Thursday, April 30, 2009
So......it's easy to find a job in occupational therapy as a new grad. If you want to work in tiny rural towns or work in most physical dysfunction settings (ie rehab hospital) or a nursing home.
The kind of job I want, especially since I'm picky about location, is NOT so easy.
My ideal job would be working with hospitalized babies under 1 years of age, like in step-down NICU units. My second ideal job would be working within pediatric oncology. My third ideal job would be geriatric mental health and/or anxiety/depression mental health and/or pediatric mental health- in other words, mental health with populations unlikely to kill me. My fourth ideal job would be inpatient peds with a lot of mentorship.
ANYWAY...those are the jobs hard to find, period, especially as a new grad. I think any of those jobs I could handle with just a little mentorship at first as I'm relatively intuitive with peds and mental health! I have glowing recommendation letters and lots of written documentation attesting to my (mostly) sparkling abilities in those areas!
I'd like to target Tennessee, North Carolina, and California, as my first choices of states, but would consider elsewhere, although states with harsh winter climates/firmly on the East Coast, kinda stress me out!
Any thoughts on where to look besides AOTA.org, monster.com, etc? A friend recommended getting a LinkedIn profile, I'll try that.
Or better yet, anybody who has read this blog long-term, want to network/connect me to someone who can help?!?! I'd adore you forever.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I got up and walked with my landlord & his dog at SIX THIRTY AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHOCKING. BEYOND BELIEF. I AM NOT KIDDING.
VOLUNTARILY UP FOR A WALK AT SIX THIRTY? PIGS ARE FLYING IN A FROZEN HELL.
Moving on. I need to do laundry, prep for some errands, and I think I'll try and hit LeBonheur if they'll accept me (ie no overload of volunteers, I doubt it though), and then I'm meeting OT classmate Virginia in the afternoon to do the LACLS with her (the leather lacing assessment) since she might be doing that soon for real and I had 3 months of practice on my geriatric psychosocial rotation. Then tonight there is a birthday dinner. If I stay up all day and stay active, maybe I'll actually be able to fall asleep at a reasonable hour, AND THAT WOULD BE AWESOME.
Hoping for a good awake day!! Naps are luscious but so evil. Lester is snorkling as he grooms himself after a tasty meal of pureed mush that he gets on his EYEBROWS because he is such a mess. He needs oral motor intervention...from God I guess.
Ok. Stop procrastinating. LAUNDRY. Oh the pain.
Monday, April 27, 2009
you ask! Actually, the FAOTA is an honorary designation that basically
means the person has served the profession on a national level; typically
for an extended period of time. (It's basically a "workhorse" designation!)
For all you've put on the web, it looks like you're a workhorse, Karen! The
FAOTA folks provide a lot of volunteer service on a national level; does
that sound like fun to you? (I bet it does!) I guess there's also an
expected level of quality there, too.... ie...it indicates quality and
quantity of service AOTA has a system of weighing services provided.
Typically, individuals are nominated by submitting all sorts of information
on the service/experience of the person. I don't know what the list looks
like these days, but when I was nominated, you'd get 1 point for every year
you reviewed proposals for annual conference, and a point for every national
task force, and a couple of points if you (suffered....lol) as the CHAIR of
a task force, etc.... So, there was a sort of RVU system used; total
points determined if you would be designated a Fellow. It is kind of fun to
meet others who are FAOTAs, because you know you are meeting someone who is
"sold out" to the service of the profession.
The best way to get involved is by hanging with people who are involved in
AOTA. Watch the publications for opportunities to serve. Let others who
are active in AOTA know about your willingness to serve. Contact the chair
of the SIS you most have a heart for, and offer to serve. Ohhhh....there's
lots to do!"
Okay...well...catching up very very slowly....studying for exams...that's about it for now, sorry to abandon you, bloggie.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
"Every time time I see you it reminds me of that Dr S[uess]'s "OH THE PLACES YOU WILL GO""
I sure hope so!! Watch out President Penny, you're GOING DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The AOTA president is amazing, actually. She's really big into mental health and she is a very articulate and passionate speaker. I enjoyed seeing her talk last year at conference and have been impressed with her writing. Plus she's working hard to make OT Connections a success! Among a million other things.
