Friday, November 30, 2007
The picture attached is from a presentation done by Allison (curly hair), using Emily as her guinea pig...I think it was on Motor Relearning, but I don't remember now. It was months ago. The picture is a test to see if Blogger will cooperate if I put up a picture in a different way. I curse you, Blogger, for your pictorial meanness
Today I went to Costco for sheet protectors and giant binders (my friend is also giving me some giant binders YAY). I swear to you that you could fill almost an entire bookcase with just BINDERS full of OT papers from the last year. Sheet protectors are really expensive, but Costco had a great deal - 200 heavyweight for less than $10. I almost cried with joy. Ok not really. But I was impressed. I need the sheet protectors for my PDEs.
In PDEs we have to show we are ethically grounded, evidence based, occupation centered, and leader change agents. My leader change agent binder is like ten thousand pages thick! Who woulda guessed I'd end up a leader change agent in my old age!
I hope my enchilada suiza Lean Cuisine hurries up in the microwave, I'm hungry....ok back on topic...
Several OT students told me today they were really appreciative of all the pictures I've put up on Facebook over the last year cuz it is turning out to be really handy for PDE evidence! That made me happy!
8am: Bug Man comes, according to my landlords
10am to noon: Hold babies at the local peds hospital, in their Special Care Unit
Sometime randomly tomorrow: my landlords pick up their two new golden doodle puppies. I'm excited but also scared they may bark all day and force me to go postal from the noise pollution.
Afternoonish: Do my stupid dishes, keep working on PDEs, get some food in the house to last me a week, make phone calls, blah blah blah normal errands/chores
5pm: Go to OT Student Christmas Party at Kerri's house, woot woot...we are having taco night and some of our faculty is coming, and even our tech genius man who helps with all our distance education, will be there. Kerri & her husband Brent have a Wii and a bunch of games, so we should have a good time. I'm excited.
Try and meet Sarah and her mom around noonish
3pm: Go to an ornament party
3pm+: Meet with Brooke for a "PDE Party" to finish our PDEs.
Monday-Thursday: Meet up with my friends Paul & Angela, meet up with my OT little sib Talli, go to Costco for a stupid tire rotation/balance and hope my brakes aren't causing the bumpiness, go to the library, have my PDE eval, meet my friend OTS Virginia...meet my friend OTS Kerri..meet my friend OTS Brooke..meet my friend OTS Allison...you get the idea. And oh yeah, pack for being gone three weeks. I leave my house December 7th and get back December 29th. I'm visiting some friends in Nashville, some friends in Florida I have not seen in over 3 years, and then also spending several weeks in California with my family, of course.
WOW THAT BITE OF ENCHILADA WAS REALLY HOT OW
Ok. This wasn't the most OT-centric post, but you know...a true balance of occupation requires the occasional change of topic. This next month will be challenging from a blog perspective, since I won't have any school material to post...but I'll try to catch up on new picture collages, OT video editing, fixing typos in old posts...and will probably frequently also be off-topic. Sorry. Maybe I'll come up with some astoundingly profound OT material too. I do plan to do the ACLS (leather lacing test for cognitive levels) on my family, do the mini mental state exam on my grandmother/grandfather, and stuff like that...so maybe I can report back on how that goes.
Raise your hand if you are the biggest OT dork in the history of the world! ::raises hand::
Raise your hand if the AOTA National Office is well aware of that fact!! ::raises hand::
Raise your hand if you think I should go focus on my enchilada and stop typing! ::raises hand:::
Thursday, November 29, 2007
This short video shows OTS Julie explaining her treatment project..with bloopers.
We all had treatment projects to due based on fake case studies. I'm a little paranoid right now about copyright issues, so I don't want to go into detail as to how the process went, in terms of first getting our case study to eventually making a treatment project...suffice to say it was a long process with multiple steps. Anyway, we had to do homemade projects. We all brought them in and presented them to each other (also via video to Chattanooga and vice versa) during a two hour session. There were a lot of really creative ideas.
I did a sensory/praxis board game for a child with dyspraxia...pictures and video soon...I'm proud of it. (See the red board game above)
Keep watching for more pictures and videos. In fact, don't even go to bed tonight. Just refresh this page continuously for the next 12 hours and see if any pictures show up. Because Blogger is TOTALLY not cooperating but I hope to beat it into submission soon.
All videos shown with permission by the OTS stars.
Let's talk about today. Or let's start with last night. I'll try to be brief like underwear. Especially since I have learned helplessness and it has taken me an hour of hypothermia to turn on my heat so I can barely feel my fingers. Who needs phalanges anyways. Not me. Phalanges are for wimps!
blah blah blah, see previous entry....I forgot to mention I had a wonderful dinner at a local Mediterrean dive called Sean's, which incidentally also sells discount cigarettes, vitamins, and smoothies. Believe it or not, it's good. I was there with my "little sib", aka an incoming freshman to our OT program, Talli. We chatted about OT-related things and I REALLY am happy with our match! We are like oil and oil! She will do great in OT school!
Then...I didn't exactly plan my calories so great.... I went to IHOP at 9pm to meet Virginia and Allison (the entire class was invited though!), and we studied for our neuro final for about an hour with pancakes and decaf coffee. It was fun!!!!!!! The other night OTS Allison was online at the same time I was and so we were quizzing each other on cranial nerve functions. Pretty sad.
Me: exotropia and diplopia
9am: Nathan from New Zealand, an honors OT student, asks if he can use my blog in his dissertation which talks about Web 2.0. I agree happily and print out the -mail for my PDEs.
9am: See very kind e-mail from little sib Talli thanking me for last night. Print it out for PDEs.
10am - Neurological Aspects of Occupational Performance final. I did good! Our professor in that class is Superman when it comes to putting up grades, so I know I got an A in the class. :)
11am to 2pm - worked on professional development evaluations, played on myspace, chatted with classmates...
2pm to 2:20pm - I presented on the Centennial Vision and how Conclave went. We talked about ways we could be all Centennie. Hey....Tennessee...Centennial....CenTENNial...oh my goodness I've missed my calling. I'm switching from OT school to advertising....ok anyway - I was proud because I was interactive with my classmates and encouraging their ideas, although apparently I never smile while I give a presentation. :( I thought I did a good job though overall. We talked about tapping into various magazines, newspapers, high school fairs, getting leadership hours by making videos and pictures and other fun stuff to put online, etc.
220 to 3pm - Our department chair closed up our final class of the semester
3pm: went home and the electricity was out and basically had a panic attack...not because of the electricity, just because I was anxious and freaked out to have my routine completely changed...I have soooooo much to catch up on from 4 months of neglect to catch up on, and I'm still not done with professional development evaluations, and I just felt bad. I am a creature of habit....I like my performance patterns to stay the SAME and even though I'm happy we're done with classes, it always takes me a while to transition to a new routine.
