30 Sep 2008

Day 1 of 2nd rotation – Level II OT student, physical dysfunction

I was really nervous about starting today, but it was a good day. Both OTs were out of town and when I got there at 830am there was no one of the OT persuasion in the department. The office manager encouraged me to read the OT student manual since she had to do payroll, which was fine with me, so I got started skimming that. The COTA came in around 9am and she instantly put me at ease. She was very sweet and laid-back and smart. It was a busy day for her since no OTs were around, so she did her chart reviews – showing me stuff as she did – and then we went up to see patients. Or rather she saw patients, I observed. We saw a man with an amputation and scooted him out from bed to wheelchair, a confused but very sweet woman (“Oh, gee, my hip hurts horribly, what happened”) with a left hip fracture who we helped with toileting (yes, sometimes you have to wipe bottoms as an OT), a young woman with a stroke, and a few others.

Several of the sessions were co-treats with physical therapy – in an acute care hospital you are often dealing with people who are quite low-level and so the focus of OT/PT is often just on getting up and walking to a bedside commode, for example.

We had lunch in the gym around a giant mat, with speech therapy – turns out there is a speech therapist there who went to Rhodes with me – and PTs and OTs – and they were discussing everything from airport delays to wound care, so it was an interesting lunch.

One of the PTAs (physical therapy assistants) asked how far I was in school and I was like six months from graduation, this is my second rotation…and she was like oh good, we’ll get you up and running soon…I was like AUGH!!!! AUGH! AUGH! lol. My pediatric rotation taught me skills in different ways, but not skills that pertain to an acute care rotation…I feel pretty virginal in my ability to handle phys dys.

After lunch the COTA wrote up notes while I watched and then she gave me a mini tour and showed me where to park. Oh, during lunch-time the office manager walked me outside to the loading dock to show me where the therapists have to walk in and we passed by several dead people were being wheeled out on stretchers (covered up) since incidentally the morgue is right there at the loading dock. I was like…how festive.

I got to leave around 230pm since the COTA is a new mom and picks up her baby…..went to Curves and worked out, went to Landau to buy a sleeveless labcoat (labcoats required, I had a long-sleeved one but sleeveless ones are okay and I would be too hot in the long-sleeved ones)….came home and chilled with Lester the Lion Kitty.

Poor Lester is on antibiotics and so twice a day he is like YAY attention from Mommy…oh no Mommy what are you doi—- OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! WHAT DID YOU JUST DO TO ME!!!! ::snorfs and slathers and snoofles and gets liquid everywhere:: HOW COULD YOU MOMMY!!!

Oh, late last night my kitchen light died, then this morning my bathroom light died so it was fun getting ready for my first day with no lights in two main areas…then this afternoon I came home and my living room light died. I replaced all the light-bulbs but is it not very odd that all 3 died in one 24 hour span? Especially since they are all on different schedules so to speak, it’s not like I normally replace them at the same time.

So………I’m too lazy to log into Bloger and make it a short post with a link to Read more, so um, deal with it this time. I’ll try to be better about tiny posts again next time. Sorry.

It’s 9pm….I am going to look up some phys dys stuff to add to my binder, shower, and try to go to bed at a reasonable time. I tried to nap earlier -unsucessfully – because sometimes it’s not that I’m that tired, but that my brain wants to shut down from being overwhelmed – but my brain refused to go on Standby and was like Buzz buzz buzz. So I laid down a while to give my brain a break. And oh, I watched Desperate Housewives on abc.com and by half-way through it my head was in my hands because it was such an -addicting- trainwreck.

ANYWAY………..I had a good first day…haven’t talked to anybody else yet to know how others did…but will keep y’all posted

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

30 Sep 2008

Random post from stuff gotten from e-mails

AWESOME news (I copied this announcement, hope I don't get in trouble….exciting though…can't wait for launch):

AOTA Set to Launch OTConnections

Occupational therapy students have been the inspiration behind AOTA's new online community, OTConnections, Using your example of building relationships with online friends, occupational therapy professionals now have their own dedicated community where they can interact with and learn from colleagues. After all, it's not just what you know, but who you know! 

