Saturday, March 29, 2008


Wow, I need to get better at blogging more often. Today we had our final class session of Therapeutic Use of Self. It's a class where we really sum up everything that we've really learned about ourselves from OT school. We talk about spirituality in practice, using humor in practice, we've done some conflict management, and have completed many surveys and papers about ourselves. In today's class, we did a presentation on ourselves. Everyone's was a little different, but I talked about my family and life situations and how they've shaped who I will be as an OT. I also talked about my attitudes, values, beliefs, perceptions, actions, convictions, and my integration to OT practice. It really explains who I am, so if I ever figure out how to post a ppt on this I'll go ahead and do it. I am not the most computer savvy person, so if you really want to see it, you may just want to let me know. lol. Another part of it was which model of practice I use in my daily life. I'd have to say I use PEOP the most. Person-->Environment-->Occupation-->Participation. It takes into consideration both extrinsic and intrinsic factors (which cover A LOT), so those along with participation and occupation gives you occupational performance and participation. It's goal is to have ppl live a satisfying and productive life, which is exactly what I want. It's completely different when you apply the models and frames of reference to yourself rather than our supposed clients. It's almost a little like being a patient of yourself. This is super random, but I compared myself to a tree towards the end. I talked about it's strong roots and how it can be used in so many ways and situations. Here is a little part from the end:

Right now I’m an entry level tree with both strong and weak branches. I will need to mend and prune those weak branches to make them stronger along the way. Some of them will die and break off, but it will make room for new branches to start growing. I may never grow to be the strongest and tallest tree in the forest, but I will continually try to reach new heights.

That's all for tonight. I'm falling alseep at the keys and Andy went to bed over an hour ago. :S Whoopsies! lol.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We put the OT in HOT!!!

So we're getting closer and closer to the annual AOTA national conference. Last year was in St. Louis and it was GREAT so I am very excited to go this Long Beach! We talked a little about this years motions to the RA in SOTA today, and some of them are definately interesting. Maybe I'll put them up here later, we'll see. :) Here's a few pics from last year's conference:

Me getting some major sensory input! :)

Sweet pins that were handed out at conference.
OTs are HOT!

All of the ND students at conference. We were the ASD reps for UND and UMary.
Marcie, Shell, Amber, and Me

I'm really excited about this years conference because there are a lot more students coming from ND. Last year it was only us four, and this year there are four different ASD reps, along with 8+ more Mary students and at least 4 more UND students. (I'm not sure exactly.) It's really encouraging to see how much we're growing.

Another exciting thing was how many ppl were recruited to NDOTA at the conference. There were over 30 students who joined NDOTA for the first time. There were 65 students there and that's encouraging for a first annual conference. :) That's all for now.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Level 1 Fieldwork

So I'm done with fieldwork and back to school. It was a lot of fun but I was ready to get back home and stop living out of my suitcase. :) On Thursday and Friday I administered the CAM on a patient and watched the MVPT with her too. I'm glad the therapist was in the room with me. I went in the room pretty confident, but made a few simple mistakes that I'm glad she caught. I watched three therapists administer it that week and they all did it a little different but the same. Wednesday we went on a community outing to a local grocery store. There were three patients, along with and OT, SLP and Rec Therapist. Each patient had three goals for the trip involving ordering their lunch, ambulating ____ft, finding the items in the aisles, etc. They each got a grocery list that they decided for the next day's lunch and each therapist had one patient. The next day, they came to the OT kitchen and had to prepare, eat, and clean-up their lunch they had planned and their families could come. The whole experience was definately in a setting where I could see myself working in the future. Good stuff! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I know I'm a year three student, but our school does things a little different. We do one level one fieldwork our second year and one our third year. After our third year we have two different 12 week fieldworks and a choice to do an additional fieldwork experience in Guatemala...which im doing of course. :) We also have different things that we do throughout OT school that count as another level 1 FW. Right now I'm doing a Level 1 FW doing Inpatient Rehab and Transitional Care. So far things are going really well and I'm really enjoying it. It's definately something I could see myself doing in the future, but not forever. :)There are a lot of pts with TKAs and THAs, but also a lot of variety with tumor removal where different parts of the brain are affected, CVAs, TBIs, along with some really interesting secondary diagnoses. I thought it would feel longer and redundant, but I really like it. They have so much fun equipment and really great programs. There is a lot more variety there than at home. I've gotten to work with a few therapists and a couple students. At first I was nervous about having more than one educator but I've found that I really like it. I get to see a bigger variety of treatment methods and diagnoses. One of our assignments for school with this FW is to do the COPM on a pt. Since my site doesn't really use the COPM, we have decided that I will be doing the CAM along with ADL history. So tomorrow I'm observing a student who will be completing the CAM with one of her pts and I will do it on Thursday. It will be nice to get a refresher before I do it on my own. Everyone has been great to me and I've enjoyed working with everyone so far, my main educator is really amazing. She has great interactions with her clients and coworkers. She is always optimistic, compassionate, and considerate. I definately have learned a lot (it's only the second day) and am really glad I was placed at this site.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

OT School Projects

I'm going to write a little about our current projects in school so if I blog about them ppl know what I'm actually talking about. It will probably get quite wordy, so if you aren't interested, I'd recommend skipping it. :)
One project we're working on right now is our Slagle House project. There actually is a Slagle House in California, and our projected is somewhat designed from it. In our program, we really don't cover a lot of 'business class' info, so Slagle House is a great way to get some practice. My understanding is that we have the floor plans of the house in California, and we create our own clinic from that. We are split into groups of three and each serve a different population. Some include women who are abused, at risk youth....sorry youth at risk (people first!!) :), adults with chronic mental health issues, well elderly with depression, one more child population, and another adult/elderly population dealing with substance abuse. Sorry, I can't remember them all off hand. Since there are so many groups, we're split into two houses and each group of three has a floor of the house for their clinic. (there are three floors in each house.) My group's clientele are adults with chronic mental health issues and we're on the second floor of the house. We're given a 3 year budget and are put to work. We 'shop' online for everything possible we'd need in our clinic from office supplies to furniture to assessments to appliances. We 'hire' however many people we need in whatever professions would benefit our clients the most. We take into account demo and construction costs, utilities, transportation, groceries, marketing, insurance, etc., and inflation is calculated in for each year. We have a daily schedule that includes all of our services. Areas we will work with our clients are social skills, community integration, home management, meal planning & preparation, job skills, & stress management. We stick to our budget, write a business plan, and create a floor plan that fits our needs. When the project is completed, we have 40 minutes to present on what makes our program unique. I have REALLY enjoyed working on this project. I don't feel like I could go open my own practice tomorrow or anything, but I have a better handle on what it would all involve. Does anyone else do anything like this in their programs? Or even anything like this that has to deal with the business side of OT?
Another project that we're working on is our Community Partners in Service Project aka our theses. We start working on this our first year in OT school and it becomes our thesis our second and third year. We have a list of places available to us and can pick our top three choices. I am with a segment of our local Parks and Rec program called B.L.A.S.T. (Bismarck Life After School Time). It includes the vast majority of after-school programs in Bismarck. I started this project working with two other classmates and we were assigned to a specific school. Our needs assessment showed two main areas of need. The other two group members were pretty passionate about working with discipline and I was passionate about working with structured activities and job satisfaction so we decided to split and cover them both. Once that was decided, the administration of the program thought that since we were covering two areas, we should be put into two different schools (which makes sense, but doesn't necessarily deal with our needs assessment). So I was switched to a different elementary school in town. They actually have great structure and play great games. So my quantitative study on job satisfaction and certain structured activities (in a small nutshell) has been changed a few times and now is looking like it will be a qualitative study on what it is like to lead an after-school program as high school and college students.....i hope!! I have to make quite a few changes to what I've already written so we'll see how it goes. The results of my study have to be presented the first week of May, but my actual thesis doesn't have to be completely written up and bound until December. I definitely don't plan on waiting that long, but knowing that I have some extra time know eases my mind a bit. This week is actually spring break so I'll be spending quite a bit of my time on it. The week after is a one week fieldwork experience so that'll be exciting.
Yet another project we are working on this semester is at a retirement home within the community. We are partnered with Physical Therapy students and a client from the retirement home. Every week one of the groups leads an exercise activity for the ppl living in the retirement home. After the exercise group we spend time with our client. We do an eval, get to know them a little, and assess things like their strength, ROM, ADLs, some IADLs, etc. We then give them ideas and make recommendations, etc. I've really enjoyed this experience, but our client has been pretty sick the last couple weeks with pneumonia. If they're not better by tomorrow we'll have to bring them a get well package. I really hope they're feeling better very soon!
Ok, that's enough for now............don't want to bore you too much!! :)