Day 5 of Phys Dys Level I OT Fieldwork + TOTA
I am writing this from Nashville! I left the hospital at noon to get here at a reasonable time for tomorrow's Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association conference – avoiding Friday rush hour traffic, and no night driving, since my night vision is NOT good! I am exhausted so I hope I can go to bed really early tonight! I am staying with some good friends of mine so that helps, money-wise!
Yesterday, I said this rotation was sucking out my soul. I also got a really interesting comment on that from an OT who used to work with a geriatric population. I'd share it but I am on a guest computer which is awkward/frustrating, so I'm only doing a bare minimum the next few days! Well, today was a much better today. All our patients were in good moods, and our slowest patient was already dressed and funky when we checked on her. I walked in on my OT wiping the bottom of one of the patients and it didn't even faze me. I got to semi-treat several patients with my OT standing right there. Also, one of my favorite patients had several visitors (her son and daughter-in-law) – I got to encourage them to watch her therapy, and explain to them why we were doing what we were doing. Unfortunately we were doing therapeutic exercises like thera-band and arm bike (“upper extremity physical therapists”, so I couldn't really brag about the whole occupation-based part. I really felt like the patients were okay with me and that they could see I was trying to be gentle and respectful with them. I try really hard to warn them when I'm about to wheel them backwards, because I know it is disorienting to not see how you are being moved. Not to say I don't fumble with their wheelchair leg rests or bump their foot against something a little, or say something correctly, but in GENERAL, I did not feel like my soul was being sucked out, and I felt like I could maybe actually get good at this eventually! I feel like I have already learned a TON in just a single week. It's amazing how much you can learn, so quick.
I'm learning an easy way to put compression stockings on patients with serious edema next week, and I'm going to try and continue to become more wheelchair proficient. I've gotten good at putting on/off the leg rests and stuff – simple to so many, but for me it was hard! I know how to re-connect oxygen tanks and swap them out as needed. I know how to help patients push off from their chair and not their walker. I also can handle a basic occupational profile and/or evaluation, where you do some basic gross manual muscle testing, proprioception testing, sensation testing, etc. Well, bragging about it here, I realize it all sounds really simple and easy, but those are skills I hadn't practiced much, and I'm proud of them! I just did an OT evaluation on my friend! Because I'm a dork! Woot!
I am excited about conference tomorrow, and I am also not as scared about next week of my phys dys rotation! Like I said earlier, I'm at a friend's house on a guest computer, so it's hard to maneuver…I really want to update several posts but it will have to wait until at least Sunday! AOTPAC gave me permission to print their letter in entirety, plus I got a ton of e-mails recently from new students with various questions, so I want to deal with all that Sunday too!
Thanks to all the kind comments I've gotten recently – they really mean a lot to me and boost my spirits, and it is encouraging as well! Please don't be shy to e-mail me anytime!!! I am not always quick to respond though, depending on how projects are going at school!
I'll probably post tomorrow about how TOTA conference went and if I got a scholarship or not! Don't forget those good vibes!