Woman's Day mentions occupational therapy since an occupational therapist helped develop a writing fundamentals kit – I forget whose blog I found this on:

A cool OT-related site with some neat articles, including a post on things to make life easier, this is my favorite (which she got from another source): “Open the cupboard under the dishwasher and put one foot up on the edge while doing dishes it really helps your back”         http://www.squidoo.com/wholehealthobjectives

Completely RANDOM but it made me laugh, watch closely: http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc-webcams.html

A lady named Faith left an interesting comment on my blog regarding poetry after I briefly mentioned some therapeutic uses of poetry.  Her comment is below, and also a tiny excerpt from a poem that I got from the Writer's Almanac Digest which I get daily in E-mail, from NPR….I see OT in everything and I liked this poem because this is an old man – writing this nostalgic poem – and I just want to be like – Dude, you just needed some school-based OT. But I guess he wouldn't have a poem to write about his academic failures had he gotten OT ahahaha, so it's six of one, a half-dozen of another…HEY LOOK I USED AN EXPRESSION CORRECTLY FOR ONCE!!! A shocking accomplishment.


And the old nun's ruler.
I feared everything: God,
Learning, and my schoolmates.
I could not count, spell, or read.
My report card proclaimed
These scarlet failures.

“Zimmer in Grade School” by Paul Zimmer from Crossing to Sunlight Revisited: New and Selected Poems. (c) The University of Georgia Press, 2007.


Faith has left a new comment on your post “Last of randomness“:

I loved the post about poetry having therapeutic uses. I love literature and am interested in becoming an OT. I was searching for a way of combining the two and found out that there is a whole discipline of literature and poetry therapy – a good book is 'Land of Stone – Breaking silence through poetry' by Karen Chase:

For more than a decade, Karen Chase taught poetry writing to severely incapacitated patients at a large psychiatric hospital outside of New York City. During that time, she began working with Ben, a handsome, formerly popular and athletic young man who had given up speaking and had withdrawn from social interaction. Meeting on the locked ward every week for two years, Chase and Ben passed a pad of paper back and forth, taking turns writing one line of poetry each, ultimately producing one hundred and eighty poems that responded to, diverged from, and built on each other's words. “Land of Stone” is Chase's account of writing with Ben, an experience that was deeply transformative for both poet and patient. In Chase's engrossing narrative, readers will find inspiration in the power of writing to change and heal, as well as a compelling firsthand look at the relationship between poet and patient. As she tells of Ben's struggle to come out of silence, Chase also recounts the issues in her own life that she confronts by writing with Ben, including her mother's recent death and a childhood struggle with polio. Also, since poetry writing seems to reach Ben in a way that his clinical therapy cannot, Chase describes and analyzes Ben's writing in detail to investigate the changes that appeared to be taking place in him as their work progressed.

There is also lots of stuff on the web under writing and healing – a particularly good site is www.oneyearofwritingandhealing.com

Have fun, and thanks so much for writing on this blog, I have found it so helpful and really inspiring!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

30 Sep 2008

loneliness and volunteerism…apparently a link

So…a new friend asked me the other day why I volunteered so much, what was my driving force? I don't get to volunteer nearly as often as I did because of my fieldwork rotations, but I volunteer at two pediatric hospitals, an Alzheimer's Day Center, and an Assisted Living facility – now that I'm on fieldwork I try to hit one of the pediatric hospitals 2x monthly (weekends), the AL facility 2-3x monthly (Bingo nights), the Alzheimer's Day Center and other pediatric hospital about 1x a month (when I get off early). I also try to send postcards pretty regularly, to people I know but especially to older people I know are lonely, in my project eleanor rigby. Anyway, the other day a friend commented I take on lonely people as projects (which I found an interesting take), and then this new friend asked me about my driving force, and I realized it was an interesting question. I believe volunteer work is important – I know some people literally cannot afford to do it, but there are many others who would/should. In fact I think a lot of lonely people would benefit from volunteering. But I guess I am digressing. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting question, and I realized that I guess I have an affinity for lonely people. I'm one of those people who can feel lonely in a crowded room – it's gotten a lot better the last few years, but I often felt lonely growing up and it's not a fun feeling. I guess knowing the feeling of loneliness makes me not want others to have to feel it. When I explained trying to alleviate some loneliness, the friend said….but the person will forget you were even there. And that reminded me of the story of man throwing stranded starfish into the ocean, saving them one by one and how to each one it saved, it made a difference. And so to me…yes, maybe that woman will forget in 5 minutes that I held her hand for an hour. But for that hour, she was content, and maybe even if she forgets she had a specific visitor, the sense of calmness it brought her, will linger a while.

