Sunday, January 29, 2012

Listening and other cool OT student things worthy of a blog post

I had two instances last week that reminded me and helped me to focus on one of my New Year’s resolutions: listening.


In my principals of practice class we had a lecture on spirituality, which I really enjoyed (reminded me a lot of yoga, actually.) During class, my teacher asked us what we should do if we were in a situation where we were caring for a client at the end of his/her life and they were telling us that in order to go/die/pass-on/whatever-you-want-to-call-it they needed to see someone and make peace with them (which I believe can happen from personal experience.) I literally sat there for a good 2 minutes in silence along with the other 33 students in my class, searching for answers, and thinking I had no freaking clue. I would not know how to handle that situation at all. What would I tell them? What could I possibly say? How could I relate? Empathize? I had no earthly idea. Then she said you would (drum role please?) listen to what they had to say. That listening is the best thing you can do, and sometimes just being able to tell the story will give the person peace. What a concept: listening.

Listening was again brought the forefront of my mind in my documentation class. For an assignment, we are writing our own IEP (Individualized Education Plan – used by OT’s in school settings) to help us A) practice writing goals and B) focus on what we need to work on to prepare ourselves for our first FW (fieldwork) II this summer. We had to write at least one personal/profession goal and at least one clinical goal. My personal/ professional goal was to work on reflective listening. One of the only semi-negative personal/professional feedback I was given by my first FW I CI (clinical instructor)was that while I had great interpersonal communication skills, I often got excited and interrupted. I know I struggle with this and I really want to work on it – I talk A LOT. My other goals (for the record) are to brush up on my anatomy and re-visit goniometry and manual muscle testing, and to become more familiar with interventions for common adult diagnoses. I have a meeting with my instructor tomorrow to discuss these long term goals as well as the short ones I wrote for myself to help me meet the long ones.

We had two great ortho lectures last week on fractures and tendon injuries. I loved neuro and thought I might be sold on that as my big interest for a while, but I am lovin’ me some ortho! The tendon injury lecture was a big wake up that I needed to review my anatomy asap, which is one reason I set that as an IEP goal. We also had a really great reading on osteogensis imperfecta for the fractures lecture and the only reason I had a clue what that was prior to the class was because of Mrs. Jodi Picoult, one of my favorite authors. She wrote a book about a kid with OI called Handle with Care – great read! One thing found to be pretty interesting from Picoult’s book and our lecture, was the people with OI often have blue sclera (white part of the eye turns blue – see pic below – it’s from google.) You of course, can have blue sclera from things other than OI, but nonetheless I found it really interesting that your sclera can turn blue.


Some other cools things I have been working on are two big group assignments. One group is for my principles of practice and we are designing an empowerment group to run with clients at a mental health facility and a nursing home. I will probably dedicate a whole post to this after we run it in 2 weeks.

My advocacy group for my health and disability class has more of a focus now and we are meeting next week to start putting ideas together. We are going to aim our research on why aging is place is a good thing especially when there is a good person-environment fit. We originally were going to try to advocate to architect students and educate them on universal design etc, but I think something bigger may come out of this and I’m not sure I should post info about it until we get the ball rolling.

Again, lots of other cool assignments in the works including a support group (which I am doing in 2 weeks,) a community mobility assignment (where we will take the streetcar or bus in a wheelchair and with a simulated visual impairment,) a grief assignment where we are planning our own funeral, and lots more. Will write about each as they come along.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

So far this semester…

We have A LOT of cool things going on already! Assignments and group work are already piling on and I am really trying to keep ahead of the game so I do not get overwhelmed again.

I’ve already done one independent assignment for my Health-Disability class. We had to respond to two surveys about disability and then write a 3 page paper self-awareness paper about our biases. `

I am also working on getting in with a support group for the same class. We have to attend one and then write a reflection. I’m excited about this one – will definitely write more about it after I complete it.
We are also doing a big advocacy project for this class and I believe my group’s is going to be something around aging in place – I am excited to see where we go with this!

I am going to continue using my OT student blog as my leadership project for my Principles of Practice (POP) class because I do put a decent amount of time into it outside of class and I think it is leaderly (I also think this is a made up word and I like it!)

Another cool POP assignment we are doing is planning our own funeral complete with eulogies from various friends, family members, etc – should be fun!

There are a few more neat assignments we have already discussed, but I post about these and the ones I mentioned in more detail as we get to them.

In addition assignments, we have had some really great classes lately. In ortho we had a wound lecture and a burn lecture and I found both to be fascinating! I have always loved sick nasty stuff (my mom used to tell me to become a surgeon) so I hope at some point in OT school experience I get to observe a burn unit or some type of wound care. I saw a little in an outpatient setting when I was getting my observation hours prior to starting school, but nothing extensive. On a serious note - I am also interested in burns/wounds because I think it is a neat area where physical merges with psychological.


(Random google picture not a client I have ever seen or any picture posted in out lecture notes)

I did a good bit of documentation reading yesterday – not the most exciting, but probably one of the most important things, so I feel lucky to have this class. I am superly (another made up word?) glad I have experience in billing/coding/insurance/chart reviews etc (back in college I worked as a senior account representative for an internal medicine clinic and did all that stuff) because I think it will come in handy in this course, fieldwork, and starting my career.

Planning to do a little health-disability readings today and a chapter on spirituality for POP class tomorrow, which I think will be interesting.
ALSO – booked my plane ticket for conference! I will be going early for the ASD meetings and staying the whole time. Anyone else going?

PS- Personal Update – Discharged from PT and my back is better than ever! My boyfriend, Josh and I completed week 1 of P90X last week and it was not nearly as bad/hard as I anticipated! Keep the positive energy coming!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

OT Student Kristin Davis: Candidate for ASD Steering Committee Student Representative for the RA

As I mentioned in my last post, my classmate Kristin Davis is running for a national ASD position, so I wanted to take the time to put her information out there because I think she is a great candidate. She is incredibly hard-working and always takes the initiative to go above and beyond for our program. She is also quite possibly the only person I have ever actually met that is more obsessed with OT than I am : )

Voting is from Janruary 17th – February 28th and the link to access where to vote is listed below

http://www.aota.org/Governance/Elections-2012.aspx

Here is another link where you can access Kristin’s official info (I have it listed below) as well as the info on all the candidates for all of the positions.

http://www.aota.org/Governance/Elections-2012.aspx

And here is a lovely pic of OT student Kristin with current AOTA President Florence Clark!




Bio from OT Connections

Greetings, y'all... from the Big Easy (New Orleans, that is!)

My name is Kristin Davis, and I am a Masters of Occupational Therapy student at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in the wonderful city of New Orleans, LA. I am thrilled to officially announce my candidacy for ASD Steering Committee Student Representative to the RA! This fall, I was elected to serve as the President of LSUHSC’s Student Occupational Therapy Association, and I would be humbled to bring that same dedication to the Representative Assembly as your student voice.

As a member of both AOTA and the Louisiana Occupational Therapy Association, I recognize how we, as students, can impact and shape the field of occupational therapy. The 2011 AOTA Conference & Expo first ignited my enthusiasm for future involvement with our national organization. It was amazing to see how AOTA can benefit our profession and to meet so many committed members of the OT community.

I am passionate about how policy and decision-making can influence and shape our profession. Throughout my collegiate career, I represented students and voiced their opinion as a member of LSU’s Student Government, including President of the College of Arts & Sciences and University Court Justice. I will ensure that the student opinion is heard and understood in all facets of the Assembly by: polling all ASD Delegates, surveying AOTA student members, and utilizing blogs and posts on OT Connections.

As a member of the ASD Steering Committee, I will bring strong communication skills, an enthusiastic team-player attitude, creative energy, and an unwavering commitment to represent the students of AOTA. I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to serve you all on the ASD Steering Committee. I look forward to the election process and getting to know you in the coming months!

Also- check out this video I made for the LSUHSC Department of Occupational Therapy to promote OT & our program.

Until we meet again, laissez les bon temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

-Kristin Davis




Offical Info

Kristin J. Davis

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center- New Orleans, LA

Student Representative to the Assembly (RA)

E-Mail: kdav11@lsuhsc.edu

Blog: http://otconnections.aota.org/members/kristindavis/default.aspx

Current Organizations/Activities: Member, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); Member, Louisiana Occupational Therapy Association (LOTA); President, LSU Health Sciences Center Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA); Occupational Therapy Student Representative to Electronic Survey Committee, Vice President of Recruitment, Louisiana Youth Seminar (LYS); Delta Zeta Baton Rouge Alumnae Association.

Honors/Awards: Louisiana Youth Seminar Service Award;
Leadership LSU Class of 2010; LSU 2010 Homecoming Queen; Delta Zeta Sorority National Graduate Scholarship, Most Philanthropic Sigma Chapter Award (2007, 2008, 2009); Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Honor Society); Tiger Athletic Foundation Scholarship Recipient; Dr. Roy & Claire Thibodeaux Scholarship Recipient; LSU 2009 Mardi Gras Queen; National Society of Collegiate Scholars - National Scholar of the Week.

Position Statement: My name is Kristin Davis, and I am an occupational therapy student from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a student member of AOTA and the Louisiana Occupational Therapy Association, I recognize how we, as students, can impact and shape the field of occupational therapy. The 2011 AOTA Conference & Expo first ignited my enthusiasm for future involvement with our national organization. This past fall, I was elected to serve as the president of my school’s Student Occupational Therapy Association, and I would be humbled to bring that same passion to the
Representative Assembly as your student voice. I will ensure that the student opinion is heard and understood in all facets of the Assembly. My interest in how policy and decision making drives our profession, creative energy, and strong communication skills, will make me a passionate team member of the Steering Committee.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

OT School – Year 2!

Yesterday was my first day back – I can’t believe I am already starting my second year of OT school! We are taking Principles of Practice Lifespan (aka our Ortho class), Principles of Practice Adult II (which is a continuation from last semester), Research I, Health-Disability Continuum, and Documentation (which I am actually excited about because A - I’ve heard it’s a really good documentation class and B - I saw SO SO SO much documentation on fieldwork and realize how important it is).

I will hopefully find the time to write more frequent post because we are supposed to be getting a lot more hands on experience this semester. I am super excited that we are done with our big sciences (physio, anatomy, and neuro) so we have more time to focus on OT classes.

I am the ASD (Assembly of Student Delegates) rep for my school so I have begun planning conference with the ASD alt, OT student B. We are very excited about conference this year and plan to get as much out of it as we can! I know a ton of students in my class are interested in going and hopefully some first years will want to go too! It’s hard for them, of course, because we start in January and they have to decide so soon all while getting information overload the first few weeks of school.
In fact, yesterday was their first day! We did a meet and greet type thing at lunch and had somewhat of a get together last night. Each person in the second year class is assigned a “buddy” from the first year class so they have an individual person they can get to know and ask questions of – my buddy, OT student D, is one of the guys (their class has 5!) and he is awesome. We are really trying to be there for the incoming class because it is a huge adjustment the first few months - ok the first year!

One of my classmates, OT Student Kristin Davis (the one who made the awesome video), is running for a national ASD position. I am very proud that someone from our program is taking the initiative to run for a national position. It is more responsibility that I personally care to (or let’s be real - probably capable of being able to) handle so I give major props to her. I will be writing a post with more info on her and how to vote very soon!

I also wanted to say that I am doing great with PT and am almost back to normal! I have been doing some yoga and a little cardio kickboxing to get back into the fitness groove. AND I have officially been given the ok by my PT to start P90X on Monday while I still have a week of care under her to make sure I am ok. So please send thoughts, positive energy, and encouragement my way as I try to transition into becoming one fit beast!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Activity Bags

We have done two activity bags in my program so far. I don’t remember all of the specific instructions or restrictions, but I know each of them had to fit in a gallon zip lock and there had to be five items. For each item we made two notecards addressing two different deficits and we also had to list the activity, and an upgrade or downgrade, so that is how I will list them below. I think for the first one we had to do some activities that would be good for cognitive deficits and some that that were for motor deficits as well as a few sensory if I am not mistaken– we did this last spring in my first semester, so it’s a little hazy. I know the second one, which we just did last fall, was strictly a mental health activity bag and each item had to address a social deficit and an emotional deficit. I don’t have any feedback for my second one yet and I lost or misplaced my feedback from the first one, so I’m not sure how great the ideas are – but alas they are a start so here they are!



Activity bag #1

Item: Bath Sponge

Deficit: Perceptual – left side neglect

Activity: Have client look in mirror and use bath sponge to pretend to bathe the left side of their body

Upgrade: Take away the mirror while client does the activity



Item: Bath Sponge

Deficit: Sensory - Sensation

Activity: Move sponge along body including arms and legs to test for sensation

Upgrade: Have client close eyes while doing activity and see if they can still accurately identify point of sensation

(I have since learned that the proper way to test for sensation is the Semmes Weinstein microfilament test– but this could still be an activity maybe to point out to the client where they can and can’t feel so that can be extra careful with those areas)



Item: Utensil Set

Deficit: Motor – Range of Motion

Activity: Hold utensils one at a time on one side of the client’s body in front of them. Have them use opposite arm to reach for utensil.

Upgrade: Move the position you are holding the utensils at higher and lower and change directions frequently.



Item: Utensil Set

Deficit: Cognitive - Memory

Activity: As client is doing ROM activity, have them identify which specific utensil you are holding and what it is used for.

Downgrade: Give them verbal cues if they are unable to come up with what the utensil is or what it is used for.



Item: Crossword Puzzle

Deficit: Motor – Fine Motor Coordination - Grip

Activity: Solving crossword puzzles by circling the found word with a pen or pencil.

Downgrade: Allow the client to use a highlighter to identify the word instead of a pen or pencil.



Item: Crossword Puzzle

Deficit: Cognitive – Attention - memory

Activity: Solving crossword puzzles by circling the words found.

Downgrade: Use easier crossword puzzles with two or three letter words only



Item: Deck of Cards - Blackjack

Deficit: Cognitive

Activity: Play a game of Blackjack with therapist as dealer. Dealer shows one of his or her cards and the client tries to get their hand closer to 21.

Downgrade: Have both of the dealer’s cards showing.



Item: Deck of Cards – Blackjack

Deficit: Social-Emotional – Personal Interaction – Communication

Activity: Play a game of Blackjack with therapist as dealer. Have client indicate with hand motions if they want to hit or stay during game.

Upgrade: Have client make eye contact and verbally indicate if they want to hit or stay.



Item: Connect Four

Deficit: Social-Emotional – Impulse Control

Activity: Playing a game of connect four with another person.

Downgrade: Set a time limit where both players must make a move within a certain amount of time.



Item: Connect Four

Deficit: Motor – Fine Motor Coordination

Activity: Playing a game of connect four with the pieces spread out all over the tables so the client has to both pick them up and put them in the slot.

Downgrade: Therapist hands the client a piece so they only have to place it in the slot.



Activty bag #2

Item: Band-Aid

Deficit: Social – Avoidance

Activity: In a group setting, instruct client to place a Band-Aid on the
part of their body that hurt the last time they were sad. Have each
group member explain where they hurt when they feel sad and why.
Discuss as a group the importance of sharing our emotions with one
another and not avoiding talking about them.

Upgrade: Have client identify another emotion that may have an
effect on that part of their body such as anger or anxiety and explain
this one to the group as well.



Item: Band-Aid

Deficit: Emotional – Emotional Regulation

Activity: In a group setting, instruct client to place a Band-Aid on the
part of their body that hurt the last time they were sad. Discuss as a
group, the importance of identifying emotions and the affect they have
on our bodies and things we can do to make them better.

Upgrade: Have client identify another emotion that may have an effect
on that part of their body such as anger or anxiety and additional
strategies they can use to make it better.



Item: Yin Yoga Poses Instruction Sheet

Deficit: Social – Participation and Interaction

Activity: Lead clients through a series of yin yoga postures. Instruct
clients to take notice when they are feeling uncomfortable or
overwhelmed in a posture and teach them breathing techniques to get
through it. Have the clients partner off and explain to one another
what poses made them feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed and how
they managed to get through them.

