Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pediatrics, peds, kids, children, kiddos, and other four limed sassy, young creatures

My blogging is virtually (get it?) nonexistent these days.  I think my last update was around the beginning of this semester.  The theme of this semester is CHILDREN(!) and I feel like that is basically what I have spent all my time and energy on lately.  We are taking some other classes, but largely this is the kid semester.  Though I have no carved out my particular niche in the OT world yet, the only thing I have, in fact, weeded out is peds : )
My quietness is in part, to me keeping my head down and trying to make it to the finish line: T-minus  7 months until I am done!  And only 4 weeks until I am done with classroom work for life.  It is also in part to the fact I am not passionate about learning pediatrics and simply don’t have the bubbling enthusiasm about projects and assignments that I have had in previous semesters.  I’ve mostly kept to the “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” motto on this blog except for the few instances where I took a lot of time to voice my complaints in a professional manner, so I feel like remaining quiet was better than either A) faking enthusiasm or B) complaining. 
It’s not just peds though.  I think largely my class is just burned out and ready to be done.  This semester has been a little crazy in general from the get go.  We had a hurricane and missed an entire week of school the first month in, we all have family things going on: births, deaths, surgeries, sickness, etc., etc. etc.  You can only put real life on hold for a certain amount of time and in OT school, I think to a certain extent you do put at least part of your life on hold because you are simply too busy to do and attend to everything.
Lastly, I think the design of my program kinda sets us up for this burnout to be honest.  It was very hard to go from practicing virtually as an independent therapist to transition back into the student role of assignments and papers.  I think this is uncommon though, as most universities I’ve heard of save all of their long fieldworks for last.  Good and bad to every program and my programs has a TON of GOOD (my favorites being our extensive anatomy program, applied kinesiology class, and AMAZING orthopedics class as well as the fact that all of our instructors really try their best to give us diverse and unique experiences)), but I don’t particularly like this one aspect of how we are set up.
BUT I (and largely as a class, we) now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We have 4 weeks, Christmas break, then one last 3 month rotation!  And if nothing goes wrong (crossing my fingers/knocking on wood/thinking happy thoughts) my fieldwork should be amazing!  That is also helping me get through this semester : )
Instead of attempting to explain all the crazy stuff we have been doing I figured I would high light some of the fun moments (you know, stay positive) because we have done some pretty cool things this semester too. 
Some cool lectures/classes

This is a picture of the lovely OT student who goes by the name of STC feeding from a slow release nipple at a great feeding lecture we attended at a local hospital.  Despite the fact I’m not a peds person, I really enjoyed this lecture and found it very informative, mostly because I had major tactile defensiveness when I was a kid and will know what to do in 10 years if I have kiddos who have feeding issues.  They gave us some great resources!  This is something I love about my program, because the instructors really do try to set us up with maximum resources and experiences.

Here are some pics from a lecture we had on low vision.  I think this was one of my favorite things we have done all semester because I am interested in learning more about low vision.  It’s such as unique area in the therapy role carved out just for OTs.  Hoping to learn more about this one day.

Here is a pic of OT student A and OT student K (our only brOT) in the class participating in some sensory activities during a lecture on ADD, Autism, and Bipolar Oppositional behavior disorders .  And yes I feel cool because I learned this term at conference (something I realize I never wrote about… whomp whomp)

We also had a great lecture from an OT who works with at the VA on the OT role in Veterans health care.  I am also very interested in this topic so I really enjoyed this lecture as well. 

Some assignments/work

We have done two more activity bags that I may post.  One was for Ot in a non-traditional practice setting (mine was for a veteran returning with mental health complications) and a general neuro activity bag. 

We have done several big assignments in peds including an overview of development, a cerebral palsy case study for early childhood, and a spina bifida case study for middle childhood.  We also administered the Peabody assessment for an assignment, and had a long research assignment on a particular peds journal article. 

We also did a case study from our fieldwork 1 experiences (I was in an out-patient sensory integration clinc --- more peds) that deserves another post entirely if I have the time/energy. 

We made a dynamic splint

We did another IEP for our second level II fieldworks

We have been working all semester on writing a book as a class on prevention and wellness information throughout every decade of life (probably another 6 posts that I will never write to explain the complexity of this assignment)

We are also working on a research case study from our first level II fieldwork over the summer that is going to be a pretty big project – I am doing a flexor tendon repair case treated with early active motion protocol. 

We have done presentations on pros/cons of different aspects of healthcare in America such as Medicaid contraction plans and the Affordable Care Act.

Hmmmm there are tons of little things in between that we have done but I think that is a good enough picture for now.  I will be updating a little more soon.  I need to process/brain storm what my moves/plans are going to be over the next several months in regards to studying and taking the NBCOT getting licensed, and finding a job.  VERY scary but exciting stuff!  My enthusiasm shall return!

PS Happy Halloween!
: )