4pmish: drove across town to Houston's restaurant to have dinner with a friend's parents. Was 15 minutes early. Drove up and saw OTS Kerri getting into her car from Office Depot!! Pulled up next to her and she got into my car for a minute. She was stressing out too...overwhelmed with our professional development evals, and just feeling yucky in general. I told her I felt the same way and how anxious I was. We pow-wowed, in true OT fashion, on ways to reduce our anxiety and help each other. I don't know if she felt better but I did. :)
5pmish: Yes, you heard me...my friend's parents. My friend Doug is in London, England getting a master's in history. Yet I met with his parents. I'm kinda groovy that way in having a diverse set of friends.... This is when the day started getting better. Had a yummy dinner. Got a starbucks gift certificate and burt's bees stuff as a late bday gift from them. :) Followed Doug's mom to grocery store Wild Oats and she bought me two yogurts so I wouldn't starve tomorrow morning. Enjoyed it.
7pm: Got into my own car and called OTS Allison back. She said she practically cried with happiness on her way home to Jackson, TN, because she was so glad to have some stress off her shoulders!
7:10pm Doug called from England and we talked for an hour.
740ish:Got home. Street was still pitch black. Walked in and tripped over things and found a flashlight and candles.
830ish:Sat in winter coat and called OTS Virginia back. Informed her my electricity was out. She immediately offered to let me spend the night....for the third time in six months since there has also been two times my a/c died this summer. I refused, with high hopes electricity would come! Think about doing something productive like putting videos on my laptop from my camera and Flip recorder. Decide not to secondary to depressive feelings.
9pm. Electricity comes on. Wireless comes on and the angels sang hallelulljah (sp). Have an e-mail from a high-ranking person (I don't know if I can share his name) at AOTA that my blog is making the rounds in the national office and he agrees my blog is the epitome of the centennial vision as I so articulately explained recently. Cried (ok smiled) with joy..
903pm. Power goes out. Filled with elation from AOTA email. Run to camera and start putting on videos so I can update and knock people's socks off.
910pm: Wish I knew better ways to edit videos
9:15pm: Power comes back on. Finish writing this post (I have set it up so I write this in an e-mail in Gmail and then send it to a special address and it posts for me, cool huh)
916pm: Decide this day ended a lot better than I expected
9:16.2seconds pm: Decide this post is way too long.
916.3 seconds pm: Decide don't care and posting it anyway then cleverly immediately posting again with a shorter and more exciting post to hide the unprofessionalism of this post.
916.5 seconds pm: Move on to figuring out how to post a movie directly through Blogger instead of using Youtube or Google Video.
PS: Does anyone know how to say brown in medical terminology or latin? I looked it up in my med. book and didn't find it...I decided to make a medical term for brown-nosing and I came up with congenital brownonasalia until I get a better word for brown and then I'll rethink this serious matter.
PS2: In case you scoff at our short day in OT school, it was OUR LAST DAY of CLASSES! SO WE DESERVED AN EASY DAY AFTER SIX HARD MONTHS (our semester started in early July)! Now we just have PDE's left!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
In an hour I am headed to IHOP to do some neuro studying with a friend or two and to just have coffee or something. I am still working on my professional development evaluations!
I took a few videos of treatment projects and a few pictures of them as well. The people in my class are really creative! I'll show them off soon.
We actually all share our homemade treatment projects for our fake cases from 10am to noon, then 1 to 3pm we have a lab on three different assessments we learned about recently...including the KELS and I'm totally blanking on the rest. My brain is freezing up as the end of this semester approaches.
Monday, November 26, 2007
And now it's 11:55pm and I'm going to bed NOW!
Basically...it's a good website to add to your OT arsenal. Keep it in mind. And I totally wasn't paid to write about it. :)
I posted recently about my friend's experience at a rehab hospital, dealing with his mother who fell and fractured her hip. He pointed out some observations/issues he encountered with Rehab services
A recent male graduate who is now working as an OT (Natan) wrote a great response, and then my friend wrote back again...and Natan wrote again...it was all very civil but also fascinating to see both sides of the story! So go check it out.
I was never a popular child...never a popular middle schooler...high schooler...college-er...you get the point. And I'm not going to be so presumptuous to say I am popular now...but I'm a lot more popular than I used to be! And I'm the happiest, socially, that I have ever been. I have several really really good friends in my class of 27, and lots of acquaintances, and I like every person in my class....although as Joe would say, "I like some friends more than others".
The point is...you may feel like you never really understood your peers...or never really had a place...but if you truly have an OT personality...you will find your social nirvana in OT school. You will typically be in small classes, with like-minded people....compassionate, sweet, kind, funny, SMART, creative, people! You will spend so much time together and have so many happy (and not so happy) moments together...you will be making friends that last the rest of your life. It's pretty awesome!
Anyway, I was also thinking about how I've never been a part of a sorority, or a clique, or big clubs...like I never did the whole matching outfits thing...but it is FUN to do it! I feel really proud when I see all us OT students in our matching OT shirts and jeans...or in our OT jackets...the other day my friend and I were at Taco bell with our matching OT jackets that have our names on them and the cashier called us by name! I guess we looked pretty silly considering we were also in pajamas.
Ahem, moving on...I'm not doing a good job of tying this together...but what I am trying to say is...it is wonderful to be part of a group...a group that truly "gets" you because everyone is so similar in a fundamental way...because you can't be successful in OT school if you don't have a compassionate core!
"When it's dark enough you can see the stars..." - a good quote to keep in mind for people undergoing the darkest periods of their life with you by their side.
Be proactive, be confident, show respect...all your basic professional and altruistic behaviors.
"Excellent substance, not enough marketing" in OT - a comment made by one of the lecturers. I agree. OT has so much to offer EVERYONE, yet nobody knows what an OT Fdoes. We all know speech therapists, recreational therapists, physical therapists...rocket scientists...why not OT? We need to be creative about our marketing!
Fieldwork: Stay a student, don't just accept a job on fieldwork, even if it seems amazing. You will end up transitioning from student to entry-level practitioner WHILE on fieldwork since you are going to be an employee there, and you lose out on the student experience!
OTPF in a few sentences...
Performance skills: based on client factors, and typically involve "...ing" words.
Areas of Occupation: What people do in daily life...like work, school, etc
Performance Patterns: How people put areas of occupation together to make their routines and habits...
Context: Envelops all these things
How to stay occupation-based:
Language is critical - use words, in insurance and in talking to others, that focuses on occupation, purposeful activity, etc. Use the term occupational profile! If you mention preparatory methods like ROM, make it end up with a functional statement, ie "done to prevent contractures in his shoulder so he can raise his arms to do __________ (purposeful activity like grooming).
MAKE THE LINK for people..of how things tie back into occupation...don't just assume the family gets what you are doing and why. Especially when you ARE doing activities like arm bike. "This arm bike helps with strength and endurance, which are really important for the client to be able to do _________"
Be creative in being occupation-based, like in a rehab hospital where it is hard. Have the client clean real windows or mirrors in the bathroom or rehab gym...water plants in their own room...organize stuff in client's drawer with them...have client hang his/herget well cards on a bulletin board...do crossword puzzles....put clothes away..make the hospital bed...read the TV guide and plan out shows...write up a meal card...lots of options that are occupation-based even with the rigid confines of a rehab hospital.
About 99% of the 560 OT students at Conclave...were attractive little 20-somethings, mostly females. All the male hotel employees were in heaven. I pointed out to Cheryl that almost all of them were quite trim (statistically unusual in the US) and her comment was "OT students are too stressed to eat".
