Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fieldwork and Burnout

Yesterday we got to chose where we are going for fieldwork. They had roughly fifty locations for the forty students to choose from. The first fieldwork is only a week long, which means I was willing to try anything. Going in I really did not want to stay local and I wanted to work with adults because that is an experience I have not had. I ended up staying near school (there was nothing worth paying for a hotel or near family) and I am working with adults. There will also be two other students with me. Overall, I am super excited even though it is well over a month away. My facility also has a psych ward, but I was told we probably would not see that this fieldwork. It was a nerve-racking process, as our names were getting pulled out. However, even though I was 35/38 I am happy with my selection. It was one of my top three, so that goes to show you that everybody wants something different.

Some burnout has started to settle in. I think everybody is ready for a break. Most of the schools we went to for undergrad have fall break around this time, but not this year. This week doesn't have a lot going on, so tonight is my somewhat chill night. Some of the burnout is my fault. I thought the first month would be how it would be all semester, so I took on more volunteering than I probably should have this semester. Just doing two out of three would be plenty. I also need to say no to social things occasionally. It is hard to say no because you know people will be talking about it the next day at class, and I want to get to know everybody, but there is plenty of time. I just need to readjust my balance. School is wonderful though, and I am learning tons.

We did have our first practical this week. We had to rank part of the FIMs, but the video did not work, so we will do it on Monday. We also had to administer part of the KELs to another classmate. It was easy because no classmate wanted throw off another classmate. The hardest part was introducing myself to the "client". The other hard part was the professor asked our "client" to ask what was occupational therapy was. I can explain it in general, but it is different in a clinical situation. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Burns and Theories

Tomorrow we have a poster presentation due. We are in groups of four, and each group chose a different setting in which occupational therapists practice. My group has burns. This was never a setting that entered my imagination when I applied to be an OT, and it only came into my awareness when someone asked about it at one of my interviews. Since then, the burns setting has been brought up a few times in different contexts. What I have learned is that burn therapists are involved in creating splints, scar massage, and increasing range of motion, but they also play an important role in the mental processes of pain management and re-entering the social context. I came across some really interesting articles studying how music therapy and virtual reality can help with pain management. Another part of the project is about cultural awareness in burns. We learned that people with cognitive issues are more likely to receive burns; therefore, prevention measures may need to be improved in those areas. So far one group project done with little drama.

We are also stating to delve into some OT theories. The hardest thing about studying the theories is they seem like common sense even though they are not. They are also very similar to each other. We have to make a theory chart. I like it as an assignment because it will force me to recognize the differences and what makes each unique.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Professional Wardrobe

This week we had our first test. I feel like I know the material, but I need to practice in reading the questions carefully. Lesson learned. We also started talking about fieldwork. In a couple weeks we will choose where we go for our first level I fieldwork. They say there are a lot of choices for this fieldwork, so lets hope I get something I like and that is a new experience.

Also upcoming, is baby day. Baby day is where different families are recruited to bring in their babies for us to observe. I just finished making my reflex  cheat sheet. However, this is the first time we will have to dress professionally for class. Professional, meaning something along the line of khakis and polos. I personally like to have a little spunk in my clothes. Usually, this is done through jewelry, but jewelry can get in the way. Polos are suggested because when the therapist bends over no one can see down their shirt. While, I don't mind polos; they are not my favorite. I went looking for other professional tops that are not so nice that I would mind them getting ruined, but nice enough to be considered professional. Under those requirements I could find quite a few, but if I had to bend over you were going to see down my shirt. I ended up finding something that could work, but an occupational therapist's professional wardrobe is harder to build than I originally thought.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Time to Stay Motivated

This upcoming week is going to be a little bit rough. We have our first test, 2 papers due, an activity analysis, and an interview do. Luckily, we were suppose to have a Friday test, but it got pushed back a week. It is not quite as overwhelming as it sounds because the papers are 2 pages double spaced reflections. I already have one of them done as well as the activity analysis.

The activity analysis was for an activity that we taught another classmate. I taught a friend to French braid and she taught me the dance "The Wobble". That is what my grad school money is going to there. I had a hard time teaching her to French braid because I didn't have a doll to teach on or for her to practice. That meant she practiced on my head, so that I couldn't see what she was doing and offer feedback. It might have been a mixed blessing though because I can't sit on my hands when I see someone has issues.

Also, earlier today was Miracle League, which is an adaptive non-competitive baseball team. It was so much fun and there were a variety of children. It was a good start to Saturday. However, I believe my apartment is infested with bed bugs or fleas. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! I have so many bug bites just on my feet. I can't get pest control to come out until Monday, so good thing I have made some friends!

I have a couple of website that give me a good chuckle and remind me that my life isn't so bad. You should look at them when you are having a rough week, but be careful some of them are highly addictive and you might lose hours that you couldn't afford.

Cake Wrecks: Offers commentary on cakes that went wrong
Little Things: Everyday activities that remind you to smile
Not Always Right: Horror customer care stories

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Volunteering in a New Community

One of the biggest things I miss from home is volunteering. I had some organizations that I really loved and that gave me something to look forward to other than schoolwork. Finding somewhere to volunteer in my new home has been a priority to me. I feel that volunteering will help me connect with my new community, and it will also allow me to meet people outside of my classes. First, I had to decide if I wanted to volunteer in an OT-realm or in some other interest; however it is hard to find something OT can’t be applied to. OT experiences are still important to have, but not as important as they were to get into OT school. Before OT school, I did some volunteering in OT realms and some not in OT realms, and I decided to the same here ideally. First, I tried to be child advocate in the court system, but my local agency was horrible about answering my questions. I accidently applied to be one a few counties away and they were excellent, so it is hit and miss. I decided I wanted to be part of a community that wanted me, so I did not pursue that opportunity. Next, my school offered the chance to be part of Miracle League. This is an adaptive baseball team. They have competitive and non-competitive teams, but I will be part of the non-competitive league. This requires a commitment of eight Saturdays, but I think I will enjoy it. It starts Saturday so we will see how it goes. I think I still want to find something that is not directly related to OT. I originally wanted to volunteer in the education field, but what I have found looks like it would require more time commitment than I currently have available. I am considering donating some of my time to the locate food bank. I feel  like I can make a regular commitment there and I will get new experiences. We will see how it pans out.   

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Group Projects

We have so many groups assigned to us currently that I had to start keeping a list of them in the front of my binder. Some of them are short-term group projects, others are long-term, and some are just classwork groups for the semester. It is good the groups keep on changing because you learn about the other students, but it is overwhelming to keep track of. So far the groups have worked out well, but most of the projects have not been started. In the classroom groups, they require us to assign roles to each person that they have pre-created. Nobody ever really sticks to the roles unless they are the writer. This week's highlights have been practicing taking blood pressure, and going over the framework some more. The excitement has worn off a little bit, and the work has settled in. That isn't a complaint; just a change in mindset. I think I need to take a good look at the calendar and start getting to work on a few things before the due date hits me.