Day 4/10 of Adult Phys Dys Level I Fieldwork

Well, I'm now at day four of ten. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but in all honesty, I feel a little bit like my soul is being sucked out of me! I count down the minutes until I can leave. It's not that I don't think phys dys rehab is important or that I'm not learning things- it's just that I'm “sensitive”, and constantly having to tell confused geriatric patients that I can't do X, Y, or Z, really, really, really wears me out and makes me sad. Every second that passes is another opportunity for me to NOT be able to help a patient with their request! I know I'm just taking things personally and maybe with time I'll get used to it, but for now, it bothers me a lot!!! A lot a lot. A lot.

Okay: Will you get me another blanket? Not okay: Thanks for that blanket. I'm still cold. will you get me three more blankets?
Okay:Will you get me a cup of water? Not okay: They take away my water! I'm thirsty! Am I in a prison? Give me some water! (to a person on fluid restrictions)
Okay: Will you dial my daughter's number for me? Not okay: Will you go look up my daughter's number in my medical chart,  then call her, and then let me talk to her for three seconds and then say “Here, the nurse wants to talk to you”.
Okay: Will you wheel me to the dining room? Not okay: Will you take me back to my room so I can shift around and take off my security system off my wheelchair that prevents me from slipping out, and then bring me back?
Okay: Take me to therapy. Not okay: Take me to therapy, but first help me change my diaper (while I'm alone in the room).
Okay: I'm doing arm exercises, wow this is hard! Not okay: OMG OMG OMG THIS IS SO INSANE AND HARD OMG LOOK AT ME ::flails arms dramatically, then bursts into tears:::
Okay: Oh no! My water cup dropped into the sink! Can you rinse it out for me? Not okay: Go track down my nurses and get me another pink cup, this one touched my running water (when this is like the person's fifth plastic cup)

I know that these patients have valid concerns and that it is agitating and scary to be in a rehab hospital with a ton of strangers. I know it's hard for the patient to understand the difference between the job descriptions of OT, PT, SLP, LPNs, RNs, MDs, etc. I think some of these patients have a lot they can teach me. But I just can't handle the constant “no, no, no, no, no, no I'm sorry”!! I feel like the therapists/nurses willing to work in rehab hospitals are saints – I just don't have the patience or desire to work with a geriatric population! Everyone has their strengths and mine is not in geriatrics!

Today I got to see the same patients as the last few days, and we did similar exercises. There is a lot of transport from one place to another, ADL work, and therapeutic exercises. Each day I'm able to have a little bit more responsibility. Tonight – and this scares me – I need to write a problem list for a particular patient. Tomorrow I have to interview him to do a mini occupational profile. It's a little difficult to understand his answers since he has no teeth and mumbles! But also, I have to come up with treatment plans, and for my final six days, I'll be the one treating him for an hour and a half today! I mean, my OT supervisor will be standing next to me and I'm positive she'll end up doing stuff/assisting…but I'm at the very least in charge of planning his treatment. I'm trying to figure out some occupation-based stuff! Scarrrrrrrrrrry!!! Augh!!!!!!!

I need to go – I'm leaving for TOTA conference in Nashville, tomorrow,  right at noon straight from the rehab hospital, and I still need to pack, deal with some projects, etc etc. Plus I'd like to go to bed kinda early since this whole getting up at 6am stuff is not so cool! Damn the real world!!!

One last thing – to the person who left me a comment about being a fan of the blog and enjoying learning about fieldworks – thank you! Your comment really, really, really, meant a lot to me, and boosted my spirits. Don't be anonymous though -e-mail me or something so I know who you are and we can chat more!

Oct 12, 2007 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

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