Once you realize you can do anything life isn’t so scary
This week is the final week of school for my Occupational Therapy program.
This has honestly been the biggest whirlwind adventure of my life. It blows my mind that I am almost done. I love the profession that I have chosen and would not trade it for the world.
I still have to take my boards, but who knows when that will be due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What I DO know is that I have worked very hard for the moment that I get to call myself an OTR/L and I will be very thankful when that happens.
I am so ready to start helping people, and to start the rest of my life.
Just like that, I’m done with my schooling as an occupational therapist. After passing my defense, I will officially graduate this weekend (virtually, something I had not expected). Here’s to hoping that despite all the craziness, I can take my test soon before moving to Wisconsin to officially become an OT!
Label that limb! One of the cool assignments I did for OT school. I enjoyed drawing this and coloring in the bones. During this pandemic it has been hard to attend school online via Zoom. OT is a hands-on profession so it has been difficult to grasp information and learn virtually. This assignment has helped make this crisis a little more bearable and therapeutic.
Many of my classmates absolutely hated this class and thought it was a waste of time. That’s a terrible opening line, but I’ll explain.
At the beginning of the quarter, the professor had us look at lecture powerpoints that had recorded audio prior to coming to class. In class, we had guest speaks that had various conditions, each week a group of classmates presented on a different condition, and then we would spend an hour looking up conditions. The justification for this was that the professor wanted us to be able to look up unfamiliar conditions when we’re on fieldwork and in our future careers as OTs. But she wanted us to only use peer reviewed sources (meaning journal articles and government websites), not just google the condition and get a basic idea of what it is. This was rather laughable because nearly the entire class are millennials, we grew up with the Internet and we know how to use it. Not to mention that we also are graduate students, meaning we completed undergraduate degrees that required us to search for peer reviewed articles at so point, meaning that all of us know how to use google and all of us know how to search a library database.
After receiving many complaints, the course changed slightly. We continued to have guest speakers with various conditions. Which I personally, found interesting and a nice change of pace since we’re trapped in the same classroom for six to eight hours a day (most of which is mindless and boring hours wasted). We also continued to have our group presentations. The professor started to lecture a for 30 to 45 minutes, however, her version of lecturing is having powerpoint slides that basically just list off conditions, and then she’ll talk about some characteristics of them. The worst part is she doesn’t really know what some of the conditions are or she mixes them up, so I personally was doing readings, finding extra sources and making my own summary sheets of each condition (even if it was only listed and not discussed at all).
The irony is, the point of this class was to give us the skills to look up unfamiliar conditions and have enough of an understanding that we would be able to come up with how to evaluate and treat a client (which we have not learned how to evaluate or treat anyone thus far in OT school). However, by spending so much time on this skill, that we didn’t actually spend time learning about the most common conditions treated by OTs, unless you’re like me an took personal responsibility for your own education. Which I did by completing the assigned readings, looking through the textbooks for additional chapters that discuss conditions, and looking up articles about each condition so that I could synthesize all this information into summary sheets on each condition.
Atchison, B. & Dirette, D. (2017). Conditions in occupational therapy: Effect on occupational performance (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.
Radomski, M. & Trombly Latham, C. (Eds.). (2014). Occupational therapy for physical dysfunction. (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Happy OT Month!
Bc of the pandemic of the corona virus our program is facilitating the classes online. It has been a very tough transition especially because our profession is hands-on but as students we have been doing our best to adapt to this situation. It has not been easy and we are hoping this will all be over soon so we can go back to going to school and achieving a better learning experience.
(Being an Occupational Therapist in a Nursing Home during COVID-19)
Your job is to help teach blindfolded people how to navigate the world. They show up on your doorstep, newly blindfolded, and stay with you to learn tips and tricks that will help them safely walk around the world now that they’ve been given a blindfold. You look after them and you care for them and, when they show you that they can make their way around your yard safely, you send them off into the world to live their life, which is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
Only, one day, you wake up to find yourself in the middle of a maze, surrounded by huge green hedges and sitting at a crossroads. In one hand, you have a walkie talkie. In the other, you have a backpack. Behind you, there’s all of the blindfolded people you were teaching how to navigate. Then, from a loudspeaker somewhere, a booming voice announces that there are flaming arrows flying around the maze and that everyone needs to be cautious. The voice says that just getting hit with the arrow doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll burst into flames but people wearing cotton need to be extra careful because everyone knows how flammable cotton is.
Your heart sinks as you look at the blindfolded people behind you because nearly every single one of them is wearing cotton.
Then, the voice over the loudspeaker says that the arrows are seen most often attacking large groups of people, so it’s safest to move around the maze alone or in pairs.
Your blindfolded people are starting to look a little nervous and, to be honest, you’re starting to feel a little nervous too. Before you can say anything, though, your walkie talkie clicks on. The quiet voice on the other end of the line says that he knows you have a group of blindfolded people with you and that he’s going to talk you through this. He assures you that he is an expert at mazes and has helped extinguish flaming arrows before. Everything you might need is in the backpack, he says. But, for now, you just have to get everyone walking to the left.
Information from the CHIA Community Housing Australia website booklet on how to write a letter of support to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, so that people with severe permanent disabilities can receive safe home modifications and disability services. The booklet was published in July 2019.
Please tap on the screenshot with your finger once to enlarge the screenshot on your mobile phone and read the screenshot easily.
