Day 2 of 2nd rotation – Level II OT student, physical dysfunction
Today was my second day and my first day with my OT supervisor. I had been warned she was quirky and foreign and blunt and smart, and she was all of those things. I liked her a lot. She had spent the last 10 days on an Italian cruise – got back Monday night and was at work Tuesday morning – and she was remarkably unfrazzled. We had six evaluations stacked up since no OTs were there Monday, plus six patients to treat. So the OT assistant took the six patients and my OT took the six evaluations (since assistants can’t do evals).
We had three total joint evaluations – two hips, one knee – plus a mild stroke, plus two deconditionings. I am glad to say I did not see any bowel movements taking place today since that’s not really my favorite thing to observe, LOL. I did see some private parts but I tried to discretely position myself in such a way that this wouldn’t happen so much. We often double-gown a patient to help them preserve modesty if they so desire.
My OT is very good about the basics of – surprisingly – INTRODUCING herself and explaining what OT is. You would be surprised at how many therapists just start with their business without any explanation. She likes to explain things and is very thorough. I learned a lot from watching her today and she is definitely a good OT.
I was given a lesson on their computer system and got to write up one of the evaluations with some help from her. It looks so easy watching her and then it’s my turn and I’m like wait, what goes where? It’s amazing how much electronic paperwork can be amassed – education forms, consultation forms, conference forms, rehab forms, blah blah blah!
Apparently my OT teaches a joint replacement class at the hospital and encourages doctors to send clients to it before surgery – which is a WONDERFUL idea since many people have no idea what to expect or what they will need post-surgery – anyway, one well-educated man greeted us today and was like y’all are the sock-putter-onners…. (we show them the stuff in a hip kit, which includes a device to put on socks without bending)….I know he meant it to be funny, but I sure hope he realizes we didn’t get Master’s degrees for the sole purpose of teaching him sock skills, LOL.
My friend Virginia had warned me my hospital didn’t get very acute patients and that seems to be true of the ones I saw today – even our stroke patient could move his fingers just a few days post-stroke, which is awesome.
I got there at 8am and we got done at 430- things went slower than normal because of the stacked-up evaluations and because my OT was showing me stuff – but it’s an investment in time because she is slowed down now but will benefit a lot from the free labor in a few weeks, LOL.
I think my OT and I have pretty complimentary personalities and she clearly isn’t going to throw me to the wolves, so I’m a lot less nervous/scared.
When I got home tonight I rested a while and then played “soccer” with the landlord and his dog who is quite good at getting the ball…ate dinner with them and went on a walk with them at the beautiful Chickasaw gardens….and also put together a tiny bag of OT stuff to put in my lab coat pocket. It has some little tongs and some small objects to pick up, a laundry detergent cap to manipulate around in the hand, and a flimsy goniometer that I put popsicle sticks on – with a head and legs – to demonstrate the 90 degree rule. Oh and some fake money – to do some cognitive function stuff, and/or to explain energy conservation and the concept of only having so much energy in a day and using it wisely. That was Virginia’s awesome idea she shared with me and I ran with it.
Okay so here is my happy moment of the day at fieldwork – I feel like I have a lot of deficits in understanding phys dys so it is important to me that my OT not find me to be completely incompetent since I sure feel I am in this area.
We saw a total joint patient who was getting a blood transfusion and very sleepy. I’ve been at a pediatric cancer hospital for years and know that chemo kids getting transfusions for their low blood counts get Benadryl during the procedure to help alleviate problems. Benadryl makes you sleepy. So I knew this lady was extra sleepy for that reason (of course also because of pain and recent surgery). Anyways I mentioned it and then my OT asked the nurse who confirmed it, so I looked smart! Yay!
We saw a lot of patients today whose loved ones were curled up on a sofa with a pillow and blanket, clearly resting – you see a lot of intimate moments in an acute care hospital – seeing people at times of great stress and fear in their lives – it’s so important to be respectful and understanding of this – a clear introduction, a smile, an acknowledgment of their ordeal – goes a long way. Okay good night.