We need to remember quality of life is about meaningful engagement in occupation! Occupation is NOT referring to just "work" in this case. It could ANY activity that brings you fulfillment!
NBCOT has announced they are changing the template of the licensing exam for those students graduating in May 2009..like, for example, my class. They will be putting out information for the new test in Fall of 2008. They have a website...but last I checked, no news on this exam change!
Remember the Centennial Vision...we need to find ways to bring OT into the 21st century...be proactive, be creative...donate your time or energy or money or SOMETHING...keep the profession ALIVE! Be the best OT you can be! ::waves pom poms::
First...some shout-outs to fellow OT students I met at conference, in no particular order.....not that they will probably ever see this, but I can at least pretend to be popular, right? Seeing as how I DID give them an amazing business card with this blog address.
Carolyn from Madison, WI! Enjoyed the Hard Rock Cafe and getting to know you! I forget your classmate's name since she didn't write it down but she rocked too!
Shannon from UAB - fun meeting you and your classmate Karen at the shuttle/airport!
Meghan D., Kim D., Erin H.,and all the other powerhouses at Wash U...sorry I am bad with names and can only remember people who wrote down their info! You guys are really impressive and fun! Thanks for having me along for the bizarre downtown experience!
Sarah C. and her classmates from Ohio State - you guys were really nice!
Finally, a shout-out to the cool NWA flight agents, and the coolest passenger ever, Denise....while we spent our 10 hours in the airport due to a delayed flight! Denise had a dead person on her flight one time! (I thought I was going to win best airline horror story but she did!!)
Okay...I've sifted through the contact info I got..now I'm going to do a post with some tips I learned from various sessions.
Here are my blog goals to complete in the next 20 minutes or ELSE:
1) Update conclave FINALLY (and put up a fresh link)
2) Write a quick OT identity post
3) Link rehab consumer vs occupational therapist discussion that went on a while back
4) Talk about Advance OT as a great website!
5) Cry hysterically since I won't be able to do this in 20 minutes.
Let's put this in goal format:
Karen will create and type five four posts, each consisting of 1-10 sentences, within 20 minutes, and post it to Blogger, independently.
Tonight I plan to work on my professional development evaluations (PDEs), practice not crying when criticized in preparation for the PDEs (just kidding), review neuro for the neuro final, and finish cleaning out my school email box and finish updating my blog with more accurate and up to date information about Conclave, SI, a few other things.
I'm also working on brevity. See how good I'm doing?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
It is rainy and dreary outside. OTS Brooke came over in the morning before she went to work to dig through my five boxes of bizarre art-related items, and found a bunch of items she could use for "sensory" stuff. Then I reread a book by David Sedaris (he coulda used some OT as a child!). Then I made carrot-pumpkin muffins and they are the most amazing things ever. I'll even tell you about them. You take a box of carrot cake mix (or devil's food chocolate mix or probably any cake mix really), and mix it with one normal can of plain pumpkin (I guess they are around 16 oz-ish?), and 1/4 cup of water. Add in some more cinnamon/nutmeg as you want. No oil, no eggs...ie disregard the back of the cake mix instructions. Put it in cupcake holder cups in a cupcake pan. Take a knife, wet it with water, and smooth down the peaks of the cupcake batter (or the peaks will burn). I like to call them Heidi muffins because it looks like the Swiss Alps before you pat down the peaks. Get it? I'm so hilarious. Bake at 350 for about 20 mins, but keep an eye on them so they don't dry out. This recipe came off Dotti's Weight Loss Zone site. She is a Weight Watchers devotee. It's one of my favorite recipes because it is easy and relatively healthy. And you can't taste the pumpkin. You only have to mention it so people who are allergic don't die.
OTS Kerri, her husband Brent, and I, made these last night at her house using a reduced sugar devil's food chocolate cake mix, and we added in chocolate chips. SO GOOD. It gave me inspiration for today. I'm eating my carrot-pumpkin muffin right now with margarine and Splenda (I taunt you, cancer) and it is SO good.
Watch me cleverly tie this back into OT....because all you really need is pumpkin, a few muffin tins, a few utensils, and cake mix (well and access to a kitchen for the oven)....it would be a great mildly healthy cooking activity with a patient....pretty straight forward since you only have a few ingredients, don't really need to measure, and don't need messy oil or perishable items. And you can eat some dough without getting salmonella. The hardest part, because the batter is very thick, would be getting it into the muffin tins properly.
Last night, Kerri & Brent cooked me dinner (yum turkey fajitas), and then I helped Kerri use contact paper to finish her treatment project. Hers is for a young child with tactile defensiveness and it involved lots of textures and some puzzle pieces. She actually BUILT a table for the project! Pretty impressive! I didn't have my camera but we will video doing it! She made me do it and I'm ashamed to say I'm not smarter than a three year old.
Then she helped me with my treatment project by coming up with a cute design for the little game pieces and then helping me make (ok, she made them and I helped) them out of weird clay you bake and it stays bendy!She and I played my game and it was pretty cool. This afternoon I just need to finish making cards and putting contact paper around them as a cheap laminate, to go with my game board....and a few other touches.... I'll take a picture tonight of the final product.
I also need to do an essay on an adaptive activity of daily life that I forgot about....and work on my professional development evaluations...and stuff like that. I already did my dishes, phew....hate that chore most of all! I plan to have a relaxing day just getting my OT projects done!
I've rested a lot since Wednesday, and I've really needed it with all the craziness of grad school!...I'm starting to feel normal again. But I'm so behind on e-mail that what will probably happen is I'll start answering them while I'm in San Diego, home alone without a car while my parents work, the week before Christmas, with nothing else to do! But still send me e-mail because I love it!
This week we have a bunch of projects due...and present our treatment projects....have assessment labs...leadership where OTS Cheryl & I get to present on the Centennial Vision from Conclave....discussion of case studies...a neuro final...etc. But really overall, not nearly as bad a week as it could be.
I guess I'm technically procrastinating from working on my sensory game cards by writing this long post...but I'm so tired of dealing with contact paper I could scream! I'm going to go start though....sigh!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
So...I made a video based on what I keep in a little box for when I am a real occupational therapist and not just a student...but I know there is lots I haven't thought of. So my question to you all is....what is in YOUR OT toolbox? Via text or pictures or video, let me know...I'll post it. I'd LOVE to get more ideas.
One day I'll actually get good at setting up videos, but for now, y'all gotta bear with my learning curve.
Here was the stuff I talked about, if I remember correctly, in no particular order:
1. Duct tape
2. Nylon cable ties
3. Jumbo playing cards
4. A laundry detergent cap
5. Non-skid liner, often called dycem
6. rubber bands
7. Play money
8. Dollar store occupation-based ideas - like a map puzzle for people who like to travel to use to talk about, or sort, or do...or whatever.
Oh no I'm blanking on what else! Guess you gotta watch the video to find out the rest. LET ME KNOW WHAT IS IN YOUR TOOLBOX! What can you not live without?