I guess that was really a rambly incoherent paragraph but whatever, it's just thoughts in my head. 🙂 I challenge anyone reading this to take the time to do something nice for someone lonely within the next week – writing a quick postcard, holding a hand, a hug, a small gift, or most importantly, a few minutes of your focused time – can make such a huge difference.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

29 Sep 2008

Yay first day not so bad

First day was actually fine! Although no OTs were there today. I followed a really nice and great COTA! 🙂

And I think tomorrow I'll be following my OT supervisor for six evals! Gee fun 🙂 Will be good practice/experience. More details later on tonight.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

29 Sep 2008

Yay slightly less stress, still scared

K…I've gotten my mailbox down to 16, answered a few vital Facebook messages and the rest can wait…and have a bunch of random OT stuff to post tomorrow…

For now I'm going to jump in shower and then keep reviewing OT stuff/get paperwork in order…I'm a little less stressed than earlier….

Tomorrow is hopefully not too stressful or long of a day since my OT is out of town until Tuesday – I mostly just have orientation with an office manager (like filling out paperwork) and then may get to spend a little time with the COTA. That's good since then I can do some more preparation – since I've hardly done a thing specifically related to OT! 

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

29 Sep 2008

Yay! I am going to be a bridesmaid!

My OT classmate Allison is getting married 7/11, and she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids!!

I've never been a real bridesmaid before, so someone has to tell me etiquette and all that!


Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

29 Sep 2008

Mini immediate update

i sent my message and immediately the phone rang – by coincidence – and it was my former OT supervisor Christy calling to wish me luck, give me some advice, and tell me it would be okay, lol. Very sweet.

I feel a little better already. But still a lot to do. So onward ho….lol

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

29 Sep 2008

My phys dys rotation starts tomorrow and I'm freaking out

Had fun this week. More on that later. But now it's Sunday and I'm stressing out. A lot to do today in preparation for my second (of three) Level II fieldwork rotation, most specifically my physical dysfunction (phys dys) rotation at an acute care hospital, starting tomorrow morning.

I have lots of nice friends who will read this and offer to help me with anything, but it is nothing anyone can help with though – just preparing. A lot of stuff around house, a lot of review, etc. I know people are like just show up tomorrow at the hospital, it's fine. But I have issues with anxiety, most especially regarding this particular phys dys rotation, and the more prepared I am, the less stressed I will be…so it's very important to me to get this stuff done! I've been a social butterfly flitting around all this week so it feels good to have a day to myself. I have a LOT of messages to respond to in various mediums so if I haven't gotten back to you lately, hopefully by the end of today you will have heard from me.

I'm pretty much ignoring the phone/regular e-mails today until I've answered all the older ones…s
Ok, back to work.

Update at 730pm…I've gotten the house prepped and done shopping and gotten gas and found the location blah blah blah, but I'm having a rough time…I'm just kinda freaking out. There's a lot going on in my personal life right now AND I am scared of this rotation and looking incompetent…combination is bad. Nervous and anxious and scared and sad. Not fun. I am going to start reviewing for fieldwork now for a few hours and then try to go to bed at a normal time…but I need lots of good vibes sent my way and if I haven't responded to anyone's messages – that was one of my goals today but I didn't meet it –  it's because I'm shutting-down a little and I guess not ready to handle things, even fun or easy things. I dunno. Maybe writing this will dissolve the issue and in five minutes I'll be fine!! Whatever. Augh.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

26 Sep 2008

Oooh almost done with week off

So……..today was busy day, too tired to even go into it! But I just realized I still need to do the fieldwork final questions (just like paragraph answers on questions about things encountered on fieldwork and special situations etc, that our program has us do), plus I haven't tried to find the hospital, plus I haven't looked over the ortho/neuro stuff, or found my lab coat, or done anything in preparation for starting 3 months of work again. Oopsies. Oh and I'm back to 100+ mails to respond to on gmail alone.