AOTA conference is in Houston TX this weekend. Since I got that 1,000 dollar scholarship recently I thought about splurging to go to conference, but I am a bridesmaid in a wedding and am booked Friday/Saturday. Oh well, maybe next year!!!!!!!
I can't wait to hear all about AOTA conference!!
Hey, y'all pray for Lester the lion kitty. He's a mess! Feeding intervention has taken place successfully though witha downgrade in wet food status, he is now taking a lovely (and by lovely I mean revolting) puree.
More blog posts soon, still lots to put up before I'm caught up on life.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
One reason I share the comments/emails publicly is because I want to encourage other people to blog, and to show the kind of things you get as a blogger - praise, questions, ideas, help, thoughts...it's fun! I've just been so bad about responding/sharing in reasonable time!!
Adam Chilvers has left a new comment on your post "Volunteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeering...it all helps with O...":
I did some volunteeeeeeering with the British Red Cross. They are constantly looking for volunteers to work within medical loans. It's a great opportunity for OT's to gain experience interviewing clients and assessing what equipment they may need to help them with function. Give it a go.
Annie says: yay!!! congrats Karen!!
I look forward to your articles on prepping for boards and such!
Soon you'll need to change your blog name to OTR (B)e(LO)n(G)!!
Jules says: Just stumbled upon this blog by chance, but it's great and your experiences are similar to mine, currently a Rehab Assistant looking to start OT training later this year. I too love just hanging out with the patients, listening to their stories and having a laugh with them. Good luck with your studies I will be following your blog. Jules
Natupiano says: Keep belonging!
I loved to read about it.
Stuart,OT student Uganda
hayyy Karen! My name is Person Y and i just loooovvvvve your blogs! I also want to become an Occupational Therapist..only im just a freshman in college. I go to X College in Y State - they have a bs/ms program. I really want to get in..but everyone says its harrrrd. (i spoke to some OT students). i think i can do it though.
o Yea i also wanted to say that when i read your blogs, i actually take note of some things that i think can help me when im an OT student... soooo keep writing!
(Comment on a review I wrote about the book Ordinary Miracles)
Annie says: Hi I know it a long time since you posted that review- but I just found it, rather serendipitously & wanted to make a comment. Debbie saw it a pretty chicken soupy, too - but was thrilled at the idea of getting OT out there in any way she could- she later collaborated with a nursing colleague on a second version for nurse- published in 2008 I think. She was really quite an amazing woman- and for me a great mentor and colleague, literally saving my life. Sadly, after a struggle that lastesd 2 years beyond what docotors predicted, Debbie died of a brain tumor in 2006. Very best wishes too you in your new career- I hope you continue to raise a fuss- Debbie would love that!
Buckeyebrit has left a new comment on your post "almost done with fieldwork...":
Hey! Your posts are so interesting. makes me think about the differences between OT in the UK and the UK. Over here we haven't got the "billable" item pressure (yet) which I believe allows therapists greater flexibility to engage in a way we feel is appropriate rather than have to worry about whether it can be charged for.
I also really like the bit about how you use your age to relate to the client group. A really positive example of "therapeutic use of self" when youth can sometimes be a barrier in practice (from the POV of patients wondering if you have enough experience etc)
Dress for Success: What Should OT Students and Clinicians Wear?
OT Connections member Diana Davis posted a blog about professional dress codes for OT university students. At the university where Davis is a professor, OT students are required to adhere to a dress code, and the blog post led to an interesting discussion about acceptable dress for students and clinicians. A dress code in college can teach students good habits about professional dress—which does not include pajama pants or flip flops—but it can be hard to enforce. What do you think? If you're a clinician, do you think a dress code is important? Read the blog and add comments.
My personal experiences: My underwear/back would ALWAYS show...there are like a thousand pictures of my underwear sticking out of my pants, floating around on Facebook, that my classmates took!!! Needless to say that look doesn't fly professionally. I have a long torso and I couldn't understand why my polos/khakis just didn't come together right!! Anyway, I finally went to Target and got those packages of male whiteundershirt tanktops that are really cheap. Those are really long so I just wear them underneath tucked in and that keeps anybody from seeing anything! Please they are form-fitting/thin fabric so I wouldn't get too hot. Those tank tops saved my life on my geriatric psych rotation as I was dealing with showers and all sorts of contortions!!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I've been messing way too much on Facebook tonight.
Had a pretty good couple of days overall...don't feel like writing much else for now I guess. It turns out I can't interview for my special hope/dream job until after I pass boards which is at hopefully only about a month away, so I am SOMEWHAT playing the waiting game for now. Not really though because I am using the time to investigate/explore job options, study for boards, volunteer, and possibly take a crash immersion course in Spanish for health professionals, we'll see.
Ok I've hit my limit for the night. Good night.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Occupational Therapy Interventions in the Home for People with Low Vision
"This is a survey of occupational therapy practitioners who provide interventions in the home to clients with low vision. It is intended to gather information about tools, techniques, and modifications used to facilitate occupational performance in the home setting.Please note: "Home" is used loosely to describe the community dwelling of the patient. It can be an apartment, house, mobile home, nursing home, assisted living facility, group home, etc"
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Two of my favorites had died :(
But a surprising number of them - and staff - were still around, which was great.
1) Lady showing me her fake dog that she carries around with her at all times, she can press a button to make it bark and walk. Adorable. But it was clear the way she talked about it that she thought it was real, just "really easy to take care of"....awww. Glad she had the little doggie though. We were folding cloth aprons/bibs together and I put one of the aprons around her dog's head to make it a babushka and she liked that, lol.
2) Lady, talking to a staff member about when her daughter was coming:
Lady to staff member: "If she isn't here soon I'm going to cut your throat!"
Me, standing next to lady: "Yikes, is my throat safe?"
Lady, looking at me, considering. "Yes, your throat is safe."
3) Two ladies (one black, one white) sitting on either side of me, hanging out. Black lady asks me if I'm married and I say no. Handsome black man (activities director) walks by and I say, "Ooh, how about him? Can I marry him?" Black lady grins, white lady pats my hand and says politely "He needs to be your own color, dear."
Luckily the black lady didn't hear her, so I just nodded and let it go because elderly ladies with dementia won't gain anything from a lecture on racism, I don't think!
I think that's it for specific stories. I just hung out with various people, distracting them away from the door or reassuring them their loved one was coming soon, or just sitting and holding hands. Sometimes people do random things and you are like huh? And then if you know their history it all makes sense.
Like one lady is always smoothing down my sleeves, feeling my fabrics, looking distressed at any loose threads.....turns out she was a seamstress. Another lady is always writing down notes (but it's more like her signature), and she used to be a doctor's secretary.
Today I went to the pediatric cancer hospital to do some shadowing for about four hours. Very fun. Seems like they all have huge scars running down the back of their heads. I've been volunteering there over 4 years now, and you really do learn the lingo. Osteosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, gliomas, medulloblastomas, you just get used to it. The kids are so cute. I love it there. I need to read up/practice on the Peabody, the Batelle, the Oregon Project, the VMI, HELP, and a few other assessments!!
Anyway. Tomorrow I'm going to another pediatric hospital to hold babies (I might go on easter too, I like to hold the babies on holidays), and hopefully next week I'll hit the Assisted Living facility to chill with my elderly peeps there too. So within 7 days I will have hit all four of my volunteer haunts for the first time in a long time because of fieldwork, so that makes me happy to get to be with my babies and my old people! Two pediatric hospitals, an AL facility, and an Alzheimer's facility. No middle ground....lol I guess I'm not too big of a fan of teens/adults!!
Because this is a random post, I included two random pictures.
One is a picture of an art thingie me and my mom did in La Jolla, CA, this past summer. She loves to collect rocks and she has kept a blue M&M in a hole in a rock in the house for years (it's gone now). So I decided it would be fun to get a bag of M&Ms, collect holey rocks at the beach, and make impromptu art.
Weird as hell, but mom was totally willing to go along with it...
Second picture is the masterpiece of a girl named Michelle who is in love with Lester. The mentioned "Patti" is my good friend who is an OT student in New Jersey, where, oddly enough, small world as it is, one of my professors has transferred.
ANYWAY. Enough weirdness for one day.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I had HORRIBLE nightmares one after the other last night. I kept waking up terrified. I'm having a LOT LOT LOT LOT of nightmares lately, every single night, multiple nightmares. Funnnnn. I wake up exhausted!
Just worked out with Virginia...gonna do some errands before I go to the Alzheimer's place. Then meeting a friend for dinner that I haven't seen in a long time. And then lots more errands, studying, and chores, interspersed (sp) between those events. But mostly I just want to sleep after all those nightmares...
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Doot doot doot...work application, graduation, exams....the real world beckons. GO AWAY REAL WORLD I AM SCARED OF YOU...
I am in contact with an OT student named Kuma & some of his classmates. We collaborated on an article on diversity (including people with disabilities being a form of diversity often overlooked and how we need to recruit more ppl with disabilities as OTs) a long time ago, and it's finally ready for submission to OT Practice. Kuma offered to have me submit it as I am used to it by now so I know what to do (3 times now) but I told him I wanted him to do it because it's a thrill to submit your own manuscript and I wanted him to have that bragging right. I sent him the link and gave him some basic tips and told him I'd do it if he gets overwhelmed. But I hope he does it for that great feeling of accomplishment!!
I went working out with my OT classmate Virginia this morning...have been talking about the OT practice article with Kuma, and now it's time to work on my updated resume, my hospital application, perhaps my taxes, and some graduation stuff. Borrrrrring. But somewhat exciting too.
Yesterday I took my friend Sarah out for a birthday dinner - we had Muddy's cupcakes for dessert and I threatened her bodily harm if anything happened to the cupcakes. Before that I hung out with Virginia - we had lunch, talked about geriatric mental health & specifically proper assessments, evaluation tools, and group topics, in preparation for her upcoming job, and played Frisbee!! And studied a tiny tiny bit for the NBCOT exam. We will probably take it at the end of May. I also hung out with classmate Kerri & her husband some too. So yesterday was a pretty good day.
Okay I'm procrastinating because I don't want to work on all my errands. I better start.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
" Please let me know if you have any questions regarding my resume. A few of the chronological gaps may be explained by brief prison stays, although I'm sure you'll understand once I explain. That's another way I may be able to help student readers, since I now have a firm grasp of the difference between a felony and misdemeanor and can provide valuable tips for students with a criminal background, trying to take the NBCOT exam. I will look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you very much for your time."
Okay back to work :(
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I miss my fieldwork but am glad to not be working for a while. I'm studying for the exam. I keep hearing about people failing the new format, but I'm a great test-taker, so I'll remain optimistic. I'll probably take the boards in May.
Graduation is May 29th. My mom, dad, and grandma are flying in from CA I think, plus a few other friends from this area may come.
A lot of my classmates already have jobs lined up or are interviewing. I haven't even started that process. I've been offered several jobs but do not feel they are the right fit for me at this time.
My first choice is a pediatric cancer hospital in Memphis which may have an opening in a few months. If that doesn't work (fierce competition), I want to consider spending a year living in Asheville NC. I've decided not to try CA for a job until I've had at least a year's experience around here - it's easier to get a job if I'm not a new grad, and I'll have more money by then.
It's fun but scary to be job hunting, starting a career. I need to update my resume...
I don't think I'll be blogging much daily for a while, since I don't probably have daily OT-related experiences. I do have a lot of catch-up blogging to do on stuff from comments, emails, stories, etc, though. I'll try to keep up and not neglect this blog!!
Thanks all for comments, e-mails, I appreciate them. I'm behind still...as always...but slowly catching up.