Right?


Ushma Sampat 02:47

Yeah, that's one. And then the other is also contracted by a private school, in the school system.


Jayson Davies 02:54

Gotcha. I actually want to dive into that, then a little bit is how that works. When you have a client that is a private client, but you're asked to go into the school or work with them in the school. What does that look like?


Ushma Sampat 03:06

Yeah, so it's, so when I have private kiddos that attend private schools, I work with them, just like I would with any child that I was seeing in the public system. I would, they don't have an IEP for me to go off. But I'm there because the parents primarily have concerns related to school functioning. And so what I'm doing is doing a combination of push in call out collaboration with the teachers, and kind of the whole round of things that the child might need in the school.


Jayson Davies 03:43

So So how does that work? As far as the school side of it? Does the school welcome you in with open arms? Or is this a private school or public school? How does that work?


Ushma Sampat 03:53

Yeah, so it's because it's a private school, it's worth kind of the teachers are glad to have me as a resource, and they're happy, you know, there's one additional brain to support them. But in private school, it does look, I mean, in public schools, it will look different. So they don't allow you to be a private practitioner come in to a public school and provide services. So with some of the families that I work with, when they are attending public schools, what I would do is collaborate with the team collaborate with the teachers as an external OT, but not really providing services for the child in there. Gotcha. So


Jayson Davies 04:32

now, I want to I want to continue on this because this is very interesting to me. When you go into the private school, you're going on campus, are you going into the into the kids actual classroom? Are they pulling out the kid for you to work with them in another room? Or what does that look like?


Ushma Sampat 04:48

It's both so you know, there are times when my sessions are actually pushing in. So obviously things are very different. Oh yeah, recording in the COVID world. And for right now, I'm not see any of my private kiddos in their schools. But I still do provide services to a private school where I go in person, because I'm the only OT providing services for all the kiddos at that private school that's contracted me, going back to what the services would look like for my private kiddo in the school, typically, I will push in, I'll see what the teacher is doing, you know, and get a better idea. It's more like an observation and some amount of time to observe, see work samples, touch base with the teacher, probably pull the child out, depending on what I have planned and what my goal is for the session, I might push in or pull out the child in a separate space, it might be in the playground, it might be in a separate room, it might be in the library, it might be anywhere in the school, where I could really, you know, work very much like how we do it in public schools. And then the reason I've liked the approach, even if I had to pull the child out of their classroom, but provide services in the school is because I get so many more touch points with the teachers and able to collaborate with the team where if I was only providing services in the child's home, or their natural environment, which was somewhere else, but the pain points were really coming from the school, I would be missing a whole world out there.


Jayson Davie