When TOPS approached Pam Bork (Senior Physical Therapist for OSU Student Health Services) about creating an internship for students in the TOPS Program, she welcomed us with open arms and was eager to make it work. She met us with a smile on her face, gave us a tour of the facility and office spaces, and we collaborated to come up with various tasks students can work on to build their employment skills in her department.
Depending on a student’s interest, some of the things they can learn in the Physical Therapy department include:
- Office Support – greeting incoming patients, answering the phone, making copies, checking the mail and writing appointment reminder cards
- Healthcare and Physical Therapy – cleaning and resetting gym equipment and patient rooms, stocking and ordering therapy supplies, sit in on therapy appointments to learn about different types of therapy and assist
- Research – do online research regarding things like health and wellness, different types of injuries, why people need physical therapy, and physical therapy exercises that help patients get better
TOPS student, Connor Silverman, learning about therapy exercises from his internship supervisor, Pam Bork.
If there is something a student wants to learn more about, Pam is happy to help them towards that goal. She takes the time to get to know each student and understand how they learn best to help them be successful and as independent as possible – one of our students, Connor, loved that Pam talked with him about Ohio State football and that she had a checklist of tasks for him to utilize each shift. Thank you to Pam and her team for creating such an inclusive and supportive environment for TOPS students.
Many of us find ourselves navigating a new normal for work in the midst of COVID-19. Some of us have lost work, some of us do not want to work for the safety of themselves and others (and that is okay!), some of us can work and want to work, and some have been working all along to keep us safe. Here are some tips if you fall into any of those categories:
I lost my job, what next?
If you were furloughed or laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may qualify for Unemployment Benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. You can learn more and apply for benefits at https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/. Under the expanded eligibility, those who were laid off as a direct result of COVID-19 are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. There is no minimum income requirement for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance like there is for traditional Unemployment Benefits. (“Expanded Eligibility Coronavirus Unemployment Help.” Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, 2020, unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/expandedeligibility/).
As businesses are starting to open back up, make sure to get in touch with your employer about when it is safe to return to work. There might be new protocols you have to follow to make sure you are keeping yourself and others safe and healthy.
I do not feel comfortable working right now. What can I do from home to keep my skills sharp?
- Get comfortable with doing things virtually; learn about virtual etiquette, virtual interviewing, and make sure you are presenting a professional online image.
- Take advantage of online trainings related to your interests and career goals. Here are a few:
- Brush up on your interviewing skills at the Ohio Means Jobs Interview Practice Center.
- There are several online interest inventories that can help you learn more about yourself and your career goals. Here are a few:
- Update your resume and references list
- Write a practice cover letter that you can edit when you are ready to start applying to jobs
- Search online for businesses in your community that you might be interested in working for
I am willing and ready to work. Where do I start?
First, you will want to make sure your resume and references are up-to-date. The State of Ohio has created a new job search website for those that are searching for work at this time at jobsearch.ohio.gov. You can enter your city or zip code to filter jobs that are available near your home. As businesses are starting to reopen, jobs may begin posting again. Some other online resources to search for jobs include:
I have been working all along.
If you are still working, it might look very different than what you were used to. A lot of businesses have implemented new procedures to ensure the health and safety of their workforce and their customers, visitors or patients. Taking the time to recharge and do a relaxing activity each day may alleviate some of the new stresses you are facing. Some ideas include:
- Take a walk or hike at your favorite park
- FaceTime your friends and family
- Try a new yoga workout on YouTube
- Read for 30 minutes
- Paint, color or draw
- Cook or bake a new recipe
- Watch your favorite movie or TV show
- Take a nap
- Make a gratitude list
Wherever you are in the world of work right now, we hope these tips will be helpful in navigating your current circumstances. We hope you all stay healthy and safe!