25 Jan 2011

Should you go to conference as a new OT student? why, yes :)

Question asked of me on Facebook (both slightly edited):

Question: Hi Karen! I need advice 🙂 Trying to decide if I should go to conference this year as a brand new OT student. Wanted to get your opinion as to whether you think it is worth it to go after only being in school 4 months. I know I am going next year regardless, but I can’t decide if I think it is worth spending the money to go this year. As always, any advice is much appreciated!

Answer: girrrl…..if money is an issue enough that going means you have to live on ramen for six months, don’t go because you need your strength. But if you can go without too much financial hardship I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!! go go go go! The expo will be awesome – a place to network, learn of companies, and see new products. The place is filled with enthusiasm and you can go to different lessons and learn stuff even if it is over your head – so kinda choose wisely and pick the stuff that you think won’t be too over your head. Plus you get to meet peeps from all over the nation etc. I highly recommend you go – and that its totally worth it and not a waste of time even as a new student – if you can afford it.

If I hadnt JUST moved to CA and it was all the way on the east coast, i would have totally considered going. Too much expense for this year after all that’s happened. Gotta go see where it is next year. I hope they keep flip-flopping it to east coast/midwest/west coast or something – I feel like its almost always on the eastern side (minus Long Beach, which I went to while I was in Memphis…oh the irony. Anyway.)

So…YES IT IS WORTH IT TO GO TO CONFERENCE AS A NEW OT STUDENT. If you can afford it. But make sure to do lots of networking – that’s a big part of it. Talk to everyone.

A few tips:

1) Consider having business cards made, even though you are a student. They can have your name, email address, OT student, maybe a phone number……but if you do a phone number remember you may have recruiters calling you a lot. This is helpful to give out to new random friends you meet. NOTE: If your e-mail address is like a high school relic of “hotgirlie69@yahoo.com”, please, for the love of God, make a new professional one. Mine is just my name, karen.dobyns, for gmail. I recommend you just use a neutral thing – like your name – and make sure you can keep it forever, ie gmail and not comcast or something. One time this older woman who was in my fencing club wrote down her email addie (she was seriously like in her 60s) and it was like hotmama69 and it scarred me for life. The recruiters won’t be impressed. Don’t do it. And if you use your school addie, that eventually goes away when you graduate…so choose your permanent address wisely. Again I recommend gmail. Sorry. I just do. I love it.

2) Consider bringing your address labels in your purse. Then when you go from booth to booth and a ton of them want your snail mail address to send you information or prizes or who knows what, just stick an addie label on there and move on…way faster. I find it such a pain to write my address repeatedly, lol.

3) wear comfortable shoes for the expo

4) go to the key note and big talks and anything else that looks interesting….and one last time…NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK. PS: I think this goes without saying – don’t be rude to anyone or talk badly/shun any one company – the OT world is small, you never know when it will come back to bite you on the butt! Behave yourself….don’t get really drunk and text and fall into a fountain.

Man I am sooo wise, sometimes it hurts….ahahahhahaa. Go to OT Conference and then blog or write about it so I can live vicariously through y’all!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 4

24 Jan 2011

Finally, a CNN article with a mention of OT!

I've been frustrated that all the bazillion news articles about Rep. Giffords and her traumatic brain injury have maybe mentioned PT but not OT and rarely speech. This one mentions OT; not the greatest definition but better than a lot of them. I hope Rep. Giffords continues to improve with a dedicated rehab staff of OT, PT, speech and other disciplines!

The article is about a recovery from TBI; not specifically about Rep. Giffords case although it mentions her.

http://ht.ly/3Jesl

Read the post below for a great interview with a school OT 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

24 Jan 2011

OT Tonya talks about working in the school systems

Tonya, an OTR in a CA school system with a GREAT website at http://www.therapyfunzone.com that I plan to stalk, very kindly answered some questions I had about working in the school system.
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1) If I know the basic IDEA laws and basic Section 504, is there anything else really in-depth that a school OT needs to be aware of? IE that might get asked in an interview or by a parent or something? 

One thing that you will be asked is if you are familiar with sensory processing and if you are familiar with sensory diets.  As a school therapist, you are there to provide services for the child to be able to access his curriculum and to function in school.  We don’t really provide sensory integration therapy, but we do provide sensory strategies to help the student be successful and make it through his day.  Therefore, it is not necessary to be an SI therapist, but to have a knowledge of sensory strategies and techniques.

2) What grades do you work with and what are your main evaluation tools? Peabody? BOT? SFA? How much training in these evaluation tools is common before doing them alone?

I do Kindergarten through Middle School.  Another therapist covers High school, and a different therapist does preschool.  Evaluations that I use are the BOT, DTVP (developmental test for visual perception), I have used the ETCH for handwriting, and the THS-R (test for handwriting skills – revised) for handwriting, though I really don’t like standardized handwriting tests.  In fact, I rarely use a standardized test for anything because I feel like I get more information when I use my data collection form that I made up (http://therapyfunzone.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Microsoft-Word-OT-school-skills-assessment.pdf).  I usually test fine motor and handwriting and then I do the math and work out what percentage the student was able to write correctly regarding legibility, line placement and spacing.  I don’t believe in handwriting perfection, I believe in legibility, because many doctors would fail the legibility, but do not need OT.

 

Before I did any of these evaluations, I got no training.  You read the manual and do it.  It takes more time scoring them though, and you really need the manuals for scoring.

3) How much documentation do you do on a daily basis and can you briefly mention what it entails.

We keep a log for each student and write in the amount of time seen.  Then we write a note each day we see them (it can be very short, and is basically so that we can look back and see their progress when it comes time to do a re-eval or IEP.  I like to send a note home periodically also.  We have to update goals on the computer at grade times to see if the student is making progress each trimester or quarter. 

 

An IEP is held each year for our students and it seems to work out that I have an IEP a week, but it can vary.  For the IEP you need to write up a short blurb on what they are doing, progress made toward goals, and write new goals.

4) What's a typical day like for you?

I love the days when all that I do is treat kids, but that is not usually the case.  I average going to about 2 schools a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, but sometimes go to 3 or 4.  Once a week there will probably be an IEP after school usually scheduled around 2:30, but can be later depending on the school.  I do some handwriting work, visual motor activities, strengthening activities, etc, and lots of consulting with teachers.

5) What do you think are a few important things OTs should know before considering a school OT job?

The most stressful part is when they forget to tell you about an IEP that you needed to evaluate the child for, and the meeting is in 2 days, so you have to drop everything and get that child evaluated and write it up and be ready for the IEP. 

 

I don’t like stress, and like to have everything done and ready well in advance, so I hate it when I am thrown a curve ball.  But flexibility is required.

 

You have to be on top of getting the evaluations done because the IEP schedule is not very forgiving. 

 

Visual perceptual is a huge part of OT because it ties in so much to handwriting and ability to complete tasks in the classroom.

6) How much interaction do you have with other school OTs, and/or PTs, SPED teachers, etc?

We actually have a therapy office (didn’t have one at the last school district I was at), and we run into each other at least once a week.  There are 3 OTRs and 2 COTAs at the district that I am at.  I share a couple of schools with the COTAs, so we work together with the kids.  It is great to be working with people again.  I never saw other OTs at the last school district I was at, and I really missed it.  You do really get to know the spec ed teachers, and work closely with them.  Often you work in their class during class time.

7) Are the IEPs really difficult and can you talk a little about how a typical IEP is formed?

I don’t think that IEPs are difficult.  Paperwork wise, you just have to remember all of the parts that need to be filled in by OT, but the actual meeting is sometimes a nice break from treating.  It is also a good time to get to know the parent, give them a home program, and discuss what you are doing in OT.  Every once in a while, a parent will have unreasonable expectations, but I find that that is not the norm.  Most of the time we are all working together to get the best situation for the student.

8) So let's say a kid is targeted by his teacher as possibly needing some extra services. Then what? The OT evals him and then writes up IEP goals, or the educational team evals him including an OT and based on their evals they write up a IEP or what? This got me a little confused, the sequence of evals/IEPs etc…

In California, where I work, OT is not a stand alone service, so we can not do an evaluation until the student is deemed eligible for special ed (usually, but there can be odd circumstances).  So, usually a teacher will think that “Johnny” is having trouble with writing or fine motor problems or whatever.  They will fill out a referral form and send it to the therapy office.  We will then generate a form for the parent to sign to give us permission to evaluate (sometimes it gets out of order, but this is how it is supposed to go).  Once we have the parent’s permission, we will evaluate.  Then we need to hold another IEP meeting in order to add OT onto their IEP.  It can usually be a shortened meeting depending on if anyone else did extra evals too.  There can be multiple IEP meetings a year for one child, depending on what needs to be done.  So really, it can go in any order.  They do try to coordinate the evals if they know ahead of time, and try not to have to schedule too many because scheduling them can be a pain in the booty.

9) Do you think a new grad can go into the school system successfully? What about a semi-experienced therapist but without school experience?

I think that it would be difficult for a new grad to do the school system because of the lack of interaction with other OTs.  It would be easier in a really big school district, and also easier at a preschool because you would be in one place rather that traveling to 8 different schools in a week.  A semi experienced therapist could do it though.  It would be best to have other therapists to bounce things off of, and again mostly because you can feel very isolated, which is hard if you don’t have too much experience. 

10) What workshops do you recommend? Handwriting without Tears? Interactive Metronome? Therapeutic Listening? Etc  

Handwriting without tears is a good one.  I took a workshop on putting together the handwriting puzzle.  Autism classes and sensory classes are important to take as well.

11) Anything else you want to say? 😉

Organization is really important when working school district.  You have so many schools and it is hard to keep track of what you are doing for who at what school.  One pain about working in the school district is that it takes over your car.  No one can sit in the front seat of my car during the week because that is where I keep my papers and files.  I can’t go to Costco after work because there is no room in the back of my car for bulk items as it is full of toys, activities and other OT related stuff.

 

I hope that this was helpful.  I felt like when I started school district that I had no resources and it was really frustrating.  That is one reason that I started Therapy fun zone.  I felt like I was re-inventing the wheel by having to make eval write up templates etc.  

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

21 Jan 2011

Mental Health Rotation in Occupational Therapy as a Fieldwork Student

I write this at sunset with my cat howling outside for love. 🙂 And I’m bored but not in a “I’m going to be productive” kinda way, more in a ‘Nothing appeals to me” kinda way, so I guess I’ll write about showers, haha.

So let me start off by saying that I’m actually quite a private person when it comes to things like showering and toileting…but as it turns out depending on what area you work in OT, you have to get pretty Un private…at least being around other people. In my case, we used the shower for one of our assessments on their cognitive level using Claudia Allen’s levels…so all new admits had a shower at one point or another. (Backtrack – only if their initial evaluation showed them to be at an ACLS score of 3.0 or higher if I recall correctly…below this level I believe it meant they required more than max A and were not appropriate for me to shower them). This was a behavioral health ward, locked, for geriatric people with behavioral problems severe enough to warrant going inpatient. This could be something like depression or dementia or schizophrenia, etc. Some were higher level – I basically offered them the chance then held back to see if they could cognitively figure out the planning of it all, like “Okay I need my towel and a change of clothing and some shampoo etc”….and I was scoring them based on this. Because some would say “Oh yes! I need a towel!” and then that would be it….no other cognition on what else would be necessary, and I’d have to cue them. Others would be lower level and need complete cuing and/or me doing most of the work….

Our shower room had a large shower with a hand-held shower attachment plus tub bench. Almost EVERYONE used the tub bench, minus a few really high level pts (usually the ones with just depression). The tub bench was actually also a commode bench meaning there was a hole in the middle. What THIS meant was that some of the patients with severe dementia associated being placed on a hole in a bench as a toilet, and would either urinate or defecate in the shower. Urination was not so bad but dealing with defecation in the shower wasn’t fun. 🙁 I was wearing my normal clothes and depending on their level of asistance I’d be standing by their side…sometimes having to help (either for physical or mental reasons) shower them, other times just being nearby. Most of them required at least a little assistance, like with their backs and feet, although if I recall correctly as this was years ago, they weren’t necessarily losing points for that. Hmm. I forget.

Anyway – some of them were quite docile and just a little confused or passive, needing me to start the process of putting soap on a washcloth and then typically if i put it in their hands, even if they weren’t really “with it”, muscle memory would kick in and they’d start rubbing….although they would maybe just rub the same spot over and over again with verbal or physical cues needed to move to other spots. It always was a little awkward if for example a man needed me to help clean his privates or something. I can’t remember if a male aide would be in the room with me for that…we didn’t really have many male employees in that area. It was rarely necessary though since usually I could hand them a washcloth with soap on it, put their hand on it and put it in that area….and usually if they were that low level they weren’t getting a shower from me anyway….blah blah blah can’t remember the details now!

A few would be agitated or manic and that would mean that for the sake of independence, they needed to be able to hold onto the shower attachment themselves, but that always put me at risk in terms of getting soaking wet since they’d let the water fly everywhere, lol. But if I held onto it was less independence, so I really wasn’t supposed to do that unless they were going really extra wild. I definitely got wet a lot…and sometimes ridiculously hot. I always tried to give them as much dignity as possible – most were old enough and hospitalized enough to be beyond caring, but for the younger depressed ones who were cognitively intact (at least more or less) I did my best to give them privacy while being safe. I didn’t want to lose my license having a pt fall and break their hip while my back was turned but I also didn’t want to stare at them…so tried to keep a balance of being safe while giving dignity/privacy as needed.

Remember I was on a fieldwork so I didn’t always make the best decisions…one time I showered a man who was aphasic (I think due to dementia) and easily agitated…he kept saying “G_damnit” and other curse words with increasing agitation as the shower dragged on. I tried desperately to figure out the problem but couldn’t….he was also physically disabled so that didn’t help matters. I actually successfully got him through the shower but felt like a failure, although I found out that actually the nurses had been unable to give him a shower at all, so it was actually impressive. I think a lot of staff occasionally overlooked him since he was aphasic with dementia but his curse words usually seemed to have different expressions and so I tried to make it clear I was listening and trying to understand….like he might say a curse word in a nice tone of voice versus an angry tone of voice depending on the situation. It was SEMI- only slightly – amusing at times but mostly I felt sorry for his struggle. That was definitely the hardest shower, I’m not even getting into all the details!

I dreaded the showers because of the dignity/privacy issue + the heat + water….luckily I don’t think I ever had to do more than twice in a day. They could be long ordeals especially since I wasn’t supposed to cue unless necessary (ie wait patiently for them to get to next step of logic until clear it’s not going to happen, based on scoring the cognitive levels). I remember one time I was about to take a lady down the hall to the shower when another patient started screaming and throwing chairs in the hallway, so I closed the door to her room and we sat there (me losing productivity units but it was worth it to not put her or me in danger!) until the person was calmed down enough for it to be safe.

One of my patients had the same pair of red heart underwear as me!!! She was picking out her clothes and grabbed that pair of underwear and I was like “I have that same pair!!” and we both laughed. 🙂 I have to say I had my favorites…some based on their family members or their level of sweetness or vulnerability. Like obviously I was not thrilled with the agitated ones who threw things (like cups of water in someone’s face, or chairs etc) since they scared me. But I liked the ones with dementia who were sweet, just not cognitively intact…I was supposed to leave the unit at a certain time to do notes etc but I very, very frequently stayed at the unit later than planned just to sit with some of them or get them a glass of water or something, if all the nurses/aides were busy at the time…I always felt sorry for them. One of my favorites used to sing. We had activity groups twice a day (which I dreaded more than showers – leading groups is HARD for me) and sometimes as a little break I’d ask her to sing us something. She actually sent a CD to the office after she was discharged, for me. 🙂 Some of them I would think were with it, and then as we went through the MMSE or SLUMS, I’d realize were only superficially with it.

Keeping track of days was a hard one for these patients. When you are in a hospital, especially for behavioral ones, it’s easy to lose track of time…..we tried to always keep updated calendars and stuff in each room “Today is X”….seeing as how that’s a common question. Honestly considering I had to always look at my watch which has the date on it, it didn’t seem like a fair question…if I can’t answer it why should they be able to. haha. I liked it when they said it was like…the year 1930 ….or that they had to go get the milk out from the spring….it was heartbreaking when they would FREAK out and
scream and bang at the locked door wanting to go get their children from school or something…they’d argue piteously “My child is only 3, what kind of monster are you, let me go” – of course these were like 90 year olds with dementia who were confused- we’d do our best to distract them in kind ways so that they would forget, which they usually would.

I had to go to a self-defense class when I started using HELP principles – basically it’s to help you extract yourself from a physical situation using body leverage while NOT hurting them. You know how most self-defense is like kicking someone in the crotch or nose….this was opposite. We tried to preserve ourselves AND them. Like if someone grabs you tightly around your wrist as you are walking by…how to get out of it using leverage and not just punching them in the face, for example.

I occasionally, but luckily rarely, had to visit a different ward that had younger, more psychotic patients, that were also more violent. This always made me very nervous. Even with my new training (which I have now totally forgotten), I never liked knowing that I was potentially at the mercy of a patient. And you always had to be careful about getting out of the ward – since it’s locked, patients would try to slip behind you…you’d sometimes have to ask a nurse to distract the patient long enough to get out!

I got to really like the nurses and doctors….they ran the place well. They really cared about the patients. I wish their had been a higher staff to patient ratio but with funding, that’s impossible just about everywhere. I told one of the psychiatrists about the SLUMS test which is similar to the MMSE and he liked it a lot….he liked me a lot actually which made me proud! I used the COPM with one depressed patient to make some shared goals and put it in her chart and he looooved that. ahahaha.

I guess I should clarify that this was a mental health rotation – OTs are not seen in mental health settings nearly as often these days but we can certainly work in those arenas. While I was in that ward the point was to figure out the cognitive levels of the patient in order to determine how much they would benefit from my activity groups (ie if they were a candidate) and how much assistance they may be needing in basic self-care, and then to work with patients individually as needed to work on improving certain life skills….this was rare considering most had dementia. Also, by regularly assessing their cognition using a variety of methods, I could help contribute to decisions as to whether the patient was safe to go home or needed a nursing home, etc…..I’m probably forgetting some things. That’s a start.

That was a hard rotation for me in that each day my heart raced as I entered the ward….and each day my heart raced as I had to give a shower…or if I heard an agitated patient start up…or as I started each activity group…..but I learned a lot and worked very hard and I like to think I helped make a positive difference, even if temporary, in some of their lives!

I could share sooooooo much more….and maybe I will one of these days…..but for now I guess I’ll stop. This started out about showers and became a looong post huh. If anything I says scares, offends, disturbs, you….please ask for clarification or something. It’s always possible I said something incorrectly or inadvertently …I dunno. Just ASK me if anything seems wrong…I always welcome comments. Remember I’m talking about an experience I had as a STUDENT and that it was YEARS ago so I may be remembering some things wrong…and if any of it scares you….don’t let one person’s experience scare you! Sooooo many diverse places out there…you will probably never be in that kind of position unless you seek it out. But mental health is a cool area for OT….wish there were more options (and that it paid better, lol). I think adult physical dysfunction, especially in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, pays the best…but not sure. Pediatrics usually pays least.

Well my cat is still crying…so I am going to go give it some love. ASK ME QUESTIONS IF YOU NEED TO! It kind of makes me nervous to post things like this in case anything comes across wrong!!
PS: I realized I kind of posted more of the negative highlights…because obviously that’s what stays in my mind the strongest…but there were a LOT of positive things too…must write more about those next! 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 4

20 Jan 2011

sweet comment and school OT stuff

I get nice comments on and off, but this is by far one of my favorites 🙂

“I like your blog because it is real. There are some other OT bloggers out there who blabber on and on about political OT stuff, and there is a lot of talk, but no real life connection. You are real life, and I love that. “

That was left by Tonya on my last post. I REALLY appreciated that, Tonya. More than you can imagine. There are some really good OT bloggers out there now who are very smart and very articulate. They post a lot about research and their treatments in great detail. I really admire their work, but it also makes me feel intimidated and stupid in comparison. My blog is nothing but a bunch of babbling most of the time (especially now!). But it is REAL, like she said. I share my thoughts, haphazard as they may be, and it's honest ponderings (I think I made that word up, lol). So on days when I read those other blogs and cringe at my own blog in comparison, I'll try to remember comments like Tonya's that remind me I still have readers who like my babbling, haha. Plus I heard from Meredith, a brand spanking new OT student who is REALLY enthusiastic and apparently told her class that she got interested in OT because of my blog mostly! Things like that make me happy and make me feel like I am contributing to the Centennial Vision by getting new people interested in this amazing field. I LOOOOOOVE occupational therapy – I don't always think it's done correctly (and that includes myself in that category), but when it's done right, it can make such a monstrous difference. And it spills over to everyday life. Yesterday I spoke to a friend my age who has trouble remembering to take her pills. I talked to her about using a cell phone alarm or something else, at the time of day she is most consistently at a certain spot, and to keep them at that spot, etc etc. She appreciated the advice. Sounds simple, but she hadn't thought of it. Common sense is not always common!

I just got back from Pilates Plus – walk down, the 45 minute intense strengthening class, then the walk back up the dreaded hill of doom. Ooh how I hated to walk up the hill with a heavy backpack after school! But I know it was good for me….both for the fresh air and sunshine and the cardiovascular exercise of course. Southern CA has for the most part had a string of lovely, warm, sunny days. Minus the fog of yesterday. I told my Facebook friends the fog was my part. I had been lamenting it was hard to study (in preparation for the job interview) because of how nice it was and boom I woke up to the fog. Someone is listening up there! 😉

I heard back from a hospital last night – I'm about to call them. And then I'm going to start calling individual schools. My friend who is a school teacher recommended contacting individual schools, not just the district, to let them know of my availability as an OT. I'm going to wait to start calling the nursing homes or adult positions until early next week.

A tip the school teacher told me about that an OT recommended which I have actually never heard – or at least not remembered – was that she taped sand paper to the bottom of a kid's desk so he had something he could feel during class…I thought that was a good idea for some kids who needed that kind of sensory input! As always, don't do anything I talk about without going through proper channels! haha

Alright. I have quite a bit of school studying to do – reading up on the basic IDEA laws, IEPs, objectives, Section 504, assessments like the SFA, etc. And phone calls to make. So I better stop. My goal tonight is to write up the behavioral health shower and/or groups post!

Favorite quote from lady with dementia EVER (one of my patients)

Patient: You're a pretty girl, aren't you
Me: Thanks!
Patient: Would you be so pretty WITH YOUR HEAD CUT OFF?
Me: Probably not!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

19 Jan 2011

Slacking biggg time on the whole OT blogging :)

I just heard from a friend who gave a seminar to rehab students; he apparently mentioned my blog with praise. If you are reading it nowadays, there isn't much to praise, unfortunately! I've been a really bad blogger. My biggest readers still tend to be prospective students – while I do think they can get a good idea of what OT school is like by reading the archives way back at the beginning, I have to say that since I haven't been a beginning student in like, 5 years….I am not probably the best person to ask for up to date advice on the process!!

So….read my archives/past and try not to look at my newest blogging too closely or you will be disappointed. I'm still pondering in my head about how to write up my 7 weeks in Bogota, Colombia, at CIREC – a rehab center that works closely with land mine victims. I'd like to submit an article to OT Practice (like a reflection of the hearts kinda piece, one page) but first I need to think of how to write it up!

I'm also still working on getting a job. I get a little overwhelmed by people who apply to a bunch of jobs/interviews at once; I've always been the type to throw my eggs in one basket. And with the exception of one exceptionally painful experience, it's always worked. I'm a very honest person in most ways ( we all tell our white lies) – so I have a hard time going into interviews acting as if it's the one and only job I really, really want…..unless it's true. Right now I am waiting for a job panel interview next week, where I have to answer some basic questions and then get ranked. I'm studying school OT as we speak, I have four textbooks open to pages on school OT (the Case-Smith OT for Children book has the best/most extensive amount), a whole bunch of hand-outs I printed out from various websites, at least one of which I shared in an earlier post, and then I ::gulp:: need to go through the 200 pages of the CA for school OT/PT book! I'm going to formulate questions they might ask and hope I'm right on at least some of them. I need to get familar with IEPs, IDEA, commonly used evals/assessments, etc….I am going to try and write my notes up on the computer so I can transfer them to you all.

What's nice about OT is that there are so many options…..although when it's time to find a job it can get overwhelming to decide….do I want to work in a nursing home? A rehab center? Outpatient? Peds? Adults? Schools? Hospitals? I've already determined that rehab centers/SNFs kind of freak me out but you never know….I am always VERY tired in the early morning, no matter how much I've slept….my heart is racing and I feel like I will jump out of my skin because of the adrenaline that tries to kick in to compensate…when I have to help people get up with their ADLs and they are in dark rooms waking up and then wanting to shower or get ready and it's really hot, I find it very stressful! It's a sensory overload for me. Therefore I think I'd prefer a job that doesn't start early in the morning with ADLs….I can do it just fine without people realizing I am struggling, but I'd prefer to not go through that torture!! One of my former classmates was actually helping out with a shower for a spinal cord injury patient and got reallly hot and fainted and hit her head and had to go to the hospital!! Yikes.

I'll have to remember to tell you all about showers…..I had to give a ton of showers during one of my fieldworks at a behavioral health hospital. Wow. That's worthy of a post by itself. Maybe my next post. Ooh the memories!! Oooh, ooh….I can think of lots of the top of my head about that fieldwork…

Just rambling now – I always feel guilty neglecting my blog for long even when I have nothing specific to say beyond still job hunting and putting a lot of hope into a school position right now….but have quite a few other options in the works if need be. 🙂

Better stop procrastinating. I just signed up for a 2-day Handwriting without Tears workshop in San Diego in March, which I am looking forward to. Used very often in pediatric therapy. And I am looking into CPR recertification to do this week too since almost all days require current CPR cert from AHA or Red Cross….I am going to wait on new TB test until I find out requirements of where I end up working..some want it done only at their own facility.  And now I need to work on a cover letter, call a few nursing homes, and read up on more and more school OT. As I've been begging lately….if you are a school OT, puh-leez let me know so I can contact you to pick your brain a little bit, or just admire you. 😉

Hope your eyeballs didn't bleed reading this!! Writing is my therapy…helps me pull everything out of my brain. Like that Harry Potter thing where the wizard would stick a wand to his head and extract thoughts to help clear it……

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

18 Jan 2011

Baby gorilla receives OT for developmental delays

http://ht.ly/3G0jq

Cutest story ever, SO COOL! I love it. And by the way, if you are a school OT, please check out the post below where I ask you to contact me pleeeeease. ENJOY THE BABY GORILLA!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

18 Jan 2011

Any school OTs out there???

http://www.school-ot.com/index.html

Very basic -and therefore helpful – link for OT students and beginning OTs regarding some of the basics of pediatric therapy! 🙂

Hey, any school OTs out there reading my blog? If so PLLEEEASSEEEE e-mail me or comment – I would LOVE to chat with you!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 4

12 Jan 2011

OT recruiters?

I am really perplexed with my job search. I'm starting to think maybe I should try for a job working with adults again. However, this is a struggle because I don't understand at all the world of recruiters for OT. How does that work? And how do I know if its a good recruiting company? I see ads for SNFs and nursing homes and I am MAYBE interested but we all know some SNFs are evil and some are not, so how do I know if I got a good one? Hmmm.

Thinking, thinking, thinking. NEED HELP! 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

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