Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I’m back! Finished FW II and starting my last end class semester

I’m pretty confident that if I went back and read my last 10 post they would all begin with something like, “I know it’s been forever since my last post” or, “I want to post more, but never do!” So, instead of me confessing that anymore, let’s just take it for a given.  I am posting less and less as I near the end of my OT school experience.  The end?   That’s right, the end is in sight!!! I cannot believe I only have 3 more hurdles to jump through: one in class semester, one more level II FW, and then boards (which I will admit I have given absolutely no thought to yet). I have become increasingly greedy of my free non-OT time.  I still love love love OT, but I also love other aspects of my life as well and find it more and more difficult to keep up with other OT things in my free time such as blogging, blog reading, OT practice articles, etc.  In fact, the reason I didn’t blog at all over my 2 week break was because I flat out needed a break from all things OT – and I had a blast!  I got to relax, read several books, go fishing, kayaking, swimming, running, free spin classes, 9 am yoga classes (my favorite little luxury), spend time w family, friends, and, of course, my dog Ellie, and then I topped it off with the most perfect beach weekend ever!
But now I am back and ready for some OT action! I thought I would first wrap up my FW saga for those following it.  I finished about 2 weeks ago and passed with a good score and some excellent feedback.  I was skeptical during week one and maybe even a little a midterm, but I really do feel confident that I could be an entry-level therapist in an out-patient setting.  My CI defined entry level as being able to complete an evaluation gaining all of the necessary data and knowing where to look up correct information if it is a diagnosis I am unfamiliar with.   I got a chance to practice/prove that the last 2 weeks I was there as I had two patients that were very different than anyone I had seen before.  Without sharing too much, one was a patient who had a stroke and was almost completely dependent in transfers, ADLS, etc and the other was someone that, among other things, had some vision issues, which was really neat to research because I had never seen/treated visual deficits before.   
The last week of my FW was especially fun!  We had several students at my site this summer so there was a lot of celebrating and awesome treats.  I did my in-service at the beginning of the week and my topic was on mirror therapy, which I had a lot of fun researching and reading about.  I made a mirror box (wish I had taken a pic – I’m making my own, so I will take a pic of that one later) for my site to keep and use.  They were very receptive to a new type of therapy that they didn’t make a regular practice of using and all seemed interested.  As I began researching it, I shared the information with my CI and she let me use it in therapy the last 4 or 5 weeks with several of my patients we thought might benefit from it.  That’s another reason I liked my site and especially my CI: she always allowed and encouraged me to try things/activities that they didn’t use regularly in the clinic, so it pushed me to try and be creative when I could.  Speaking of creativity in the out-patient setting, I wrote the promised post about being occupation-based in an out-patient setting weeks ago and never posted it!  I need to give it a once over and add a few things, so hopefully that post will follow.   But back to my in-service… I made yummy s’mores cookies because I am obsessed with all things s’mores and the first student to do their in-service set the bar pretty high with yummy treats.  On my last day we went to lunch, and then happy hour after work. It was so nice of them to do something for the students for our send-off.  I will sincerely miss spending my days with everyone that works there; they were all such nice people and great therapists, both PT’s and OT’s alike.  I deliberated quite a bit over the CI gift and settled on a pedicure and some handcrafted earrings.  I made matching sets of earring for the other 2 OTs there since they helped me so much this summer and were so nice.  I was not excepting any sort of gift since I had already been given so much, but my CI surprised me with a bag of all my favorite snacks, gum, a therapy ball, and the most awesome gift of all, a healing hand charm necklace on, of course, black and gold ribbons (Saints colors).
Tomorrow is my first day back to my last semester of actual classes and I would be less than honest if I said was eagerly awaiting this experience.   I part of me is a tinsy bit excited, but the vast majority of me wishes I were going to another FW placement rather than back to the classroom.  It was just such a great experience to actually be able to practice what we learn about in school and do day to day things that I will be doing for the rest of my life.  But alas, the rest of my life can wait as I know there are still many things I must and need to learn in the classroom before I am truly ready.  We are taking Research II (which I have been told has been reconstructed and is with a new instructor – refer back to my honest confession of disappointment with this class last semester), Management, Applications II, Principles of Practice Early Life (we save peds for last), and Community Based/Specialized Practice.   Should be an interesting and very different semester!