I already know my friend Burt is "cogitating" on a mini video to do on basic REAL tools he thinks all OTs should carry around...he is my tool hero. And his 17-year old daughter, Sarah, is my textbook hero because I show her diagrams out of my books (like Trombley, Pendretti, Willard & Spackman...) and make her teach me things. For example, we learned in an adaptive activities of daily life lab the other day some one-handed dressing techniques for button-down shirts, but then I was confused by the diagrams in the book and it would have taken me a while to figure it out, and so I showed them to her and she taught me in about 2 seconds because her brain likes diagrams and mine doesn't. I've already decided she should follow me around for the rest of my life helping me with environmental modifications and anything else requiring a physics/math/3-D artistic brain. I know my strengths and weaknesses...I don't plan to work in a setting that requires a lot of those things!
Ok I'm gonna go check my laundry now and convince myself it's going to be okay. I have a serious phobia about washing machines and dryers. I'm always convinced they are either going to flood or blow up. I'm serious. I have no issue with flying across the country by myself, walking up to strangers to ask a question, dealing with insurance, or being in a mildly scary part of town...all the stuff that scares a lot of people....but get me near a blender, a microwave, a washing machine/dryer, or any other machine that plugs in and makes noise, and I am SCARED!
Okay,I totally wasted way too long going off on multiple tangents. Probably procrastination from having to go face the scary laundry. Dum dum DUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
Okay, besides putting up a video and updating my Conclave notes (all in a stack next to me), I don't plan to touch this for a few days. I've been spending a lot of time sleeping (catching up from months of deprivation), some time with friends, and a lot of time working on my treatment project (I'm making a S.I board game) as well as showing I meet criteria for basic professional development (our professional development evaluations, or PDEs, are coming up soon).
I'm kinda proud of my SI/Praxis board game, but I did get some air bubbles on the board when putting on the contact paper. Y'all shoulda seen me. I was crouching on the table using my feet to hold the board down. And then while gluing stuff to the board, I got the bright idea to use spray adhesive...bad idea...my hands, a day later, after being wiped down with alcohol, grease dishwashing liquid, soap, alcohol again...still are covered with fuzzy adhesive. It made working last night tons of fun. :)
I plan to put up a picture of the completed board/cards soon!!!!!! Maybe Sunday if I am just so excited I cannot even help myself and may explode like an overfully full Thanksgivingian otherwise.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I felt like throwing y'all a Thanksgiving bone! Here are some tests from the Cognitive Performance Test (CPT) - Marla and Patchez did a presentation on it, and because it involved so many props, they wanted it on video so that our Chattanooga students could better see it. They gave me permission to put it up. So here is yet another occupational therapy assessment that can be used...I think this video shows 3 of the possible tasks.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
This is the most poorly edited video ever, and I need to learn to pan slower, but I was only willing to give this a few minutes of my time, so well, here you go. My favorite is actually the parts from the airport near the end as we were delayed for ten thousand hours. Our NWA gate agents rocked.
Pictures will come - Google Video is working again, but Blogger is fussing at me now. My computer is totally going through a mid-life crisis and I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Okay. I need to finish working on an ADL reading assignment in preparation for tomorrow's ADL lab.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
THE GOOD NEWS IS!!! Holly Hendryx, OT Vice Chairperson, showed up for a 650 flight to Minneapolis, and so she and I got to talk a long time about random OT-related things!! She was great! Haha look at me sucking up! Just kidding, I'm just telling the truth. :) Anyway...we're just chilling. Our desk-lady (I mean ticket agent, according to Cheryl) is pretty fun so she is nice, and Cheryl and I have already gotten ice cream. I want to put up video/pictures and look through my notes to share more about conclave, but I guess it will be at least tomorrow.
Luckily Monday-Wednesday won't be horrible days, so maybe I'll survive the next few weeks...for a while I wasn't sure! Let's see if I can answer some e-mails now...oh wait, new tangent
BTW, two University of Alabama, Birmingham girls were also going to be on our flight (OT students that is) but due to the delays they got re-routed elsewhere. It was odd because one of the two girls is a girl running for Communications and Advocacy (Shannon Lindsey(sp)) and I had been talking about her earlier with another UAB girl, so it's really a small world! Plus, an AOTA staff member asked me if Rosemary (one of our professors) was still at UT Memphis - she apparently used to work with him like 12 years ago. She is legendary apparently!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay Cheryl is curled up next to me in a chair and I swear I'm gonna catch up on e-mails. No more tangent until tomorrow, unless I am wired when I get home tonight.
Yay for occupational therapy, boo for airport delays!
Just kidding. I'm delirious. I'm gonna let Cheryl check her e-mail, and then may catch up on old e-mails and blog entries from this weekend.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Today started at 6am (5am to my Central Memphis brain) after a night of tossing and turning! Registration was at 7am and went smoothly. We got our name badges. I ran into Holly Hendryx, who is current OT Vice Chairperson of the ASD Steering Committee and has the position I am running for!
Breakfast was my only real complaint for the day - it was limited to sugary breads/muffins, yogurt, and sugar fruit drinks. And it was expensive. I got a bread, yogurt, and grapefruit juice for 6.50! The main issue I have with it is that it was a hypoglycemia nightmare.
By 730 I had sat down with some Ohio State University girls, all of whom were very nice. One of them (Sarah) is running for Communications and Advocacy on the ASD Steering Committee, which is the same position my classmate Brooke is running for. She was a pro at walking around greeting people. I'm a little shyer that way, I was envious.
Due to technical difficulties with the Powerpoint, we got started with the welcome ceremony/key note address around 815 instead of 8am. Penny Moyers, president of AOTA, was supposed to speak, but there was a death in her family this week and so she could not make it. Instead, Dr. Florence Clark (sp) spoke to us about the Centennial Vision. I'm telling you guys, my blog is the epitome of Centennial Vision!!! Anyway...that was fine. Then we all bolted because there were four concurrent sessions from 9am to 10:30 and most of us wanted to be in "Empower your future: Fieldwork Education Strategies for Personal Satisfaction and Professional Success". Kim Dickinson, current ASD Steering Committee Chairperson, was on the panel, since she is currently in her Level II fieldworks.
Then we spent some time with exhibitors. I ran into Josh who helps run the RehabCare blog, it was fun to meet him in person! I had been wondering if he'd be there. We got lots of free pens and stuff from the various vendors. And of course valuable information as well. ;)
The second session I went to was "How to be a successful agent of change: helping your new colleagues understand occupation-based practice". This was essentially a lecture on avoiding cone-stacking and arm bike, unless you can really clearly articulate why what you are doing as a preparatory method will help that client with their future occupational performance/participation in meaningful activities.
Then it was lunch, which was MADLAM or whatever that word is. Oh yeah, bedlam. It was yummy pizza and pasta and salad. There was more Centennial Vision discussion as well as networking going on. I sat with some Virginia students.
Then I choose to go to the session on "reimbursement and documentation primer for the new graduate". Unfortunately the room was so hot I thought I would die. Plus, while I know it is important material, it wasn't what I really needed at this point in my OT student life. So I ended up sneaking out guiltily, but took a much needed 15-minute nap. I am sooo tired. At least I didn't drive 9 hours to get here like the Wash U. girls did!
