Silver City, NM- Emma Head is one of the final OTA students at Western New Mexico University after the dissolution of the program this past summer. A Grant County native, Emma grew up on her family ranch in Mimbres, NM. After graduating from Silver High School in 2014, Emma moved to Albuquerque.
A state champion in shot put and discus during her high school years, Emma was recruited by the head women’s rugby coach and started playing for the team at the University of New Mexico, with her team placing number eight in the nation the first year that she played. However, once a concussion brought her rugby career to an end, Emma returned home and joined the Western New Mexico University Occupational Therapy Assistant program.
Emma states that the reason she wanted to enter the field of occupational therapy was because of the creative way in which an OTA can help their patients. Help in occupational therapy is tailored to the person and can range from crocheting to horse-back riding depending on what their needs might be. “The options are limitless,” explained Emma.
Emma, along with other members of her class, recently returned from Phoenix, AZ, where she and the other members of her class participated in field work in the Osbourne School District. Emma hopes to eventually work in either a pediatric clinic or a school system, though she is leaning more toward a clinic. She mainly hopes to do travel jobs, working without a set location. According to Emma, OTA positions last roughly thirteen weeks before moving on to another patient.
When she isn’t studying and has a little spare time, Emma enjoys being outdoors, whether it’s hunting, fishing, (particularly fly-fishing) or camping. She is also an accomplished martial artist, with a black belt in karate as well as three years experience in kick-boxing. She also loves to travel and is particularly gifted in arts and crafts. One of her specialties is pressed-flower art, which she likes to sell, calling it her “mini-business.”
Emma graduates in December 2018 with the rest of the OTA class at WNMU. The OTA program closed during the Summer of 2017, with current students are being “taught-out.” Classes will finish in May 2018, with the summer and fall semesters being used for larger internships in different parts of the country. Emma states that an OTA certification can relatively allow someone to get a job anywhere.
Emma will also graduating this May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation Services. She hopes to do her big internship in Seattle at the famed Seattle Children’s Hospital.