Upgrade: Have the clients explain a real life situation that made them
uncomfortable or overwhelmed and how they go through it.



Item: Yin Yoga Poses Instruction Sheet

Deficit: Emotional – Responding to Internal Stimuli

Activity: Lead clients through a series of yin yoga postures. Instruct
clients to take notice when they are feeling uncomfortable or
overwhelmed in a posture and teach them breathing techniques to get
through it. Have a group discussion about how this technique can be
applied in everyday situations where they may feel overwhelmed or
uncomfortable.

Downgrade: Only perform two of the yin yoga poses and breathing
techniques instead of the whole series.



Item: New Orleans Magazine

Deficit: Social – Initiation

Activity: Have clients flip through the New Orleans magazine and select
one thing that represents something they love about New Orleans. As
a group, have the clients take turns explaining what that thing is and
why they love it. Do not force clients to speak in a particular order;
rather, let them initiate the interaction when they feel ready.

Downgrade: Have the client just say what it is that they like rather
than explaining why they like it.



Item: New Orleans Magazine

Deficit: Emotional – Communication

Activity: Have clients flip through the New Orleans magazine and select
one thing that represents something they love about New Orleans. As
a group take turns explaining what that thing is and why they love it.
Encourage clients to be as detailed as possible in communicating why
they love it perhaps linking it with a past memory.

Upgrade: Allow other group members to ask questions of the person
speaking requiring further communication.



Item: Calendar

Deficit: Social – Anxiety

Activity: Have client select a date on a calendar that they know could
possible cause some anxiety in a social situation and have a group
discussion about possible solutions. For example, a client may select
a date in which they know their family members or friends will visit
and they may anticipate experiencing anxiety related to that.

Upgrade: Have client discuss with group past experiences that have
caused them to experience social anxiety as well.



Item: Calendar

Deficit: Emotional – Emotional Expression

Activity: Have client select a date on the calendar that has a special
meaning to them; one that is associated with positive feelings. Next
have them explain to the group the date they picked and why it is
special to them.

Upgrade: Have client pick an additional date, or month, or time
period that is associated with negative feelings and have them explain
it to the group.



Item: Deck of Cards

Deficit: Social – Inappropriate Interaction

Activity: Playing the card game Sevens in a group. Discuss with the
group prior to playing the game about appropriate interactions with
one another. For example, discuss rules about not looking at other
player’s cards, respecting other player’s personal space, and proper
communication.

Downgrade: Play the card game Sevens with only two people instead
of a group so players only have to worry about interacting with one
other person.



Item: Deck of Cards

Deficit: Emotional – Impulse Control

Activity: Playing the card game Sevens in a group. Discuss with the
group prior to playing the game the importance of taking turns and
impulse control.

Downgrade: Play the card game Sevens with only two people instead
of a group so players have to wait less time to take their turn.

OT Games and PT (that’s right P not O – I love it too!)




I babysit for the coolest 8 year old I have ever met. She has a million games/ activities/things to play with and I am envious of her collection. I am especially impressed that she has old school games like jacks and tiddlywinks and can entertain herself for hours playing with them. After we played jacks for like two hours one night, I became convinced it was the greatest game of all time replacing my previous number 1 game of choice, connect four. I put it on my Christmas list so I could have it A) to play with and B) to put in my OT activity box, and my mom took it upon herself to buy a bunch of other old school games for me which are shown in the pic above. My mom is so awesome - I swear she should have been an OT.

PS- I’ve been doing PT for a little over a week and I LOVE it! I have a whole new respect and appreciation for it (not that I did not respect it before) because my PT has practically worked miracles on me. She explained my injury and my body’s reaction to it better than any doctor I have come in contact with and she also explained why I may have been experiencing chronic back pain over the last few years. She did a very thorough eval and has created an extensive program for me and I have improved more than I would have thought possible in 10 days. I am almost back to my “normal” which is to say I am still experiencing mild back pain vs gut wrenching pain, but she thinks she can get me pain free permanently! What a concept. My new year’s fitness p90 resolution has been put on hold temporarily, but I think I will be much more successful if I start it fully healed – I’ve got plenty other resolutions to work on in the meantime to keep me busy - Happy New Year!