Plus Lester is a little sick (?) with an inflamed mouth and not acting quite right so I am taking him into the vet tomorrow and he'll probably end up with a teeth cleaning/inflammation shot(?) and a flea bath if nothing else, it's going to be expensive, booo, since I'm pretty sure he'll end up being sedated. Grrr.

Tomorrow…….drop Lester off at vet…work out at Curves w/ Kerri…finalize questions for final…hopefully volunteer at alzheimer's day center…babysit….also need to find a time early in day to do the final questions…and to search for lab coat which could take a while cuz I have noooooooo idea where I would have put it….

I think this weekend I have to fore-go most fun invitations and prepare for starting up the new fieldwork since I sure haven't done anything helpful this week! But I have had FUN this week  and that's important in an indirect way…:)

Anyway. Tired. Good night.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

25 Sep 2008

Kristina is doing well….was at two peds hospitals…

My sister’s ACL reconstruction surgery went smoothly, she is home – her boyfriend is taking good care of her – and lucid…:) Thanks everyone for your prayers!

Today I observed at two pediatric hospitals, went to my university, went to the mall with some friends Sarah and Brooke, and now have Sarah over. Saw multiple children with brain tumors, amputations, etc.

Okay. So I started the day by going to St. Jude, the famous pediatric cancer hospital. I’ve been a volunteer there for over four years now! I observed sessions from 9am to 1130- mostly outpatient, one inpatient. The kids are scheduled for only 30 minutes because they are so understaffed in OT. First session was with a child with low vision due to having a brain tumor on his optic chiasm – he needs work on compensatory strategies, visual tracking, etc. Saw two other young children with arm amputations due to osteosarcoma; surprising since osteosarcoma usually hits adolescents and usually is in the legs, not arms. Left the hospital and took a wrong turn and ended up walking half the campus – then in wrong side of parking garage so totally confused – spent like 20 minutes before I finally figured out where my car was. Wow.

Went to UT and dropped off eval to fieldwork coordinator – sat with some of the MOT Class of 2010 for lunch – then headed to next pediatric hospital for a very late orientation. One of the ladies getting oriented was used to the TCU – where all the kids have vents – so Special Care was weird to her! LOL! I learned a few new things, and got to hold a baby that was 5 mo old but looked like a newborn burrito. Very tiny. She got a tiny tiny bottle and I got to feed her and it took her, like, forever, to finish. Then we toured NICU, but I don’t understand why – in my humble opinion, the average joe volunteer should NOT volunteer in a NICU – the babies are too complicated and have too many sensory needs. Very few NICU babies are developed enough that they should be held by a random person. ANYWAY, then I went down to the cafeteria to get a drink to leave, and lo and behold, there was my former OT, in the cafeteria with a 3 year old boy, doing a feeding session with him. I had about 15 minutes to kill and I love feeding sessions so I stuck around – social support is big in these sessions! She had him eating french fries, a rice krispie treat, and chicken – and dipping in ketchup with the “Dip, Dot, Eat” – since he has issues with textures like condiments. Several times he’d wrinkle up his nose and go “That’s naaaasty”, lol. A few times he said some really funny things and I wanted to burst out laughing and instead had to look down so he wouldn’t be reinforced.

Then went and picked up Sarah at dorms – after getting confused in the UT parking garage as to what floor I was – and we met up with Brooke at mall – hung out there a while – brought Sarah back to my house to talk about her stupid sociology project involving ethnic restaurants/endangered species since we went to a Middle-Eastern restaurant a few weeks ago for it. Am about to take her home.

Tomorrow I get to observe a low vision session, go to the gym, volunteer at the Alzheimer’s Day Center, and meet up with a friend to go to a free outdoor concert in the evening…then maybe a mini OT girl reunion tomorrow night. And somebody better be Tivo-ing Gray’s Anatomy and The Office for me!

Oh…and I need to write up questions from the fieldwork final due Friday, and um, I need to start reviewing neuro/ortho and stuff……….um um um lots of stuff….and I’m behind on e-mail and blog stuff. Ok I’m done therapeutically blogging for the night, everything is out of my brain for now.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1 | Tags: