25 Feb 2011

job search x infinity :)

I had one formal interview yesterday, an informal one tomorrow, and hopefully one more next week. I have to remain mum about all interviews (ie details) until I have a job so I don't shoot myself in the foot. I did that once and don't want to repeat the process!!

I think one tip I have for people preparing for interviews (on top of ones from previous post) is to focus on S A T Y R – I don't remember where I got that from but it's not my idea. (Does it count as plagiarism if I admit I have no idea where it came from? Probably. Hmm) It's Situation, Action Taken, Your Result. Basically when they ask you questions they often want examples. So you can't just give a vague answer of “I would probably do X…”….well you can, but ideally you would have a stronger response by stating an example of when this occurred. I'd probably think back on your past experiences and come up with a list of times you learned something, helped someone, etc….then figure out what it applies to….have those past true scenarios fresh in your brain to use as examples for questions you get asked…..you always get the typical…what if you don't get along with someone, stuff like that.

My first aid card came this week but I am waiting on the paper CPR certification….hope it comes soon. I also got my brand new driver's license! Hey, I got to meet a blog reader (or at least she read it once)  – I got to actually briefly shadow a therapist who had commented on my blog about six months ago. SMALL WORLD. 🙂 She was awesome.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

16 Feb 2011

still job searching

got a few sweet emails lately – one letting me know all the pediatric OT jobs are in Tampa FL apparently – ahahaa – and a few asking questions about HIPAA etc. Gotta respond to them. I have over 1,000 mails in my gmail box that need to be dealt with. 😡 I'm uh, a little behind.

So I'm still job searching and still intent on the school OT thing if at all possible – thanks to all the school OTs who have emailed me lately – I appreciate hearing from you and plan to respond, albeit apparently slowly…I love hearing from y'all.

So a few words of recommendation for people on the OT job search…..A) network as MUCH AS YOU CAN, B) listen to your gut when warning bells go off C) make sure you have current CPR (and occasionally they ask for first aid, so it wouldn't hurt and may help to have current certification in first aid too – i'm scrambling to find a first aid course right now) D) try to make sure you have several semi-generic letters of recomendation ready from people you have worked with….make sure they include a date (so they know its like 2011 and not 2002), ideally a signature, and that they mention where/how you two worked together, and contact information for that person. Ideally you would have at least 3 on hand since many jobs ask for 2-3. Also keep copies of your NBCOT certification, and state license. And your resume. And maybe a cover letter that can be modified to fit various jobs. And….hmmm. Keep track of all your start/end dates, with addresses and phone numbers and job duties, of every job you've had for at least like 10 years. :O

My BIGGEST pet peeve in job searching? Okay well a big one to me is when ads are not current – if a job app calls for you to jump through ten million hoops, I recommend you call first and verify the ad is still accurate. Some of the job sites have inaccurate postings. BIGGEST pet peeve though is having to either re-type or re-handwrite EVERY SINGLE JOB I've had, for every single application. I get sooo tired of spending hours tediously redoing that part. I wish there was some sort of website with a universal job application where you could put in graphic detail all your work and volunteer and other info, and then submit that along with resume to job sites….it seems like many of the jobs all have their own drop box forms of many many pages that make me re-type the SAME INFORMATION each time….so each takes hours. Frustrating to me that it can't be more universal in this day and age.  I'm not writing that all out to sound like a diva….just that for efficiency sake, it doesn't seem a great way to do it these days. I'm working on a handwritten app right now – my hands keep cramping up as my muscles are underdeveloped! Time for some OT 🙂

I guess that's all I have to share for now. I do want to re-iterate for people looking for OT jobs who might be concerned I still haven't found a job….there are PLENTY of OT jobs out there. San Diego CA is a little harder to find a job in because it's a paradise and everyone wants to live/work here so jobs are less plentiful and pay slightly less here compared to rest of CA. IE tons of school jobs in Northern CA near Sacramento etc, but almost NONE in Southern CA. Also, I'm trying to get into the school district which is hard to do – if I was willing to work in rehab or a skilled nursing facility I'd have a job by tomorrow. And who knows maybe I'll go down that road….but I have a few more school OT leads to try first.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

13 Feb 2011

Hmmm some OT-relevant links

An interesting article about a boy born without a cerebellum or pons yet still amazingly functional. 🙂 Changing neuroscience! He gets tons of therapy and even has a sensory room in his house.

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/12/chase-britton-boy-without-a-cerebellum-baffles-doctors/

Also, the nightmare of Valentine's Day as discussed by an OT – kids with trouble writing who are expected to write about a thousand V-day cards to their classmates are in for a frustrating time!

http://www.themotorstory.com/The_Motor_Story/Blog/Entries/2011/2/9_The_Nightmare_of_Valentine%E2%80%99s_Day_Revisited.html

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

9 Feb 2011

Great OT idea – removing bean husks

This sounds simple. It is. Today I had dinner at my neighbor's and there was a lima bean fiasco, long story. So after dinner, Marianne and I took the bowl of lima beans that had been soaking for a few hours, and started slipping off the shells (husks?) of each one individually. Most of them came off with no trouble and the few that didn't we left on to be dealt with later. Ideally they'd be soaking for more hours. It was a calming, soothing, repetitive activity that would be GREAT to use in OT – just buy some inexpensive dried lima or butter beans or any beans that require shelling, soak for a few hours, then have your patient start slipping them off. 🙂 It would be a good one for fine motor skills and probably could be modified for other ways too. Maybe even good for a TBI patient to work on focus. Hmm. Also, it might be something that adult day care centers (ie for Alzheimers) could consider using as a way to keep idle hands busy. Many older women with dementia really dislike sitting in a center having “leisure” – they want to be doing something or helping. Often times the centers will give them fresh warm towels from the dryer to fold (and then repeat throughout day with freshly dried load), or similar easy tasks. Sometimes its hard to figure out tasks the patients can do to “help” that is simple enough and safe. Like one time (while I was there as a volunteer), I deliberately mismatched a bunch of colored pipe cleaners and had a patient who wanted attention/something to do, sort them into piles by color, as a favor to me. She thought she was helping and was content. We sat together for a long time, quietly talking and sorting the pipe cleaners. I guess you could potentially use that in low-level treatment somehow but really it might just be the kind of thing an OT could recommend to their facility as a calming method – just have to be careful about safety in the sense of A) they are putting their hands into water so you don't want them to get water everywhere as a fall hazard, so maybe supervision and/or towels; B) you don't want them to put it into their mouth and choke….so make sure pt is appropriate for this task.

PS – this is something I just remembered. Kinda random. The alzheimers day center used poker chips for their Bingo coverage, and they were many different colors. I can't tell you how many times people asked me if the colors mattered. It was confusing for them. I felt like it was an unnecessary confusion and that while using poker chips was nice from a fine motor/visual perspective, it would ahve been helpful to have them all be one bright color. (Sorting poker chips would be good activity too).

SO ANYWAY – inexpensive dried beans. Potentially a good OT tool. If anyone has other ideas they want to contribute along this same line, and/or have some reason I haven't thought of as to why this is NOT an okay idea…please share. As always use these ideas at your own risk!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 4

1 Feb 2011

OT a great profession to go into!

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2010/full_list/index.html

OT is number 19 on the list (cough ignore the fact PT is in top ten cough) – and it has a lot of forecasted growth! Yay OT! 🙂

Still working on the job search!! 🙂 Trying to be vague to stay out of trouble, haha. I got revisions back on the OT Practice social media article – I need to polish up a few things in it!

I met an ICU nurse at Pilates Plus the other day and her roomie is an OT at the children's hospital! And I met a dude at Pilates Plus who has a friend who is an OT in the school system! And I met up with an old friend from high school I hadn't seen in like 10+ years and she is an elementary school teacher who introduced me to their school OT etc! Slowly making connections….it's hard not to really know any San Diego OTs! I want to meet up with some! But how??? Hmm.

Anyway – I need to run to the post office, boo! 🙂
KD

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

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