Occupational Therapy

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Meet Zola Sloth.

Zola is a 2023 graduate of Drake's Occupational Therpay Doctorate (OTD) program! In her last year of the program, Zola completed a doctoral capstone experience at Rainbow Tree Therapies, LLC; a nature-based pediatric clinic in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Name: Zola Sloth
Hometown: Racine, Wisconsin
Capstone Organization: Rainbow Tree Therapies, LLC
Capstone Location: Hudson, Wisconsin

Tell us about your capstone experience at Rainbow Tree Therapies. What were your responsibilities and what did a typical day/week look like?

I completed my Doctoral Capstone at Rainbow Tree Therapies, LLC; a nature-based pediatric clinic in Hudson Wisconsin offering private therapy, groups, and camps. The owner Lisa Haverly also runs The Nature Superhero Network which encourages other therapists to take their work into nature and provides resources to make that transition more achievable. She created the Rooted in Rhythm Framework to guide nature-based occupational therapy which was released at the beginning of my experience. I took the training and worked with her in developing advocacy resources to reach other therapists including creating an eBook of interventions to accompany her framework and working on other business forms, resource lists, and camp curriculums. My days were mostly spent working on the creation of resources for the site, families, and other professionals, and learning about the business side of private practice. During my time there I also attended a conference to assist with a table promoting the framework and participated in winter and spring seasonal play groups.

What is your favorite thing about the Doctoral Capstone?

My favorite part of the Doctoral Capstone is the independence to guide our own learning and the opportunity to fully dive into specific practice areas that we may not be exposed to in school. We had the freedom to develop a Capstone experience in pretty much any area we could dream of and that led to some amazing projects.

What attracted you to Drake's OTD program?

I appreciated the value Drake OTD places on holistic practice and community engagement. I attended Drake for my undergraduate, so already knowing the professors and program, and being part of DUSOTA made me feel confident in the quality of education I would receive.

How has Drake helped you prepare for your future career as an occupational therapy professional?

Drake gave me a strong foundation of general practice skills for a variety of settings. Drake also provided me with fieldwork experiences in my areas of interest and a Capstone in exactly what I hope to do one day.

What are your career goals? Have they changed at all since you started Drake's OTD program?

My career goals have remained fairly consistent from the start. I plan to work in pediatrics following graduation. I have an OT position with a new accessible summer camp lined up for the summer and hope to work in outpatient pediatrics following that. In the future, my dream is to start my own nature-based practice which I have been thinking about since early in the program when I started looking into this emerging area of practice.

What is one piece of advice you would give to future occupational therapy students?

Take the opportunities during school to expand your knowledge beyond the basic practice areas and potentially find your own niche for the future. Request opportunities to observe or participate in different areas during your fieldwork experiences. I took every opportunity to see different areas of OT and other professions at both my sites and this gave me a much more well-rounded view of these practice areas.

Return to the OTD Capstone Spotlight home page here.

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