Then it was time for an introduction to NBCOT to learn about our national qualifying exam. I ended up randomly sitting with some Wash. U girls (12 of them were there), and I ended up actually sitting next to one of my opponents for OT Vice Chair! Her name is Erin and she's pretty cool, but I'm going to try and hate her anyway. Just kidding. She is great. But vote for me anyway. ;)
And then finally, I went to "tools for transitioning from student to entry-level practitioner". By then it was 620pm and I had been on my feet for 12 hours and I am exhausted. BUT I'm going to go back downstairs soon because at 730pm a group is going out to eat etc, led by Pittsburgh native students, and we might get to go ice-skating as well. I have a few pictures and a little video, but not as much as I'd like. I'll probably get that up tomorrow.
I'm missing a sheet where I wrote down some information I wanted to share that I think is in my bag...plus this is plenty long. I'll flesh it out later. Just wanted to type some of it out while it was still fresh. I think I'm going to lie down for about 15 minutes before going downstairs.
So far, with the exception of crushing crowds at break, it's gone incredibly smoothly and everyone is really, really nice!
Friday, November 16, 2007
9am -3ish Get up. Pack. Slowly. Agonize over what to bring and what to wear! Organize conclave materials and figure out hotel/plane/conference stuff. In general get stuff together, since life has been pretty hectic!! Get to miss leadership this afternoon in order to prepare/be able to get to airport early
3ish: Get picked up. Driven to airport by kind friends. Am very, very early, due to paranoia over missing flight since it is a Friday afternoon and you never know about security and missing this flight would be like a loss of hundreds of dollars blah blah blah.
3ish + 5 minutes: Walk in, one person in front of me in security line, gate is first one, have completed entire airport mission in 5 minutes. Meet Cheryl, fellow OT student, at the gate. Have several hours to wait.
Plane is about 20 minutes late. Sit next to lady who says not a word. Read, listen to iPod. Get nervous about tomorrow and doing lots of networking.
10ish: Get into Pittsburgh. Wait for shuttle. Meet one older OTA and two Puerto Rican OT students (did you know Puerto Ricans are under AOTA?). Find out that having a student ID is the difference between paying $38 for a roundtrip ticket versus $20 to get to the hotel from the airport. Sad because I did not bring student ID. Glad because lady let me do it anyway. Find out Pittsburgh is gorgeous at night, and there are tons of people on the streets. Too bad we got in too late for the fireworks.
Now it's almost midnight, I'm checked in and using the free Internet to check in with my OT peeps and then I'm going to bed.
Tomorrow I'm going to be up at 6am and put on a new outfit that Virginia designed for me that every other girl in the nation has already worn, but I'm always behind on the fashion curve. Because I just am. I'm a 90 year old at heart, I truly am. Okay I digress
7am is registration/breakfast, then things get started around 8ish...I plan to network, network, network....campaign....learn learn learn....blah blah blah. I'm excited. This is such a great opportunity. :)
I'm trying to take a little video on and off without getting too annoying, and will also try to get in some pictures. Seeing as how I'm all historian-like. More tomorrow!!!
YAY OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY STUDENT CONCLAVE!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
There are two versions of the video, because the first day we did it impromptu, sticking the camera on a pile of books and with an overly full memory card, so we kept having "commercial breaks" as the memory card filled up. In that version, I am the (relatively angry looking?) client and Allison is the therapist. In the second version, Allison is the client and Kerri is the therapist, and I'm recording. Poorly.
By the way, there are a ton of other assessments that are used in conjunction with the leather lacing. Like the Allen Diagnostic Manual or ADM(using crafts to assess ability), and the Routine Task Inventory, or RTI - which is free online at Claudia Allen's website listed above.
*Thanks to Allison again for her help with filling in some gaps
Us OT students recently had a presentation (by other students) on Brain Train. While infrequently used by occupational therapists, it is an assortment of computer programs, designed for people of any age who have difficulty processing information. The programs are Captain's Log, Smart Driver, and SoundSmart. It was all developed around the 1990s. The games can teach self-control/patience, listening, speed, visual perception...just about anything. It may be having to follow directions that are interrupted by crazy noises, it may be having to count a certain number that gets flashed with a variety of other numbers, it may be waiting to answer a simple question until you get the go-ahead, etc. It's pretty crazy.
UPDATE: I got a question on this game and what is shown in the video clip. Believe it or not, it is working like it is supposed to. It is a game of patience and it keeps making Brooke wait to put in her answer, or it changes what she is supposed to do and make her re-wait. Then Brooke messed up once because hello, HIGH PRESSURE! and it was on a very high difficulty setting...but it really was working correctly, and it was very neat. I recommend therapists look into BrainTrain, especially for kids with ADHD!
We had a man with bilateral above-elbow amputations come in. He used a body-powered prosthesis. We also had a vendor come in from CFI to tell us about electrically powered prostheses.
There are three main prosthetic options
1. Passive, cosmetic arm/hand
2. Body-powered (through cable/harness)
3. Electrical prosthesis...maybe controlled by myoelectric sensors! (see video for example)
A lot of people have unrealistic expectations of how a prosthesis will help them. The truth is that the prosthesis will always be the assistant - it is not a fully functional hand. The ones that look like real hands are really not that functional - the hook is still the best option. Occupational therapists can help with education of this fact. It's also important that the person with the amputation (it's easiest to say amputee, but that isn't person-first language!) understand the importance of checking their skin daily for irritation, how to keep a proper wear schedule, and how to take care of the residual limb/prosthesis.
The OT also needs to work on helping the person review the motions that will be necessary for using the cable-controlled body-powered device. Such as scapular abduction, elbow flexion, shoulder extension, etc.
The OT can also work on body positioning. A person who has had good training will be able to make their hook arm look so natural that you don't even notice it. If the person does not have good training, it will be immediately obvious due to the awkward and uncomfortable position the person will be in.
Even bilateral amputees can put their own prostheses on, and can be independent in things like toileting, dressing, eating, etc. The toileting thing was the most fascinating thing to learn about. A below-elbow amputee can probably do it more or less the normal way, but if it is an above-elbow amputation, it may need to be done using a heel method or seat method, that allows them to wipe themselves by moving themselves against something stationary like the bathtub edge (with toilet paper put down first). I thought that was pretty creative.
The OT can assist the amputee in learning all the different ways he/she can be independent in their activities of daily life (ADLs). The OT can also educate the person their recreational options, the importance of follow-up visits, resources, assistive devices, and more.
Most of this information was paraphrased from a packet entitled "Adult Upper-Limb Prosthetic Training" by Diane J. Atkins
We had a lab where we got to put on the body-powered harnesses, trying to open and close the hook using their shoulder/arm muscles in various movements, and then playing with the myoelectric sensors
Your central nervous system can be considered a pyramid of learning. The bottom has your tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive senses. Then you have sensory systems (like olfactory), then sensorimotor (like postural security), then perceptual motor (like eye-hand coordination), and then finally, cognition, which is where daily living activities and academic learning take place.
“Sensory Integration” is a big thing in occupational therapy, but it’s not what most people think. It’s not passive – it involves active participation from the client. Sensory integration is “the ability of the brain to organize sensory input so it can be used appropriately.”
