30 Apr 2008

Ramble bramble briar rose

I have been hesitant to cover up the pageant, but we're going to be trying to shave seconds off here and there to get it under ten minutes if at all possible, so I'll post the shorter version soon. WHICH MEANS NOW I CAN BABBLE AWAY HAPPILY!!! I've been dying to ramble!! Ramble like a rose!! Or is that a bramble. Or a briar. I have no idea what I'm saying. I'm sleep deprived. And I've been reading a weird version of Sleeping Beauty.

Anyway…I want to discuss holding babies the other day because I got to see a really interesting but hideous opthalmology procedure done on a baby..UGH…and put my hands in an isolette for the first time!! You know, going through the portholes! Also, I'll be trying to get exposure to vent babies, by following an OT who works with them…I'm scared but I have to face my fears!

AND…we had a TOTA meeting last night…with SEVENTEEN MOT 1's there!! Shocking!! Plus a bunch of my favorite OTs!!

AND…we had a fun Low Vision lab recently with lots of pics…AND….a honor society banquet…and…I need to go shower so I'm going to stop now, but the point is, I have lots of stories and pictures to share…bye for now though….

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Apr 2008

Miss OTPF 2008 is HERE!

Even if you aren’t in the OT world, this pageant should be pretty amusing!! Please enjoy! APRIL IS OT MONTH!


  • OTPF stands for Occupational Therapy Practice Framework…a VERY important document in OT Student Land, with specialized vocabulary and everything. 🙂
  • Brooke is the announcer.
  • Karen (me) is reigning Miss OTPF.
  • Stereotypical contestants are: dorky Meg, cheerleader Stephanie, snobby Kim, mean Allison, one-upper Kerri, and South Carolina ditzy Emily.
  • Neal, our tech guy, helped a TON…and HE put in the “does it all” part in my name in the credits…I swear I didn’t ask for that. lol
  • Filming took place in our big OT lab, made possible by…..I can’t say until we get permission. lol.
  • Our department chair okayed the video
  • It’s a SPOOF…and based on limited time, money, editing skills, budget, etc. For all these reasons it is not very occupation-based. Don’t point this out, we already realize this.
  • Feel free to make your own Miss OTPF 2008 even BETTER and post it!
  • YouTube can’t accept 18 minute videos – Google Video can.
  • This was primarily aimed for an audience of other OT students – but hopefully all can enjoy.
  • I became Miss OTPF by default last year one day when I had the OTPF with me and nobody else did…every time the OTPF was mentioned from there on out, my name was brought up….from now on I’ll hopefully win by dictatorship. We’ll see if there are any other Miss OTPFs out there that are cooler. We could have a champion Miss OTPF contest….hmmm.
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

28 Apr 2008

Vestibular book – the Brain that Changes Itself

My friend Joey sent me an e-mail titled “Vestibular and brain plasticity” and I’m copy/pasting some of it! The book sounds great. Hope it’s at the public library!

“””””I read your post on Vestibular rehab and it piqued my interest. I’ve
been reading a book called ” The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman
Doidge. It’s about brain plasticity and so far it is incredibly
interesting. Anyway, he begins the book by speaking of a woman named
Cheryl Schiltz who feels like she is perpetually falling, her
vestibular aparatus is not working because of gentamicin (a drug given
to her following surgery). Doidge then goes on to speak of Paul
Bach-y-Rita (a neurolgist who seems AMAZING). Bach-y-Rita and his
colleagues are trying to find a way to help her constant dizziness and
lack of balance. It’s a very interesting endeavor. She wears an odd
looking aparatus and has a small plastic strip which she puts under her
tongue. To make a long story short, Cheryl regains vestibular function
because of brain plasticity. I thought the story was amazing. And
makes me want to learn more about the brain!””””

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Apr 2008

Airport drill…

There is an “Airport Triennial Emergency Drill” that will take place on ::this edited date::, as mandated by the FAA. I may get to be a volunteer – being a victim – but it’s unlikely. They wanted volunteers in the health care field to help provide feedback on how things go. Awesome huh!
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Apr 2008

Article:Cuddling helps preemies bear pain

Cuddling helps preemies bear pain: study

A reuters article: “Cuddling up against mother’s bare skin can help
tiny premature babies recover more quickly from the pain of being stuck
with needles and other procedures, Canadian researchers reported on

Thanks Arnie for the link!

Speaking of cuddling, I plan to go hold babies in the morning and if I’m lucky, observe some OT with them. 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Apr 2008

Linkages linkages…

My blog is linked on the AOTA Conference blog!


The presidential address from P.Mo is up on that blog 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Apr 2008

Yay I passed my fake boards

Test Taken: Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR®) Practice Test

Your Scaled Score: 469
Examination score required to pass is: 450

lowest possible score is 300, and the highest possible score is 600. A
total examination score of 450 or higher is required to pass the
examination. Your total scaled score is computed based on the total
number of correct items.

Yay! I passed (barely) the NBCOT Practice Exam without studying at all! Of course I’ll study a ton when the real one comes around, just in case – it’s really expensive to re-take it if you fail!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

26 Apr 2008

OTPF Pageant time….in time for OT Month

Functional Reach Test…



Ohhh the cone-stacking

What a splint.

All bandaged up….

Hello all,

I have been quiet a few days after the recent belated AOTA conference marathon postings. My blog is linked on the AOTA Conference Blog Links now, woot woot. Some of my classmates, our amazing tech guy Neal, and I, successfully completed our Miss OTPF Pageant on Thursday afternoon – it is about 16 minutes long with a casual wear (scrubs), evening wear (khakis/polos), OT-related equipment photo shoot, and OTPF-related interview questions. It’s pretty awesome and, in our opinion, hilarious. It has to be SLIGHTLY edited but with any luck it will be up on Monday, on YouTube, and I’ll link it here.

It’s been somewhat of a yucky week overall, health-wise and project-wise, but at least the research paper has been submitted, and with any luck, next week will be a nice sane week. I just skimmed an article on how Twitter saved a dude’s life and so I was inspired to quickly post and say I’m around….oh and I have a TON OF PICTURES!! From LOW VISION LAB! FROM THE IMHOTEP HONOR SOCIETY BANQUET! FROM THE PAGEANT!!! To share asap! The pictures above will be inserted into the pageant video…we have dorky Meg, one-upper Kerri, mean Allison, ditzy Emily, snobby Kim, and cheerleader Stephanie. And yes, none of those activities in the pictures are truly occupation-based, but that’s because THE PAGEANT IS A SPOOF. HA HA! SEE? IT IS FUNNY!

Ok moving on…lol.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

23 Apr 2008


Brooke rides a bull. In a bar. Not at Conference though. Just in the area.

Meg tries not to fall.
Me, Aunt Cathy, Uncle Jim, Uncle Mary, Grandma, Dad, Mom. PF Changs in Long Beach near Convention Center.

Ok. Deep breath.


1) Getting to meet Chris Bluhm, COO of AOTA, for a brief chat. He was extremely busy of course, but shaking his hand and discussing social networking was well, exciting. We briefly discussed that I’ve been doing some tarsal-smashing without even realizing it but it’s not because I’m offensive or anything (I like to think), it’s just that I’m used to different technologies and different levels of privacy than um, older generations. Or maybe I’m just inappropriate. Whatev. Point is, it was a nice meeting and when he told me it was one of his objectives to meet me at conference, I like, peed my pants. Ok, that was inappropriate. Just kidding, I didn’t do anything but feel happy.

2) Running into a girl named Nadine K in the Expo, who stopped me and asked if I was the blogger. I was like yeah, did you see my name badge? and she said she recognized my face/glasses. LOL. That was fun, I was flattered. She was very nice.

Now for all the amazing people in NO particular order:

Amanda Coffey: OT at St. Jude in Memphis…small world to run into her there.

Shannon Lindsay – UAB student I’ve been in touch with for the Communications Proposal…I kind of think the C.O.O.L project that P. Mo brought up in her presidential addreshad something to do with Shannon’s work…I need to find clarification.

AJOT Editor Mary Corcoran: Was standing by her waiting for some doors to open. Very nice lady.

Crepeau of Willard&Spackman Textbook fame: Ok I didn’t get to MEET her, but I stood within 10 feet and I could feel the particles in the air vibrate with amazingness.

Trombly of Physical Dysfunction Textbook fame: Um, same situation as Crepeau

Emily Harlow: AOTA Staff. Sweet as punch.

Frank Gainer. AOTA Staff. He knows my professor Rosemary from South Dakota. Nice man.

Linda Roccio: AOTA Gerontology Listserv Leader of the World. Really fun.


Claudia Allen: Celebrity Sighting! Celebrity Sighting! ALCS! ADM! ACLS! Oooh the memories of leather. Oooh. She was spritely. Or whatever the word is for spunky/fiery. She reminded me of my grandmother. She was older than I realized and blunt, but still kind and interesting. They have updated the ACLS manual and they are also working on updating the website. I got her autograph which I’m sure she thought was amusing. But I did it for my loyal blog readers, I swear, because well, yeah.

Meg and Brooke both did a little sight-seeing of LA, and both had some friends in the area come visit. Friday night we went to Club Sushi and some Cattle Bar in Hermosa Beach. Meg and Brooke rode on bulls. Yes, bulls. Saturday night was calmer as we had to be up at 4:15am on Sunday morning to go to the airport. Mini taxi cab altercation at 4:45am due to rule breaking on taxi driver parts. Made it back to Memphis with no problems at all.

SATURDAY, my dad, mom, grandmother, and aunt, drove up from San Diego, and we ate lunch at PF Changs along with my great aunt Mary and great uncle Jim who live in Long Beach. It was really fun and so nice of them to have come all that way just for a lunch date.

Ok…I have random comments on other aspects of OT pride but I’m saving them…because it’s 2:15am and I need to finish making corrections on my parts of the Tai Chi research paper due Thursday… tomorrow I’m going to go volunteer at the Alzheimer Day Center for a few hours, then we have class, then I meet a girl from my undergrad college to talk about prospects of going into OT from a liberal arts college, then I have random stuff going on involving errands, homework, and friends, for the rest of the night…oh yeah and preparing for MISS OTPF PAGEANT!!!!!!!! THURSDAY!!!!!!!!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

23 Apr 2008

Post 4: NeuroCom, how I adore thee…or at least your staff.

I am doing my second Level II occupational therapy fieldwork rotation in Vestibular…in a well-known San Diego hospital system. I am pretty excited as this is primarily a physical therapy field with few OTs. NeuroCom had a booth at AOTA Conference and they had one of their smaller systems set up so that people could see how it tested basic balance and such. I tried it and my vestibular system – not surprisingly since I’m dizzy all the time and easily car sick – is bad. I chatted a little bit with Marcia Thompson, DPT, as well as one of her co-workers, Nick K. Both were really kind and helpful and no-nonsense. Marcia reminded me of Julie Dixon (owner) of the Southern Hand Center here in Memphis – smart as a whip, funny as hell, and no tolerance for ignorance!

I ran into Marcia and Nick on Day 2 of Expo and loitered a while because I was hungry for more vestibular exposure, and liked them even more. On Day 3 of Expo, my family came, so I didn’t wander over to convention until around 2:30pm. I walked into the Expo and there were fork lifts and chaos. I hadn’t realized Expo ended so early and everything was getting packed up. I didn’t really have anything to do or anywhere to be so I was just wandering around in there, when Marcia spotted me. They were hanging out in the booth just waiting for the fork lift to bring their pallets so they could box up and had already been waiting a long time. I sat down with them and we chatted a bunch more about vestibular rehab as well as how things work behind the scenes, such as at an Expo. Marcia explained that the booths are very expensive and that you get charged for everything- carpets, trash cans, liners, vacuuming services, you name it. She estimated it cost MANY MANY thousands of dollars when all is said and done, to have had their booth at AOTA conference. Yet it’s worth it if they get even a few good leads on new costumers of the NeuroCom system, which is very indepth and big. More information at www.onbalance.com

These systems are primarily used by physical therapists and neurologists, and most of the interest at conference came from OT students – not a lot from practitioners. Vestibular rehab seems to not have really caught on with OTs yet, although it SHOULD. Marcia encouraged getting into the field and blazing the OT path. She recommended two books – Vestibular Rehabilitation by Susan Herdman, 2007 2nd edition, and the Neurophysiology of Eye Movements By Zee…closest I could find on Amazon was Neurology of Eye Movements by JR Leigh and Zee though.

Those books are freakin’ expensive though, so I guess I’ll wait a while before investing in them! I have to admit eye movements don’t appeal to me much, so I may be miserable in Vestibular Rehab, we’ll see. It seems like there is quite a bit of overlap with Low Vision in terms of knowledge base.

Hanging out and watching the Expo break down was awesome. All these guys in fork lifts were bringing giant boxes out for exhibitors to put their stuff back in, convention center employees were breaking down the generic booths, exhibitors were trying to bribe fork lift men to get their stuff quick, or stressing over finding their boxes, you name it. I hadn’t thought about what a big pain it must be to get all that stuff there…and then back.

I really really enjoyed meeting Marcia and Nick of NeuroCom…knowledgeable and friendly and helpful and they eased my mind about my Vestibular Rehab rotation. 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2