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!! :)

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