Tactile System: Important for protection, discrimination, etc. The reason babies like to put things in their mouth is because the mouth has a lot of tactile receptors and so it gives them a lot of feedback!
One really neat way to work on tactile discrimination is to put easy-discernible objects in a little black box or in a bucket of dried beans/rice, and then have the child/person identify the object using only their tactile sense...no looking!
Proprioceptive System: It has to do with position and movement of body parts....like if you close your eyes and someone moves one of your arms, can you move your other one to match it? A lot of children benefit from proprioceptive input, like pushing against a wall or heavy furniture (joint compression). Knowledge of your body’s position in space is important for muscle tone, balance, motor planning, etc.
The little girl I used to work with, Celia, definitely had some proprioception issues. She seemed to have a better "feel" for herself after we would do things like push heavy furniture across the room.
Vestibular System: Figuring out your position of head in space (which therefore affects your body position) – important for balance, muscle tone, visual perception, etc. (This is where you get back into neurobiology and have to discuss things like “the bundle of the medial longitudinal fasisculus”, vestibulospinal tracts, oculomotor nerves, utricles and saccules, etc. I am doing a Level II fieldwork (3 months) in a vestibular program so I guess I better learn this stuff! I kind of think I have some vestibular issues myself!
Many people have sensory processing dysfunction, and there are three types – sensory modulation disorder, sensory discrimination disorder, and sensory based motor disorder.
Pretty much everyone has some kind of “sensory issue” though. Like some people hate getting their hands wet, or touching certain textures.
Some people are over-reactive to sensory stimuli and get really upset with things that don’t bother “typical” people (ie, non-noxious stimuli). Others are under-reactive and these are the people (or okay, kids) who you see rubbing against walls, falling on the ground for fun, leaning into their neighbor at play time…they are sensory seeking!
Now think about how important your senses are in terms of telling you about the world. If they are under active or overactive, it’s going to affect everything else about you!
A big part of sensory problems is dyspraxia, which has to do with a problem conceiving, planning, and/or sequencing new actions. So for example, you might pat your head, pat your tummy, pat your knees, quickly, twice in a row. A kid with dyspraxia would be all over the place trying to figure out how to coordinate their body.
The Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT), developed by Ayres in the late 1980's, are classics still used today!
The evidence on SI tends to be inconclusive in the sense that some studies show it works, other studies say it doesn't. My opinion is that it can DEFINITELY make a difference for some kids when done by a well-trained and experienced professional, and that it never hurts to have the knowledge or "tools" to use some SI as needed.
I would write a lot more but I have to stop somewhere! Check out the Out of Sync Child and the Out of Sync Child Has Fun, for some great information about SI in kids!
HUGE DISCLAIMER: The information above was my paraphrased version of my own understanding of SI, based on a combination of lecture, books and personal experience. If anything is wrong or misleading or not worded well, it's totally my fault! And don't take anything I say as the final word since I'm a student and um, I'd like to become an occupational therapist one day and not be derailed by licensure issues. So go do your own research on SI if you plan to do anything based on this knowledge...I'm just sharing what is in my brain..right or wrong. And from now on I'm not going to even paraphrase lectures/give educational minies, since I'm going to try and stay out of the sticky world of intellectual copyright and all that!
Next week I need to work on finalizing a community initiative proposal, a treatment project, and prepare for my professional development evaluation...along with figure out campaigning strategies with Brooke, who is also running for a position on that Assembly of Student Delegates Steering Committee.
I managed to write up some SI information and next I'm going to do some amputation material (to accompany the videos) ...
I plan to bring it with me on the plane to Pittsburgh, PA this weekend...I'm looking forward to reading it
And now it is 720am and I need to go finish getting ready!! AUGH!
PS: I found out through my stat counter that if you just type in "augh", my site will eventually come up! I guess I say it too much!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Now we are engaged in a great health-care crisis, testing whether this occupational therapy career, or any career, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great insurance battle field of the Medicare cap war. We have come to dedicate a portion of this ongoing battle field, as a hopeful not final resting place for those who have dedicated their careers so that this profession might survive and not get minimized by insurance issues. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we can not hallow - this insurance battlefield. The brave occupational therapists, living and dead (and especially Ora Ruggles, GO ORA WOO!), who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power (muscle strength 2+ or so) to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what these occupational therapists did here. It is for us the current OTs, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced in the name of occupational therapy. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great Centennial Vision task remaining before us - that from these honored OTs like Eleanor Clark Slagle, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave us the last measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these therapists shall not have fought in vain - that this nation, under the OTPF, shall have a new birth of freedom and diversity and evidence-basedness and client-centeredness, and that government of the therapists (AOTA), by the OTs (State Associations), for the OTs(AOTPAC), shall not perish from this earth just because of Medicare!
So...to address my exuberance...no, it's not caffeine....I promise in real life I'm a (somewhat) calm person. I just have lots of wacky ideas. Years ago, I was playing in some chat room and I encountered this lady who talked like THIS!!! YAY!! LOL!! EVERYTHING IS SO FUNNY!!!! YAY!!! LOLOLOL!! ROFL!! YAY!!! I found her hilarious. She made me laugh. And I decided that while I'm not quite THAT extreme, there is no harm in being a little overly enthusiastic and yay-ish at times...we all need some smiles in our lives. Speaking of which - the above "Address" is not meant to offend or make light of veterans - it's just a great speech to use! GO OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY!! YAY!! LOL!!! YAY!!
On October 22, my mother fell breaking her left femur below the ball joint. She is a Caucasian female, 88 years old, 65 inches tall and approximately 125 pounds. She does not have osteoporosis. She lives a very active life, and lives independently. The method chosen by the orthopedic surgeon for fixing this was to do a half hip replacement. The top of the femur was cut off and replaced with the artificial ball joint. This was fitted into her natural socket on the pelvis. There was no damage in the fall to the hip itself or any other joint or bone.
Please realize that to the consumer, health care is one long continuum. Because of the fact that the health care professional is dealing with human life, it is hard for the consumer to accept a "not my job" explanation or or to accept that if a provider sees something that is wrong but not in their field to not address it. The discussion below may be taken as criticism because it is a discussion of areas that frankly fell short or could improvement would greatly benefit the professional image of OTs and PTs.
Because my mother is 88, the hospital social worker was initially recommending she go to a nursing home for rehab. To their credit, the hospital therapists stood up for her and reommended the more vigorous rehab at the local rehab hospital. However, the whole incident came across as extremely condescending. We both wondered how she would have fared had I not been present and she had been on her own, since these decisions were being made less than a day after surgery. To a lesser degree the same stereotyping occurred at the local rehab hospital. The larger offense there was their greatly underestimating the amount of therapy she was capable of doing, which to a point discouraged her. I was present for one visit to The Orthopedic Center. It was like night and day. The therapist there seemed to work harder to connect and address Mom as an individual.
The first day in her room at the local Hospital, the therapist upon leaving told the nurse, "Where's our stuff? Everything we need is missing." That was said in our hearing. To me, the therapist now has a responsibility to follow up past asking the nurse. So be careful what you say in front of the patient. By the way, the "stuff" never showed up, but that is another story. Suffice it to say that before we left I had the floor charge nurse and the assistant head of support services standing in front of me.