To enlarge the screenshot pictures more, put your two fingers on your mobile phone screen together on the screenshot. Move your fingers apart by one to two centimetres. This should make the screenshots much bigger on your mobile phone.
To enlarge the screenshots more on your computer, click the top right corner of your screen, select and left click zoom in, adjust zoom to 150 to 200 percent.
Not sure if I should become a counsellor or an occupational therapist. I am passionate about both mental health and physical health. Anyone have any suggestions with pros and cons?
Lonely walk with some coffee to allow my mind to breathe during this quarantine - and before I turn my 70 page thesis in.
We are currently living in a period of major transition. It is rare that the entire world would be so dramatically affected by a single event, but here we are. For those who are currently Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants or are becoming OTs and OTAs, I challenge you to look at this pandemic through an OT lens. Then I challenge you again to help others cope during this time with your expertise.
Lets remind ourselves of the importance of context and environment shall we?
The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd Edition (2014) refers to contexts as a “variety of interrelated conditions that are within and surrounding the client.” These include cultural, personal, temporal, and virtual components. The framework refers to an environment as “the external physical and social conditions that surround the client and in which the client’s daily life occupations occur.”
We would be kidding ourselves if we claimed that even one of these aspects of our day to day life was not affected during this time. Quite simply put, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into the works of our daily occupations. Many people around the world are unable to work, attend school, communicate with loved ones, leave their homes, participate in social or religious gatherings… the list goes on. The contexts and environments that we are used to have changed, and we must adapt.
As individuals with the ability to examine occupational dysfunction and produce healthy outcomes, we have a responsibility to our families, peers, and communities to help those in need. We have a major opportunity to advocate for our profession and use our skills to reach a wide range of people. One way that we can do this is by utilizing the virtual context.
The internet, social media specifically, has seen an increase in activity as people move indoors. This is where we can lend our voice.
Provide resources for parents with kids who aren’t in school right now.
Provide coping strategies for people with anxiety.
Provide therapy resources.
Provide ways for people to socialize.
Provide ways for people to engage in religious activities.
Provide resources that promote accessibility.
Provide resources for people struggling to be productive at home.
Provide support for other therapists.
Provide ways for people to engage in healthy occupation.
Let us remember that we are creative, evidence-based practitioners who specialize in occupations. Let us not be caught up in the panic that is brought on by situations such as this, but rather let us promote peace and rationality in a time when others need it most.
So many of my classmates are going through some tough times in their lives! This has been a rough week for everyone. I hope this verse is encouraging for those that are feeling down.
The purpose of this course was to gain some clinical skills such as assessment of range of motion (ROM) using goniometry, manual muscle testing (MMT), and learning a few basic transfer techniques. At the end of the quarter we had a practical exam to demonstrate our knowledge of ROM and MMT.
I really enjoyed this lab because we finally got to do something that I’m going to use on fieldwork and in practice. We only spent 1 lab day on transfers, and we weren’t tested on our knowledge of transfers. I wish we had dedicated more time to learning and practicing transfers because safety is the number one most important thing when on fieldwork. If you do something in an unsafe manner, such as a transfer, that’s a one-way ticket to flunking a fieldwork placement.
The textbooks we used for this course:
Biel, A. (2019). Trail guide to the body: A hands-on guide to locating muscles, bones and more (6th ed.). Boulder, CO: Books of Discovery.
Dadio, G.G., & Nolan, J.A. (2018). Clinical pathways: An occupational therapy assessment for range of motion & manual muscle strength. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health.
I personally did not like the Clinical Pathways textbook as it had a lot of mistakes in it that the professor had to point out. I didn’t end up using it much and would just ask the professor questions and take notes to ensure that I had the proper technique for the lab practical.
Therapeutic painting in class!
Hi all, I definitely have not been updating this blog and I apologize for that! I finished my first semester of OT school in December and have been in the thick of the second semester that started 5 weeks ago.
I’m going to be making a big post (or a few smaller posts, haven’t decided yet) about some things I’ve been learning in OT school about OT that I find to be super important! Hint - it all has to do with theory, communication, and evidence-based practice!
I actually haven’t learned any specific assessments (aside from ROM [range of motion] and MMT [manual muscle testing]) and interventions yet because I’m still learning all the important foundations of the field.
I go on my first level 1 fieldwork this semester as well and am very nervous but so excited to apply all the things I’ve been learning to real-life clinical scenarios! I’m hoping to learn and practice as much as I possibly can
As an Occupational Therapist I feel like I must settle the grasp debate. This is totally functional! It’s called an adapted tripod grasp or a d’nealian grasp. Usually I teach it to kids with low muscle ton and/or hypermobile joints. Looks silly, but usually is much more comfortable when people are writing a lot. Totally makes sense for Taylor, as an artist, she is writing her thoughts down all the time. There are so so many ways to hold a pencil and improve handwriting. Okay, rant over. 💗✏️📚
So my occupational therapist died suddenly two weeks ago. I was called up to the hospital and my psychiatrist told me last Friday. The whole department is devastated. Personally I feel really weird about it. We had been working together for over a year and honestly she was more like a friend than a therapist. But at the same time I don’t feel like I have any right to grieve. I knew her in a professional capacity and to get upset about someone who I barely knew outside of my treatment seems silly.
Yet here I am crying.
Me, talking to my social security disability clients who are reporting difficulties with their activities of daily living: