30 Oct 2007

Brain Train, Minnesota Rate of Manipulation, and a Good Day

Today was actually a pretty good day. The first good day I've had in weeks, it seems!

We learned about Brain Train in the morning (a computer program that teaches patience, focusing, etc) – had a long break to work on projects – then had a class on the Quality of Life scales and the Minnesota Rate of Manipulation Test (or something like that). Then a class on Group, and then Allison and I went and worked out. I came home and started laundry, did errands, etc, and now I'm finishing laundry, finishing dinner, and then going to settle down and start working on homework. My goal is to finish several different OT-related projects tonight, since we have finals coming up somewhat soon! It's kind of crazy – every time I think we can give a sigh of relief, we end up with new projects! Oh well!

I also got my new camcorder (a Flip Ultra) and my graphics tablet today – it was my birthday present from my parents, which I bought on Amazon. So I spent easily an hour messing with those two things when I should have been more productive. The good news is, I plan to use both to my advantage, and use them for putting on lots more videos on my blog/Youtube, as well as add captions or silly stuff to my pictures! So both new items should enhance the blog experience.

I'm really good at rationalization.

Ok, I need to get my laundry out of the dryer now. I got stuck in rose bushes earlier, trying to get to the laundry area (across the garden in my landlord's house). For a few seconds I was literally unable to move. You can't make this stuff up.

I plan to put up some mini videos within the next few days, from today's Brain Train and Minnesota Rate of Manipulation Tests. My handwriting post will probably be the last thing I do tonight! My handwriting is horrible by the way! I blame my sinister hand!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

29 Oct 2007

Clients & body fluids

I’ve decided it is time to become more coherent! I’m going to stop with the AUGH posts for a while before I scare away incoming or prospective OT students! Just remember, OT school is amazing and so is the profession!

This weekend I’ve organized my house, organized my papers, organized my e-mails, done errands…well at least did some work in each of those four categories. I also got to play Four-Square today (long story!).

I was going to write about handwriting tonight, and I also am dying to do a post on cheap OT tools, but priority-wise, I’ve run out of blogging time for the night, and I wanted to address an acute issue! So I guess handwriting/cheap tools will be tomorrow.

Check it out here, I updated one of my old blog posts with the problem – it has to do with clients & body fluids.


Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Oct 2007

A hodgepodge of random insanity

So…this weekend I randomly decided (because it was driving me crazy which I guess makes it not so random) that it was time to tackle the re-organization of my clothes, my bookcases, my mudroom, etc…and the net result is that my clean, albeit cluttered, house, has turned into a disorganized dirty house, because I bit off more than I could chew! I have also been doing a ton of research for OT school at an assisted living facility on top of everything else, and I spent several days staying with a kid while his parents have been out of town, so things have been stacking up and/or not been my normal routine. I'm way behind on answering e-mails (sorry all, I'll try to get on top of that asap) I'm way behind on coherency, and I'm way behind on sanity. Definitely having a tough week. So…think good thoughts, I'll try and not go crazy.  Some posts I want to do soon is a post about some great low-price tools for the OT toolbox, and another about handwriting/handwriting tips, based on a recent lecture. Interesting stuff, I promise! And if it's not as interesting as I intended, I'll at least post some crazy picture. So it will be a win-win…

So anyway. I'm delirious. Today my plan is to get my disorganization back into organization, clean, grocery shop, pet-sit, go work on an assessment for OT school on the Routine Task Inventory-Expanded, with another girl in my class, and try to catch up in general with OT work. I hope to write again tonight giving a glowing report on how I've cleaned my house, prepared for the week, and done a ton of work for OT school. But who are we kidding. Tonight's post will probably consist of AUGHing. As is the recent norm. But we'll try for a good day!! Cross your phalanges!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

26 Oct 2007

Handwriting – how an occupational therapist can help

We had an OT in private practice (Physio plus) come in today. She is an UT alum! Her name is Jennifer and she is really nice and knowledgeable. Sh

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

26 Oct 2007

I am not a rote-ational therapist, I AM AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST!!! (student)

So….when on my fieldwork, I talked about how it seemed like we were just “upper extremity physical therapists” when working in inpatient rehab…sure, you see the occasional folding laundry, or unloading fake groceries, but mostly, you see a lot of arm bike, arm pulley, theraputty…I guess that falls under “preparatory methods” in the OTPF, but still! BORING! Tedious! I know those exercises are important for endurance and strength, but we all know it is boring!

So anyway. I was responsible for a treatment plan for a certain patient while on my fieldwork, and I racked my brain trying to think of appropriate activities that weren’t just “arm bike!” Merrolee, famed New Zealand OT Extraordinaire, helped me out. She asked me about his hobbies, and I told her he liked to travel. She suggested I bring a big map and have him stand up (we were working on standing balance and endurance), while tracing where he had been on a map. I thought that was a great idea. I looked for a map in my house, but had to settle for a US map puzzle I had bought at the dollar store, years ago. I brought it in, and I had my patient sort out the states by ones he had been to, wanted to go to, or didn’t care about. He stood up and started sorting. He talked about the places as he sorted, and it was clear he enjoyed it – and he stood up 3 minutes and 30 seconds, which was the longest – by almost double – he had stood up before.

It was a very good example of how occupation-based activities work a lot better than rote activities!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you all enjoyed this episode of ‘Occupation Rocks, Episode 1,3001″

Karen, MOTS!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

26 Oct 2007


Today we had neuro, pathology (joke), a long break, and then a really great lecture from a local community leader who told us how we are in a great profession and helping save souls. In a non-religious kinda sense. And then I went with Allison to go pick up the kid I’m staying with, to find out he had been picked up by his grandfather a few minutes earlier due to him being pushed into a mud puddle. So Allison and I went by his house to check in, then went to the grocery store together, and then I ran home, and in in my unheated 55 degree home I took a shower and got my stuff ready for tomorrow, all within about 20 mins, since I had said I’d be back to be with the kid by 630pm. We went out for pizza & donuts, and now he is sitting here watching Cartoon Network, and I am sitting here writing this! The last few days have been nonstop crazy it seems! And our research project is absolutely insanely time-consuming, so we are even more busy than we normally are. Which is hard to believe. Ugh.

So anyway…I’m kinda stressed out, about life in general, beyond just occupational therapy school…although that’s a lot of the stress. And luckily the fires are abating in San Diego.

I did REALLY REALLY REALLY ENJOY meeting my OT little sister, Talli, yesterday. She wrote me a really nice e-mail today thanking me!

I’m gonna write one more mini-post and then work on some homework for a few hours. I feel like every day I finish one assignment and think I can breathe slightly easier, but then professors clarify something or ask something and bam, we have a new assignment. Augh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok…as always…my refrain…I LOVE OT SCHOOL….I just don’t LIKE it right now…AHAHHAA…get it…yeah, I’m hilarious. No, seriously, OT school is the bomb….and just like any graduate program, it has its pockets of stress!!!! So go to OT school and let your stress be fueled by glitter crafts and wheelchair wheelies and toolboxes and tons of other really fun things! If you are going to be stressed out, don’t you want it to be from fun stuff instead of trying to calculate calculus vectors? If those even exist. I’m not a math person. You won’t find a lot of math people in OT. We’re all about touchy-feely client-centered stuff. 🙂 Math: Two + two = four. OT: Two + two = ? You can do it! Let’s figure it out together!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

24 Oct 2007

A long day! Not much else to say!

My fingers are so cold I can barely type! It’s like severe arthritis! But I refuse to turn the heat on for a few more days…if I can stand it.

I spent 8 to 1140ish doing research assessments and did not poke anybody in the eyeball, so it was a success. Also, nobody asked what occupational therapy was. They weren’t quite at the cognitive level to even be aware that would be a good question! In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t think OT is mentioned anywhere in the study! Hmmm, I bet it is and I am just crazy. I will have to go look.

I spent 12-3ish working on an assessment (the Routine Task Inventory-Expanded, part of Allen’s Cognitive Levels) with Kerri, and then I met my new OT little sib at 330 and we spent almost three hours together! I showed her the monstrous binders and gave her tips on anatomy and stuff. I emphasized it was tons of fun but a lot of work. Not a huge brain strain most of the time (except with anatomy and neuro!), but very time consuming. She seems to be eerily similar to me in many ways so I’m pretty sure I didn’t scare her away. I know that the more information I have, the happier I am, and she is the same way. It was fun! I am going to be spending the next two nights at a friend’s house, staying with their 13 year old child while they are away. So I need to go pack to head over there, I will have ten thousand books with me! And my computer better work there (wireless)!!

Tomorrow we have a neuro class, a pathology class, and umm, some stuff in the afternoon, I forget what! Our schedule changes daily so who knows!

I may think of more things I want to share later on today, but for right now my mind is as numb as my fingers.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

24 Oct 2007

OT is all about the duct tape…

I am stressed out! We got some bad news about a test we took a few months ago where we failed to show “competency” and it really frustrates me. Long and unfair story. Anyway, I’m also stressed because of a bunch of assignments, some class drama, and the fact that, I don’t know, my family and friends are in danger of being fried up in San Diego!

I should be working on my occupational profile, case of marcus, cranial nerve presentation, and routine task inventory assessment, before working at 9pm, but instead, I’m going to procrastinate slightly and share one insight and one quote that I wrote down in my planner from today.

Insight from school therapist Jackie: A trained OT (or really anyone) can sometimes tell who could benefit from OT services just by looking at the art hung up on the halls in an elementary school! I thought that was hilarious and a good point – there is always a few pictures where you can only go “Huh?”

Quote from Jackie’s lecture today on school-based occupational therapy: (I might have the words slightly off but I think I got it right): “Occupational therapists are great at making low tech assistive devices. Give us a milk jug and a roll of duct tape and we will get things done!”

Tomorrow I meet my little OT sibling and also we start doing actual research assessments on actual geriatric residents at an assisted living facility, so wish us luck! I hope I don’t poke any old people in the eye!


Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

23 Oct 2007

Update: AUGH!


Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

23 Oct 2007


All you future occupational therapy students, cover your ears. I swear occupational therapy school is wonderful. 99% of the time. Right this moment I'm in the 1% of the time.

AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!! AUGH!!!!!!!!!!! AUGH!!!!!!!!!!! AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That will be all. More later.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none