Day 3 of Pediatric Level II Fieldwork Completed. Including a home visit, my first :)

It's not even 10pm and I'm an old granny lying in bed to write this! Fieldwork is wearing me out, yo! Today was pretty interesting.

The director accidentally booked a 4 month old baby at the same time as a rambunctious and hard-to-handle little girl with Down's syndrome, so I saw the little girl with the speech aid and the OT checked on me some, they won't bill for it is my understanding although maybe you can, I still don't fully understand how that works. I had observed this little girl, let's call her Bonnie, once before. She requires a lot of “heavy” work like pushing chairs and jumping, before she can tolerate sitting down and doing something else. We started by having her push me in an office chair up and down the halls and we'd take turns with that. Once she was worn out, we sat down to work on stringing some giant beads with a pattern, which she didn't like and tried to refuse, but we made her do six beads (which took her a while) before moving on. She used Aqua Doodles a while and then we did some more heavy work by letting her jump on the trampoline and then using a scooter board to push each other up and down the halls. This wore her out and she was ready to do coloring. My OT, let's call her Jane, had warned me she didn't like coloring or writing, so I wanted to attempt it. She wasn't thrilled with it but she did a T, a O, and an I, at least, and then we were starting to work on making circle/stick puppies when her time was up. We also played Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and she loved it. It was my first time playing it and I will put it in my “Thomas Kinkade Pile” aka “Things I hate” LOL. Overall she did pretty well since she can be very stubborn. It was cool because although it was a co-treat with the speech aid, I was in charge of most of it, and it was like, my own OT session, lol. Then I got to watch the tail-end of a session with the 4 month old who only a few weeks previously was not grasping at ALL and was now grasping a little bit. This was right up my alley because I want to work with the babies.

Then it was time to gather up stuff and head to a small rural poor town in Mississippi. We were going to be doing a home visit, my first one ever. I've observed or volunteered in tons of different OT settings so it was neat conquering a new one. Me, my OT Jane, and the speech therapist/director of the clinic went. We stopped and ate at a home cooking place first, then checked out the brand new clinic she is in the process of opening, then went to the projects for the home visit. They could not remember exactly which apartment she was in so we wandered around a while, in colorful scrubs carrying colorful toys and wedges, lol. We finally found it as they finally recognized it. The door opened up into a small living room. There was a girl in her teens sucking her thumb on the couch. A child clad in only a diaper was running around, and three other girls + another little girl were also in the area. They got the baby we were visiting, a deaf-blind baby who was close to a year old but looked more like a 2 month old. We spread out a little mat on the ground and the OT started doing sensory stimulation and trunk strengthening stuff with the baby. The “aunties” all watched expressionlessly on the couch, not out of interest but because there was nothing better to do. It was clear we were aliens to them, three chicks in scrubs invading on their turf. The two siblings were jealous and wanted to see all the toys but were strictly kept in line and eventually kicked out of the room.

The OT rubbed various textures on the little baby as well as used a vibrating toy. She also put her on the wedge to facilitate trunk extension and such, and some other classic baby OT things. Then the speech therapist did some oral motor and oral sensitivity things, and then I got to take a turn. I tried to act confident…which I kind of was since I have spent a lot of time with babies in the hospital. I basically did what the OT had already done – I propped her securely against me then did vibrations on her feet and arms, rubbed soft things on her, wedged her to work on her neck extension, grasping, things like that. It was neat. In the meantime we could hear various aunties screaming at the other children to shut up, plus spankings and screams. Quite an experience. When it was clear the baby was hungry, we asked about feeding a bottle…the auntie had to first find her bottle, then call a neighbor to bring over formula. It was interesting being an intruder in their house.

I was briefly in the homes of very poor people while doing the MIFA runs (like meals on wheels) but hadn't been in a house like this where it was a very small apartment yet had at least 4 teens + three children actively living there. The baby's bottle was made and the OT fed her…she needed lower lip support by holding the bottle in such a way that one finger could be used to hold the lip to the bottle, and she did best sitting up so gravity wasn't making the flow too fast for her. Then we left, ta da. My first home visit.

We headed back to the new clinic to do an eval on a 2 year old boy who was more or less at age-level. It was really funny because the mom explained the boy only listened to men, and/or women with big “hooters” because he was fascinated by them, although he liked to do a little too much touching than appropriate lol.

I asked her if she had ever tried lowering her voice to that of a man, because I've read that it's possible the child is responding to the male's deep tone, not the fact it's a male specifically. She said she hadn't tried. My OT thought that probably wasn't the case, but I guess it's worth a try, right? LOL

I spoke with the director and my OT about my blog and HIPAA, and we determined that it seems that as long as I don't give specific names or locations (or name any characteristics so astonishing its obvious, like that girl who had eight legs in India), that I am not in violation. If anyone feels otherwise (especially AOTA people) please tell me.

It was a fun day although I didn't get to leave until 5:30 which was 30 minutes late…I met Allison at the gym and we did these awesome new bikes where you like, have to actually pick a trail and steer and do a path. I did about 5 miles which for me is like, stunning. And my back is starting to feel better, yay. I didn't take any painkillers today for the first time in a looong time. After the gym I went to the grocery store, then sat outside with a coffee popsicle, then showered and ever since have been in bed catching up on email and blogging….and now going to bed.

Tomorrow I am gone 830am to 7pm and it's a normal day at the clinic…meeting a friend for lunch AND it's the last day of my first week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And it's also OT classmate Virginia's birthday tomorrow, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HER. 🙂 Gotta check in with her to see what's going on for fun tomorrow night and all that.

My goal for tomorrow is to finish my OT Practice Article and that is it. It's pretty close at this point, yay!

Jul 03, 2008 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1