31 Mar 2010

OT Challenges !

Well now I am learning about peripheral neuropathy. Looks like at this point I will NOT be going to AOTA conference after all – in all honesty had I been able to sign up online for AOTA membership like I originally planned, that night I was trying, I would have gone because I was motivated that night. I haven't been motivated since to go dig up my NBCOT certification etc so at this point, not gonna happen. So….I know that makes me the worst person in the world and I really need to sign up for AOTA, but um…..still just haven't found that motivation. And now it's OT month and I'm in charge of that and I should totally promote OT so that makes me a bad role model AND I FEEL SO GUILTY CAN YOU TELL AUGH ::sobs:: seriously join AOTA and don't be sucky like me. I'll join some day soon….my hope is one day I'll ahve a burst of energy and magically get all this stuff done that i've been putting off.

Here is my current, pathologically non-energetic life:

1) Go to work, stress out far more than I should.
2) Come home, take nap of at least an hour or longer – lately I've been able to manage an hour instead of the 2-3 I was hitting for a while there :X
3) Eat something, maybe take a walk with roommate, prep for tomorrow, not do anything like pay bills or other worthwhile household management because I'm too tired,
4) Play online throughout evening to chill, then go to sleep.

My GOAL would be to get through the days with less stress than it's really self-imposed, to not take naps, to work out harder, eat healthier, and spend at least an hour a night doing productive stuff like bills, taxes, preparing for upcoming trips, blah blah…..but I guess all of us have our GOALS and then our real life. I'd love to get a reason for the lack of energy! I manage to stay energetic for my patients but then I'm completely wiped out.

My current challenge is a patient with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, I have to figure out the best practices! I was also researching today the efficacy of exercise programs for people with CP as there is literature saying it does nothing, literature saying it makes it worth, and literature saying it's a good thing. Hmmm.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

26 Mar 2010

Diversity in OT!

Vocational Rehab today consisted of more basic cooking lessons (such as how to figure out that 1/4th cup and another 1/4th cup makes a 1/2 cup), with one student, exploring/demonstrating/discussing things like elastic shoe laces, reachers, and long-handled sponges, room management  [it's residential] and laundry management with another, and discussing telescopes and magnifiers and other low vision issues with another. Also did one session in inpatient rehab with debility involving a lot of standing balance needed for clothing management after toileting…

Right now I'm of course seeing patients in outpatient, inpatient, and vocational rehab, but also working on some well-elderly marketing programs (like arthritis prevention) for presenting at like senior centers, churches, assisted living facilities, etc, plus I am in charge more or less of OT month for my facility so I REALLY need to get hopping on that ASAP. I like the variety of OT….all different ages, all different issues, in many different spectrums, all in one day 🙂

Now what sucks is that it's almost midnight and I'm writing this instead of reviewing modalities, since I am taking a modalities course ALL WEEKEND AUGH to get certified so I can finally do stuff like iontophoresis, e-stim, hot packs/cold packs, paraffin, etc, blah blah blah. 🙂

I commented on a Facebook status today of a girl who befriended me because of the blog (a prospective OT student) and she responded about me being her blogging hero….I thought that was hilarious and I was like I need to go blog!! Meredith is her name and she is sweet and I have no doubt she'll get into OT school.

Alright I'm stopping now. Back to reading about high voltage galvanic stimulation, boo!! Boring to learn [IMHO] but good to know/do 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

24 Mar 2010

PS a final time

I just went through and moderated 17 comments, some of them spam that slipped through and some not….sorry to those who were wondering what happened to their comment, they arre all up now!!

As always I LOVE getting non-spam comments and I especiallly like it when an e-mail or link or name is included instead of just anonymous, when possible, so that I feel more of a connection and/or can answer something easier!!

Now I really am stopping with the PS's….more tomorrow perhaps?! 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

24 Mar 2010

PS….Ot spam comments

Spam comments have gotten harder to figure out these days! I am getting more and more that seem like polite comments but you can tell a computer probably generated them.Weird!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

24 Mar 2010

challenges galore as new OT :)

Today was inventory day and it sucked a lot of monkeys! It was harder than I would have guessed, so sweet teas and a small cookies n cream milkshake that spawned 3 baby milkshakes (split with my two co-workers) made things go a little easier. We had to figure out all sorts of wound care items, splinting items, office supplies, etc! Soo tedious.

I can't remember if I posted about fitting for custom garments….a lot of measurements, I was very fatigued by end of it! I need to brush up on paraplegia and visual impairments, my next two challenges to accompany burns and my fibro/arthritis/other issues person. 🙂 I'm enjoying the challenges but at the same time I wish I had another OT by my side making sure I was doing things correctly! I don't know why in the world (or okay, I do know why but I was wrong) I thought it would be a good idea as a new grad to go off and be the sole outpatient OT within an entire community. I have some good resources but still, as a new grad, you ideally really need to end up somewhere where you have some ON SITE mentorship more or less all the time.

