Monday, June 18, 2012

Rat Drama – Fieldwork Midterm

I have been at large for even longer than usual and I have a perfectly good explanation – I’ve had RATS! Big (8-10 inch), disgusting, terrible, horrible, rats, infesting my house and causing all kinds of mayhem!  I have been dealing with this for 6 weeks (since the very start of fieldwork, of course) and I finally have it under control after a lot of sweat and a few tears.  I am writing this post from my very new, very fabulous kitchen because after 6 weeks of rat drama, I up and moved – yes during the middle (literally) of fieldwork.  Luckily, I have become particularly skilled at balancing my work/school and personal life so it has not interfered with my rotation whatsoever – except for me updating my temporary co-workers daily about my rat drama :)   
In fact, I my midterm was last week and I got some pretty great scores, which I am extremely proud of.  For mid-term I had to fill out some paperwork separate from my CI and rate myself in areas like evaluation, interventions, professional behavior, knowledge of OT etc  etc and then my CI filled out the same form and we compared our results.  I rated myself higher for knowledge of OT, and professional behavior and rated myself as still improving for evals and interventions because I don’t expect to have entry level skills at 6 weeks in.  My CI actually gave me higher ratings than I gave myself for several topics.  We both agreed that the skills I am still cultivating are evals and grading of activities/ exercises for all different types of clients, but after talking with her at midterm I feel much more confident about my intervention skills.  I love this fieldwork site because I get tons of evals.  I think I wrote about this in my other post, but I basically started with my own clients and took over only a few existing clients my CI was already seeing.  I think starting from scratch with tons of evals makes it a difficult rotation, but I believe I have learned way more than I ever would have had I not had to think each and every person through on my own before comparing ideas/ treatments with my CI.  While I love that this is how it is set up, tons of evals can be mentally exhausting for a therapist in training because it takes a lot of mental energy to conceptualize what you want a person to do from start to finish in therapy.  On days when I have only 1-2 evals and the rest regular treatment sessions, I always get out of “work” at a normal time… on occasion when I have 4-5 evals in a day in addition to some regularly scheduled patients,I have literally stayed 2-2.5 hours extra to finish up.  Combine this with the fact that for the last 3 weeks I have spent 3-5 hours a night either --- A) cleaning up after rats B) searching for a rat-free place to live or C) moving to a rat-free house --- you can see why I have not been on my poor neglected, blog.
As I mentioned, I have been feeling much more confident during fieldwork.  I am almost on my own now with most of my patients and my CI often sits behind her desk watching.  She still helps me when I get someone new and have to either do wound care (which I absolutely love) or splinting (which I like a lot too).  In the past 2 weeks I have made 3 mallet finger extension splints, 2 dorsal blocks, a resting hand splint, a thumb spica splint, a hand-based thumb spica splint, a radial nerve palsy splint, and one more than I am forgetting.  I am also feeling more confident in my splint making skills after this surge of splinting. 
I want to write more.  There is so much to say, but my poor mind is swimming with exhaustion from moving all weekend,  bootcamp this AM, and a full day’s work!   I still want to read up a little on e-stim and iontophoresis (I am probably spelling this wrong) tonight in a manual my CI let me borrow.  I will try to not stay away so long this time – I desperately want to write about occupation based interventions in an out-patient setting --- hopefully by this weekend!
As always I greatly appreciate the comments, e-mails, feedback etc I receive from all my readers.  I know I am pretty far behind, but I will catch up soon!  Rest assured I have at least glanced at your e-mails and am waiting until I have time to fully respond to them – especially the few I have gotten from people applying to LSUHSC!