30 Oct 2009


Gonna bring my foam fencing swords and a belly dancing DVD to use with some of my patients…also maybe the cymbals….

we had an outpatient patient write a letter to her inpatient therapists letting them know how she was….I initiated things and speech therapist finished it off and i think it was an awesome collaboration and very occupation based 🙂 yay.

lots of cones and clothespins and dowel rods have been in my past…..and will be in my future too, I know this….but I brainstorm every day and research every day hoping to continue to expand reportoire…..so lets hope I can one day be a cones free therapist 😉

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Oct 2009

COULD THIS BE A POST? By a new occupational therapist?

Well this is a lunch blogging entry. I decided I didn't have enough time to run to the gas station and to buy a frozen pie crust, so I'll quickly blog, only take a 30 minute lunch so I can get out of here earlier! I'm having to get used to the whole getting-paid-to-work-exactly-40 hours thing….have to juggle time! It's not the end of the world to get overtime, but I'd much rather just work exactly 40 hours because um, well, even fun work is work! Considering the majority of people I now interact with are either physical speech or occupational therapists and/or interns in those fields, there is a lot of shop talk outside work anyway. My speech therapy roomie and I talk a lot about cognitive therapy like when working on executive function. We share some patients who need work on high level skills so it's great to bounce ideas off each other.

I am trying hard to be a good and knowledgeable therapist – I've lately learned more about basic splints, and I am in LOOOOOVE with this book called Therapeutic Exercises, written by PTs, and I think it should be a mandatory book. LOVE it. For phys dys that is. Not that phys dys is my love. But I have a passion to learn even if it's not my love since I want my patients to have highest quality care possible!

The other day I had to quickly measure like a bazillion big, medium, and little joints of BUE with goniometers of varying sizes….including all the finger joints. I was a little frazzled. lol.
I do get overwhelmed some days, feeling like I don't know enough or have too much on my plate, but really I don't….just don't like not feeling like I have control and know everything. I study a lot on the diagnoses my patients have, and I am a big fan of educational hand-outs even though I know a lot of people don't read them. I'm NOT a big fan of home exercise programs – HEP – although I do give them, with instruction to incorporate into day (ie lean over kitchen counter to do shoulder pendulum exercises while waiting for oven to pre-heat).

Rural Georgia is cracking me up…..one of the techs calls me Kay-ar-en and it's not to be funny, she just has a thick accent. I love it. And I bring things like hummus or dried mangos with chile and they are like WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT OMG and I am like AHAHAHAHAHA wow.

Karma just got me cuz I just lost a chip in a sea of hummus. I mourn thee little chip. Rest in soggy peace.

I went to lagrange symphony orchestra yesterday – very fun.

Enjoying Georgia, enjoying job, but wish I could start feeling like a therapist and not a student or imposter! But I'm getting there. Slowly.
Sorry for lack of posts lately – internet so slow in Warm Springs that I rarely get on. This is a rare treat to post. lol.

So……..more soon I hope.
PS yeah I need to change my header since i'm no longer a student! :O

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

18 Oct 2009


so it ocurred to me that unlike FW i havent been coming home and writing about my experiences each day….because i cant share them. for me, sharing them is my biggest motivation – writing things down for only my eyes is no fun to me as i feel its a waste in some ways – always better to share reflections so that others can bounce off their own thoughts, ideas, etc….maybe ill try to start writing about my day and sending it to myself….but then in a while going back and modifying details/events so i can post them later on in some form or anther. i dunno. my memory is poor and my need for reflection is great….so when i dont write my life down it almost feels like i never even lived it. hmm.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

18 Oct 2009


I am cleaning out mailbox while sitting in an atlanta bread company in columbus GA with an OT intern Emily and PT intern Tana, and one of the things I am just now about to archive is from June 10th and its from when I found out the devastating news about dream job not going to work out for really painful (but legitimate) reasons….I cannot believe it has been almost 5 months now. Seems like a lifetime ago now that I am living in Warm Springs GA…..amazing how things change…..am sure it all happened for good reason….good for me to be in Warm Springs in this calm peaceful living environment ….anyway…just had to share that wow, its been 5 months. A lot of growth has been taking place. Wow. Just kinda stunned. 5 months. Wow.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

18 Oct 2009

work work work

Haven’t been posting a lot. Time flies away and with slow to no internet access at times, um, blogging gets left behind. I’m starting as the only OT at a satellite clinic tomorrow. I’m nervous but my time in inpatient and outpatient and vocational rehab has all helped me grow. Plus I’ll be working with a very experienced physical therapist who can help me out with some of the things I am not sure about. I really like the diversity and complexity of things you might see outpatient – but thats also what scares me, lol. Vocational rehab has been interesting, I’ve really been intrigued by the students there – they tend to be people with congenital issues like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, myasthenia gravis, etc…….some people with aquired issues. Anyways it seems like many of the students in OT have similar personalities in some ways, regardless of type of disability, which I find interesting.

Ummm……I wish I had a lot more resources…..like lots more books….I love reading about stuff and then seeing it in real life and applying that knowledge. So much to learn. Like right now I want to go research retrograde massage for hand edema. I remember vaguely once reading that massage should be really really really gentle and light as it otherwise causes microvascular damage. But then in general most therapists are relatively firm with their massage on the edema. So I am confused and need to research further.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

5 Oct 2009


Still outpatient…..Tuesday and Wednesday will be challenging for me but I CAN HANDLE IT YO.

just sayin'. 
I only got a few hours sleep last night for various reasons so I am too sleepy to blog much even though I'm on blessedly beautiful fast Internet for once. Oh well. Sorry guys.
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

1 Oct 2009


Finished third day outpatient, definitely learning a lot every day. Frustrated today because due to miscommunication – no one's fault – I ended up doing multiple forms for single evaluation when only one was needed – based on insurance. IE you do a Medicare 700 form (get used to that term) or you do a private insurance form. I was like ALL THIS DUPLICITY KILL ME NOW so I was relieved to discover it was accidental I did that and not something I'd have to keep doing!

I am enjoying all the learning….trying to get down the phrases about low load long duration stretch, increasing normalization of tone, increasing facilitation to X, inhibiting Y, and all the little things you have to write/do/say to make it very clear the services provided are SKILLED and not just like “He did some theraband, yo, it was awesome'. So I'm learned to be skilled. Can't wait for physical agent modalities course.
By the way, my friend Cookie Gimp wrote me to say he was confused as I said I wasn't certified, but according to him (meaning I didn't go google it or anything since I trust him) I said on my blog I was certified in 2007. If I said that I was confused – I took a several day COURSE in thermal modalities for certification, but never took the hours to receive actual certification (it was a required part of my school program and very generous and good – but I never got the hours in because I was never spending time in phys dys locations that did a lot of modalities). I know I was confused about how that worked originally.
Outpatient and inpatient really are two very different beasts….I like them both but I have a lot lot lot to learn for outpatient – like learning the names and how to do provocation tests for example. And it's not necessarily important I ALWAYS remember, so long as for example if I have a patient with bicipital tendonitis, I look up how to deal with it, how to treat it, the tests for it, etc so that I can treat better and diagnose better.
And – all my professors will roll over in their live graves – I did some minor evidence-based research yesterday, looking at articles in AJOT about sensorimotor versus therapeutic practice for best handwriting treatment as well as what type of underlying problems that slow handwriters tended to have. 
I need to sign up for PAMCA which involves a ton of paperwork since I work for the state department of labor, I need to put in request for a day off to make up for the Labor Holiday I worked, I need to fill out a housing request application (I want to try and get pet-friendly housing), I need to continue doing lots and lots of studying for outpatient….like reviewing the ulnar nerve distribution as to how it starts in the C8/T1 portion of brachial plexus….goes down the arm and into pinkie/ring finger etc….and being reminded of how pain versus paresthesias are in different spinal tracts so need to not lump them together as I tend to think of paresthesias (ie numbness, tingling) as pain. 
Learned some median and ulnar nerve gliding exercises today….learned about bicipital tendonitis and rotator cuff pathologies, about “milking” massage to remove edema from hand, learned ways to prevent people from compensating while doing external rotation exercises (force them to hold a rolled up towel under arm so have to keep elbow by side), etc. 
Today was kind of an “off” day in sense I had that frustrating day of repetitive paperwork and then I came home and vegged out/napped instead of working out/being productive….and I made conscious choice when leaving work today to not take any stuff home to study tonight…..my roommate Christy, a PT, made delicious veggie quesadillas and corn/black bean salsa for me and Jamie SLP and her friend Derrick so that was a nice dinner but also “off” since we don't normally eat dinner together….basically everything about today was abnormal.
Tomorrow will be semi- abnormal as well as after work we are going to a “Taste of Newnan” which is some kind of barbecue or chili cook off, I keep hearing conflicting reports, but sounds fun. Newnan is town about 40 minutes away closer to Atlanta. By “we” I mean like half of Warm Springs population, hahaha. It will be the first time in over a month that I've gone two days in a row without working out :O Maybe if I get off early (I have some overtime so if I can leave early I will to avoid that), I'll work out first…..Ive discovered daily exercise is by FAR the most important way I can handle days with less stress, more energy. 
Tomorrow I get in at 730 to finish writing up an eval, hopefully I learned all my important lessons today (ICD-9 CODES ARE EVIL) so that it won't be such a frustrating exercise. We have patients most of morning and afternoon….
I do love being an occupational therapist…getting to say I am a therapist….getting a paycheck!….wearing a name badge and being part of an awesome institution….writing OTR/L…..getting to help people feel better in diverse ways….being surrounded by fun healthcare workers…..oooh the outpatient techs CRACK ME UP. Love them. 
Blah blah blah. If you read this all you must be really bored. I'm waiting to jump in shower after someone's laundry done. Good night!! 
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none