I think I'm doing a pretty good job overall, I try very hard to provide patients with best possible care, but still….I don't always know what I don't know, ya know what I'm sayin' yo? 😉

I take a modalities course this weekend so hopefully soon I will FINALLY be certified in modalities! I'm looking forward to the certification but not so much the weekend of class! I've been completing online modules. It's through PAMPCA and seems pretty cool. One of my co-workrs used them. Time for bed – good night!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

21 Mar 2010

Two new OT student blogs to keep an eye on :)

I SO need to update my blog list. Two more I just became aware of.

http://lauratheot.wordpress.com/
http://otsweetpea.blogspot.com/

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

15 Mar 2010

How to Make Instant Grits in 40 Minutes

Working in occupational therapy in field of Vocational Rehabilitation is an interesting job….we do a lot of basic kitchen work – minimal ingredients/directions, to try and prepare students for more independence as desired by them [said so anti-rehab people don't jump on me!]. I think of making instant grits as an easy thing of course – but I take so much for granted, being (more or less) physically and cognitively intact. Making grits could be difficult physically, or difficult cognitively, and especially difficult with both physical and cognitive difficulties. In cases such as below, as the therapist I try to give the student a chance at every single step to come up with their own solution or answer; only cuing when it's clear they are uncertain of how to proceed. It may take 40 minutes the first time as it may be a brand-new experience, but ultimately it should clearly take a lot less time…I think in the case of someone who needs as much cuing as below, their kitchen abilities will be limited to several VERY LIMITED recipes such as this one and possibly require supervision to make sure things don't go awry in the microwaving process! [ie pressing 11 minutes instead of 1 by accident and then walking off and not being able to problem-solve what happens next.

Working in Voc Rehab has taught me I TAKE SO MUCH FOR GRANTED – we all do. We don't think twice about making instant grits when really we should be thankful we can do it so easily! 

How to Make Instant Grits in 40 Minutes
1. Discuss with therapist on making Instant grits (single serving packets, water, 1+ minute in microwave)
2. Try to find bowl, spoon, and grits within kitchen. Get cues to find each item.
3. Try to find directions on boxes of grits. Get cues to find instructions.
4. Read directions for non-microwave directions. Get cues to read microwave directions.
5. Struggle to tear top off packet.
6. Struggle to empty packet. Ask if entire packet needs to be emptied.
6.5 Throw away empty packet then forget instructions are on it as well
7. Get new packet to read instructions on.
7. Read [incorrectly] amount of water needed. Get cued.
8. Try to measure out water; ask if “this is enough” [no concept of measurement]
9. Put in water; read instructions again. Cues to stir.
10. Stir minimally with large clumps left; get cued to stir further
11. Struggle to figure out how to open microwave; cued
12. Place bowl in microwave
13. Read [incorrectly] amount of time to put in microwave. Cued
14. Translate [incorrectly] number to punch in microwave. Cued
15. Try to figure out how to turn on microwave Cued
16. Try to pick up hot bowl immediately. Cued
17. Eat.
18. Cues to use soap, hot water, on bowl; cues to remove all clumps; cues to place in drying rack.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

11 Mar 2010

Some days I'm an awesome OT, some days not so much…but it's all in my head

I think I was meant to do talk-OT and not hands-on OT! Once I start touching them I'm so scared! Yesterday I had hands-on session: stressed out. Today I had talk session about energy conservation, joint protection, chronic pain management, basic adaptive equipment: AWESOME session with patient saying things like 'This is EXACTLY what I've been needing!” So yesterday's feelings of “I'm so incompetent” were replaced with “I'm so awesomely competent”. Until next time when it may flip flop again. Ah the joys and fears of new practitioner-hood!!

Tommorow is an all day meeting for outpatient! These days I'm outpatient 3 days a week, vocational rehab two mornings a week, and inpatient two afternoons a week….with occasional small changes here/there. So I'm learning a lot of diversity definitely! 🙂

I'm REALLY starting to think about getting back into the blogging routine of reflecting on daily work…..except with lots of safeguards in place to make sure things stay HIPPA/employment safe. I feel compelled to reflect!

I missed early registration for conference even though I do plan on going. I couldn''t sign up for AOTA membership without having to submit my NBCOT certification and fill out a real application, since I am a new practitioner. which is SO INCREDIBLY ANNOYING. It WAS willing to let me re-sign up as a student and I pondered this heavily as it was tempting to do that, sign up for conference, then fix the mistake, so that I could have gotten the early registration fee….but ethics won over I so I didn't. But man was it tempting. Ugh.  So….guess I have to go spend a bunch of time digging up NBCOT file etc, then pay full price for conference, BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!! If I didn't want to go so bad I'd just be like screw it, it's so not worth the hassle!! But AOTA needs support, support AOTA and be a member, but bug them to change the new practitioner sign up method! 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

6 Mar 2010

Financial Aid Options for Future Occupational Therapists

an invaluable (literally) article with a list of financial aid options for those hoping to enter the field of occupational therapy, compiled by an awesome dude named Richard. 🙂

http://blog.onlinecollegeguru.com/health-care/financial-aid-for-occupational-therapists/

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

6 Mar 2010

Post Polio Syndrome

Interesting article on Post Polio Syndrome, too bad Roosevelt Warm Springs wasn't mentioned!! I've treated two people with it now and it's pretty interesting. Of course I have at least one PT friend who doesn't believe it exists. 🙂

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/health/03polio.html?src=twt&twt=nytimes

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

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