If you tell patient number one something make damn sure that you tell patient number two who has the same injury the same thing. Two days prior to her discharge from the local rehab hospital, Mom got a new room mate who also had broken her left leg in the same place. I was there when Mom came in and I was there when her new roomie checked in. They gave her a whole rundown about what her rehab would be, her limitations, what she would be expected to do and what they would do. Mom found out stuff as she went along.
When you discuss limitations on movement, please ensure you specify if they are permanent or temporary, such as during a specified recovery period. Prior to discharge at the local rehab hospital, they gave Mom a list of prohibited movements. When I arrived for the discharge interviews, I had a despondent Mom because she thought these were permanent restrictions. I pointedly asked both the OT and the PT (both of whom were "technicians" according to their name tags) about each and every restriction and we found out they were all during the recovery period. We were greatly relieved.
I am not that interested in your personal life. I am especially not interested that when you were in high school your ex-boyfriend loosened the lug nuts on your car, causing the wheel to fall off while you were driving it and your new boyfriend beat the crap out of him. The patient does not need to hear that from the therapist. Keep up on current events. If you know what is going on in the world, it gives you something to talk about with your patients and to possibly connect with them as individuals. It is also a way to avoid or redirect possibly inappropriate personal questions. Your patients come from all walks of life; you can learn from them. However, asking a patient, who has told you he is from Switzerland, where Switzerland is does not inspire patient confidence.
I have not seen so much hurry up and wait since I was a Midshipman on summer training 35 years ago. I do not understand why scheduling can't be better accomplished. While not an OT/PT issue, I fail to see why a dressing has to be changed at 3:30 a.m. except that someone forgot to do it and the next shift caught the screw up. Also when Mom checked out of the rehab hospital, at precisely the same time as when we were supposed to be meeting with the OT and PT, the medication nurse and the team to remove the surgical staples all showed up. You could not have crammed one more person into her room. Scheduling stunk.
Please consider wearing something other than scrubs. Everybody wears scrubs. OTs, as an example, have completed a stringent, horrifically rigorous program. Differentiate yourself. At The Orthopedic Center, the therapists were in knit shirts or sweaters and khaki pants. You may be dealing primarily with an older population or, if you are with children, you want to assure the parents that their offspring is being cared for by a real professional. Like it or not, appearance makes a difference.
Also along that line, avoid visible tattoos or body jewelry. Call me old fashioned, but I have a hard time carrying on a serious conversation with someone who has a nose ring. I frankly do not care if it is part of your cultural heritage or not.
If you are dealing with patients, do not wear clogs or crocs. I watched a person pushing a cart twist and then step out of a croc (it had a heel strap which was useless) and almost fall. If that had been a patient with mobility issues, well i leave that to your imagination. Wear something that is secure to the foot.
Since You Are A Health Care Professional, Do What The Other Health Care Professional Tells You.
This conversation was overheard while I stood outside my mom's room at the local rehab hospital during the staple removal circus.
Health Are Professional (HCP) Number One, "Hi!"
HCP2, "I knew I couldn't get past the room without you stopping me."
HCP1, "What's wrong? You OK?"
HCP2, "No, I don't feel good and I have a scratchy, sore throat."
HCP1, "Taking anything?"
HCP2, "Yeah, I went to the doctor and got a shot and some antibiotics, but I quit taking them."
HCP1, "You did?!"
HCP2, "Yeah, they were making me (didn't hear the word) and I was feeling better so I quit taking them. Now I may have to go back."
Thank you very much for bringing a now drug resistant strain into contact with the elderly. Is this how MRSA got started?
During Mom's hospital and rehab stay she was cared for by a lot of talented people - we all realize and are thankful for that. But folks, there is room for improvement and because you are dealing with life here, you have been given a special trust and confidence.
These are my opinions and observations. If you disagree, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss. Do not beat up on the blog owner.
UPDATE: He wanted to add that it is important that the therapist clearly explain to the client what is going on. For example, his mom couldn't understand why she had a therapist making her do an arm bike exercise when she was there for her hip. There is a good reason, but the client needs to understand that reason.
UPDATE 2: I asked him to rate the experience on a scale of 1-10, 10 being amazing. He said it was a 6.
1) A thoughtful letter written from the son of a rehab consumer, which I will be
posting in full, about his experience...but it definitely showed issues with rehab.
2) A letter from an OT who doesn't find it rewarding in any sense and is giving up
the profession and wants to warn me to have a back-up plan.
3) A disability activitist who enjoys bursting my OT-exuberance-bubble because he
thinks it is unrealistic to have such a high opinion of OT (to be fair, he and I have been in e-mail contact a while
and we've both enlightened each other on things.) He also wanted to know how much
coffee I drink. A fair question.
So. How do we address these things.
1) I will be posting his letter as we all have things we can learn from it.
2) I am sorry that this OT has not had experienced good things with this career. Her
advice is good in that no one should have all their little OT eggs in one handmade
basket. I wish her well in finding something that better suits her.
3) I just want the entire world (or ok, the people who read this) to know that I
know perfectly well occupational therapy is not a perfect career, just like ANY
career is not perfect. I get it's not Utopian and many people have not had great
experiences. There are lots of issues in the healthcare professions and OT is not
immune. I get all that. But the purpose of this blog is for me to chart my journey
as an enthusiastic, not yet jaded, OT student, who is doing her best to show people
the FUN and GOOD side of OT. So it's not so much that I'm in a bubble and don't know
it. I just like to focus on the positive. I want to make the Centennial Vision come
true!! One wacky blog post at a time! (I don't like caffeine by the way).
8am to 10am: Final in Occupation Centered Practice in Adulthood. Only took one hour. Answering a case study with multiple parts
10am to noon: Lecture on Transition Services in the School System with a Chattanooga professor
noon -1pm: Lunch, work on group projects
1-3pm. Three different presentations by 6 different people, on the "Cognitive Performance Test" (video coming once Google Video stops erroring), "The Milwaukee Evaluation of Daily Living Skills", and the Kingston something....
Updating soon! Just bored and we're about to start class and figured I'd post! Yay occupational therapy!
Yen May of Singapore wrote to me and generously shared some insight into her life as an OT student there. She gave me permission to copy it to my blog. It wasn't intended to be a formal document so no judging any grammatical errors. You can e-mail her at yenmayl ....at...hotmail.com (go away spambots).
"I love OT because of its holistic and creative nature. Thinking back, my definition of what Occupational Therapy is has definitely changed as I learned more about the roles of the Occupational therapist.
I completed one block of clinical attachment (4 weeks) last month in Oct. I was at a mental health setting. In my y1 clinicals, I was really attracted to SI and peds but I soon realised that I liked mental health alot as well!
Anyway, i really enjoyed my placement there. The first thing that changed was my personal perspective towards the mentally ill population. I came into a realisation that they are people just like us, they have needs, dreams, potential and feelings. I think the climax came when i decided to share my umbrella with this woman who had schizophrenia on a rainy day on the way to the hospital. It was raining very heavily and i was comtemplating whether or not to give her some shelter. She was unkempt and was talking irrationally throughout our long walk into the hospital. i would have NEVER done that, never ever if it wasnt because of my placement at IMH!! haha!
I will be starting my next attachment for another 4 weeks starting from 19 Nov, but have yet to know my placement. I think I'd most probably get HANDS, NEURO or ORTHO. Perhaps a community setting because I have not been to one yet.
OT school has been very fun and inspiring lately as we began semester 2. Due to our tendency to speak in our own mother tongue or dialects, the OT school instituted a new 'law' that requires all of us to speak 'Queen's English'! haha. We were supposed to read newspaper and cut out interesting and OT related articles to share with the class in one our modules: Home and community. It was a realy great idea, as we soon realised that there were so many OT related articles! We found stuff on health policies, community services, leisure opportunities, etc. It almost felt like we were having clinical education going on as we (students and lecturer) discussed about our views on those articles.
In this sem, we started to hand therapy, splinting, home modification (which is really cool), groupwork and leisure, and also a module that talks about wellness. So its pretty fun cuz we get to do cool stuff like travelling in a w/c in the community (taking the MRT,bus, catching a show in the cinema, shopping etc), trying out yoga, pilates, aquatherapy and lots of leisure activities! We also have a module that introduces us to the various community settings/ organizations where the OT works in. It is realy interesting as most of us have never been to those settings.
The Singapore Association of OT student commitee (SAOTSC) organizes many talks and events for the students here. These talks range from education advancement, specific clinical specialty,OT in sign language, Visually handicapped and guidedogs... to many other interesting topics as well. There is a HUGE BUZZ on mental health in Singapore lately and the Government will be funding $88million into the area of mental health to set up community centres that provide mental health services and to create awareness. There will be many other projects as well. One of the medical financing policy is currently being re-evaluated to include mental illness in its list of chronic disease so people can get financial help when they go for treatment for a mental condition.
The lecturers are also challenging us to look beyond the traditional roles of OT (working in hospitals). They are challenging us to look into the community setting, to get involved in ministry level (to advocate and be involved in policy making), to do entrepreneurship, set up centres for wellness, to work in the area of providing accessibility (none so far) and whatever we can dream of! There is no limit as to the things that we can venture into! :) Oh btw, im currently working on a project on OT with the visually handicapped/ low vision group of people, its really interesting as ive never worked with a VH client before! :) "
Monday, November 12, 2007
I'm a little behind on e-mails and well, everything, while I try and get through the next few days...bear with me! At least there are lots of videos to watch! You can laugh at how badly edited they are!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I am getting excited about the first annual AOTA/NBCOT National (Occupational Therapy) Student Conclave. It's next week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (I spelled that right on the first try, go me!). It's Saturday, November 18th, and Sunday, November 19th, at the Marriott Pittsburgh City Center.
I'm flying out Friday afternoon and coming back Sunday. The program looks amazing, it was hard choosing which sessions to go to! It seems like it will be really helpful/educational, but I'm also really looking forward to meeting OT students from all over the nation!
Here is what I want to go to on Saturday:
"Empower Your Future: Fieldwork Education Strategies for Personal Satisfaction and Professional Success"
"Tools for Transitioning From Student to Entry-Level Practitioner"
And then I'm torn between "Reimbursement and Documentation Primer forthe New Graduate" and "How To Be Part of the Centennial Vision", since they are going on at the same time!
Preparing for the NBCOT Certification Examination(I am interested to know how this goes - I just heard the NBCOT is changing our exam, but couldn't find any details?)
Then: Advocacy 101: Policy Impacts Practice
Then: The Journey to Lifelong Learning
THEN, I get on a plane!
Here is the blurb on the conclave overall, from the website:
"Attend the first-ever national conclave created exclusively for occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant students. This is an intense day and a half designed entirely for your unique needs…giving you an insider's view of your profession; access to, and tips from, some of the nation's top employers; and a jump on career skills that will last a lifetime."
I think it's going to be pretty successful - it was sold out! So be alert next year and get your tickets early!
I wanted to write individual posts for all of these, and it is still in my plans. Google Video going down and some other video drama means that I have run out of time - I have two finals to complete and so I need to get crackalackin. In the meantime, here are four poorly made videos on some of our occupational therapy labs. Get inspired to go make better ones.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Update: These videos worked, but are now broken. Google Video is having issues. Sorry. Check above.
Friday, November 9, 2007
We have this lab because OTs can be instrumental in helping a person learn how to use their new arms so it's important we are familiar with the technology/design. What is pretty sad is that the hooks are still more functional than the fake hands - they look real, but don't function very well. So the hands are more for cosmesis, typically.
Anyway, it's amazing how functional a person with below-elbow bilateral amputations and hooks can be! Very impressive. Many of them go through the famed Sandy Fletchall, president of TOTA and the OT at Capabilities for Living. She works with people who have undergone catastrophic injuries and she is legendary. Tough as nails, energetic as a bumblee, extremely compassionate, and gets the job done!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Bad news first: Today's faculty/student representative meeting was really stressful and at the end I cried a little (in front of the entire dept) because I got frustrated and concerned that if I articulated anything poorly, the rest of the class would potentially pay for my mistake! Then, I came back, and was letting people know we'd be talking Monday, and somebody asked if I was ok, and I cried again. In front of the entire class. So literally, the entire department and the entire student body has now officially seen me cry. For the first time.
I am not normally a crier, at least not in public! Anyway, the faculty assured me I was doing fine and they understood.
I sometimes cry when I get frustrated enough and I'm trying really hard to work on it because I obviously know it's not professional behavior...but I guess if crying in public is the worst thing I do, I'm not doing too poorly. And at least it wasn't like I was sobbing hysterically or out of control or anything! And I think Samantha (co-VP of Academic Affairs in Chattanooga) and I overall presented it well...soo...yeah.
Good news: Allison and I made Episode 1 of "OT Student Videos" on the ACLS - (leather lacing). My memory card was practically full and nobody else was there as it was a spur-of-the-moment decision, so well, there are four "commercial breaks" (cough) as my memory card fills up and it shuts down. I pondered over waiting to put it up and just redoing it better, BUT, realistically, it won't happen, AND, I really want to kick-off a nation-wide/world-wide movement of OT students (or educators) putting up mini Youtube or Google videos that show some kind of insight into OT life, and/or show an assessment, or who knows what...ANYTHING that has to do even remotely with occupational therapy! I also think professors should consider making it into a leadership project (for credit and/or volunteer hours) for their students - occupational therapy exposure through Web 2.0 technology...I know Merrolee is on the ball with that one in New Zealand, at least.
So...Episode 1 is poorly done (although Allison is amazing) - it's up to you all to make future videos better. Get at it. I'm going to go work on finishing my pediatric final now. It is on multiple case studies - one kid with a TBI, one kid with Down's, one kid with delays from parental neglect, one kid with CP trying to transition...some interesting stuff! Being a play therapist for over three years with a little girl is really making life a lot easier when it is time to imagine treatment activities!
I'll probably write more later...I am meeting some friends for dinner who are making me CRAP (chicken rice and peas), but I plan to spend most of the night studying, so I'll need breaks!!
I'll put up the leather lacing video up soon!!! It's over 700 mb so it may be a big pain to put up...