Saturday, December 12, 2015

Last Day of Level II

Short, sweet, and to the point. 

So yesterday was bittersweet as it was my last day at the hospital. It was so hard saying goodbye to all my great patients and the therapists who I built amazing relationships with. The day before my supervisor and I went over my final eval obviously I passed and she had some great feedback for me. They even threw me a surprise breakfast party--okay it wasn't much of a surprise because on Thursday people were asking me what kind of breakfast foods I liked then early Friday morning Nadia texted me saying "don't eat a big breakfast!" and then BINGO. I feel so loved by everyone there and I hate knowing I won't be able to return to work there. If I could change my professional rotation, I probably would. Oh well. 

I miss it already.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tying Shoes

Hey friends!

I am LOVING inpatient rehab! It has been amazing to see the progress patients make during their short stay at the hospital, and all the therapists on staff are so supportive of each other. Some days I have zero desire to get out of bed and make the hour long commute to the Med Center, but seeing my patients always brings a smile to my face. I'm feeling overwhelmed with fieldwork and the courses (studying to prep for the practice board exam, YIKES) and I feel like I never have enough time in the evenings. So thankful for weekends to relax and catch up on school even though I'd rather be doing anything else than schoolwork

So far, my most memorable patient was a young guy with a brain injury, who when from a comatose/bed bound state to being oriented to his environment and engaged in activities. It was amazing to see his progress (I had seen him on my second day of fieldwork when I was observing another therapist). For at least a week we had been working on tying his shoes--certainly not an easy task for him. A few days prior to discharge, he finally TIED BOTH SHOES ON HIS OWN! I was thrilled for him to have accomplished something we take for granted every day.  

At the hospital, my caseload is mostly neuro (stroke and brain injury) and I haven't seen any ortho diagnoses yet, but I'm sure they'll be coming at some point. Life is rocking and rolling right now! And of course Andrew is working his tail off with satellite stuff. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Married Life and Fieldwork

Sorry I've been so MIA lately, BUT I'M MARRIED! And of course fieldwork started last Monday, so much happening right now! Everything was absolutely perfect yes there were some minor problems but who cares and we had a great honeymoon too in the Dominican Republic!

On the note of fieldwork, things were off to a rough start last week. Apparently the student coordinator forgot to tell my supervisor I was coming on Monday and she wasn't around. AND I didn't even get to meet her until Thursday! The hospital has a policy where your first 3 days you spend time in different units observing different therapists. But I guess I shouldn't complain too much, I'm married and living back in Texas for good! Anyways, I think i'm going to get along well with my supervisor and all the other therapists and techs. Can't wait to see what this experience has in store for me!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

One Down, Two to Go

I can't believe I finished my first fieldwork and PASSED! What an incredible feeling. Now I get to head home and finish planning my wedding!! I'm so ready to be done with wedding planning and to be in the same state as my friends and family (and of course my fiance-almost-husband).

Did I mention I went to Vegas for a cousin's weekend? It was fantastic and while I can't post too many details, we did see a Cirque du Soleil show and didn't lose too much money :)

The drive from Arizona back home was probably the longest drive of my life. The map said it was 17 hours but of course there was a two hour time difference between Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Megan was my copilot the whole way, and we ended up having a pretty good time. As expected, we left before the sun rose and didn't get home until it was dark. The drive wasn't too bad since it was mostly interstate driving. But there was one part where I almost ran out of gas--but it wasn't my fault! Megan and I picked a Love's station to stop at, and that particular exit and the next 5-10 miles were under construction WITHOUT WARNING. We had to wait until we were out of the construction to turn around and go back to the nearest town. As we got off the interstate, my gas light flicked on. Talk about a close call and almost having to push a car down the interstate. Kidding. You can always tell when you've been in the car for too long especially when your body is sore days after driving. Oh well. I'm HOME!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Deep Thoughts

With the last two weeks of fieldwork staring me in the face, I think I've begun to realize that outpatient therapy is not the place for me.  Not that I haven't enjoyed it (it has been amazing) or that I haven't learned anything (my brain has exploded with the information I've learned), but the pace seems a little too slow.  I'm seeing the same people over and over and OVER again with little to no improvement.  Or they are improving and I just can't see it, I'm not sure which.  Also, twelve weeks is entirely too long for fieldwork, it needs to be 10 weeks.  I feel like I'm hitting burnout, and I'm not even practicing on my own yet!  Seems a bit strange, doesn't it?  I'm curious to find out whether or not this will happen and all the same emotions will hit during my fall fieldwork. Pretty sure it will.

This weekend was relatively quiet, but the end of last week was unbelievable hectic.  Bonnie (my supervisor) has been out of town since Thursday and I'm mostly on my own  with a handful of patients we didn't cancel.  Everything has been just fine, and I even spent some time doing the following:
Lymphedema
Wound Care
(nasty business, but it was so cool!)
Inpatient Rehabilitation 
(where I got to work with a woman who had bilateral trans-tibial amputations done due to wounds not healing)
Hands 
(carpal tunnel, brachial plexus injury)
Behavioral Health Unit
(similar to a psychiatric ward)

Needless to say with all of that going on plus some of my regular patients, the last few days have been rough.  I'm glad Bonnie will return to work on Wednesday.  Not sure I could handle the stress of her entire schedule. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

One More Month

How is it that EIGHT WEEKS have already gone by??  I think back to my birthday and Megan's graduation and moving all of my stuff out of the place I called home in Omaha for two years, and it feels like it really wasn't so long ago.  Although the next four weeks will likely be the most challenging (this week I got promoted to having a full patient caseload--which is 19 patients for me), it will likely be the most rewarding and my time to really shine.  Bonnie told me earlier this week she is finally seeing my comfort and confidence really shine when working with patients.  I might not see it, but she does and my patients do as well.  Oddly enough, this week was rather uneventful and aside from my 3 new evals, two of which did not show up.  

I found this GIF awhile back, and it seems appropriate to share it now with y'all.  The caption that goes with it says:

WHEN YOU REALIZE YOU ONLY HAVE ONE MONTH LEFT OF YOUR FIRST FIELDWORK SETTING
[http://whatshouldwecallot.tumblr.com/]
Definitely how I feel right about now.  I've learned so very much about a variety of things but I'm just now getting into the swing of things and poof, it will be time to leave before I know it.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Emergency Room Visits

So this week has been one of the most exciting and stressful weeks on fieldwork I've experienced thus far.  On Monday, I was working with a patient with a CVA and we were standing at the counter completing a variety of tasks.  We had been working for about half an hour and he took a short break before standing up at the counter again.  Bonnie (my supervisor) came over and had a few ideas of her own.  No more than 5 minutes after she came over did this patient appear to have a seizure.  He said he couldn't find what he was looking for on the counter because he couldn't see, then his eyes rolled back into his head and he became rigid and unresponsive.  Additionally, his skin color turned to a gray color and his lips started turning blue.  Immediately, Bonnie called 'rapid response' which is essentially the emergency code for the hospital.  While we awaited their arrival, we were able to get his seated in a chair (still unresponsive) and attempted to take his blood pressure. Long story short, rapid response took him to the ED and kept an eye on him.

On Thursday, another patient who is receiving both OT and PT came in early for her appointment, and found me after I returned from lunch and said she wasn't feeling like her usual self.  She complained of severe abdominal pain and her blood pressure was somewhere around 170/120, which is higher than her normal (she has hypertension and is on medication).  Between myself, Bonnie, the PT treating her and a PTA who had seen her previously, we chose to call rapid response.

So needless to say, it was a crazy busy week.  But perhaps the most exciting part of my week is the fact that my mom is here and Bonnie gave me Friday off to enjoy my time with her!  I'll have to tell y'all all about my adventures another time though. Happy Sunday!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hello Midterm

Hard to believe that tomorrow begins week 6 of my first Level II fieldwork! I know I've said this before, but truly, my time here is FLYING BY. Earlier this week, my clinical instructor and I went over my midterm evaluation--which I was completely nervous about. She had me complete the evaluation on my own and then we went over it together. Long story short, I am right on track where I need to be which is good news! Certainly I am not yet at the entry-level practitioner of course but I will hopefully be there at the end of my 12 weeks here.

While my weekend has been mostly uneventful, it turns out one of my professors used to live here prior to moving to Omaha to work for Creighton. She flew in to conduct some site visits, and emailed the students here about going out to lunch. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I was the only student able to meet her on Saturday, but it was quite nice to chat with her and learn more about the area. And the sweetest part was a free lunch as a treat! So wonderful! This upcoming week I have 9 patients on my caseload, which feels overwhelming right now but I'm sure I'll get through it just fine. Over half of the caseload are patients who have suffered CVAs, and they each have different abilities post-stroke.

Perhaps my most exciting news would be that my mom is coming to visit this week! She'll be here Thursday night and stay for a few days. We're planning to head up to Utah to see Zion National Park and take a tour of Lake Powell, and probably see the Grand Canyon too. It's gonna be a fun weekend and I can't wait to see my mom! On top of all that excitement, the wedding is less than 3 months away! I've also managed to convince two of my cousins and my sister to come to Vegas with me when I'm finished with fieldwork in August. So excited for everything that's going to happen!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

One Quarter Done!

Well readers, I've made it 1/4 of the way through fieldwork! Time is flying by and I am learning SO MUCH. My set hours are 7am-3:30pm Monday through Friday. More often than not, I work later than that. With the wedding coming up in less than 100 days, I'm wondering how people balance a full time job with a family or anything else going on because I feel like I barely have time when I get off work to cook dinner, plan the next day's treatments (if any), try to squeeze in a workout, and shower then go to bed. I'm certainly curious to see how things will go in the future.

The facility I'm at has weekly objectives for their students, and so far I'm on track with meeting their objectives. For the upcoming week, my caseload will increase to 4 patients (since it's week 4 of fieldwork). What that means is that I am responsible for coming up with a treatment plan for each of them and progression of treatment in order for patients to make gains in therapy. And I'm also responsible for writing up documentation and billing after (or during) the session. Does it sound like a lot? Right now it is but as the weeks progress, it will be easier to come up with treatment ideas...at least that's what I'm hoping.

One of the cool things happening the first two weeks of every month is called More Power Mondays (MPM) and three people diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease come to the clinic for speech, physical, and occupational therapy. It's been interesting to work with people diagnosed with PD but also nice to see another program compared to what Creighton teaches us, which is a program called LSVT BIG. From what I've seen and learned, both programs are good but More Power seems to be more functional but I still need to learn a little more about it.

The majority of the caseload I've seen so far are patients who have suffered a stroke, otherwise known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Each patient is at a different stage of healing, and although they all experienced a stroke, no two patients are the same or have the same recovery process. The other cool thing going on at the facility is a monthly stroke support group that people who experienced a CVA, their family members, and caretakers can attend each month and share experiences or struggles. Pretty cool if you ask me!

Stay tuned for more exciting happenings soon!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Week 1 Accomplished

Soooo you've probably been wondering why I've been updating my blog so much lately. I'm trying to get back into the swing of updating regularly, and you should all prepare yourselves to hear more about OT than you could ever imagine. For the next year, I'll keep blogging about life but since life revolves around OT fieldwork right now you'll have to listen to my rants about stubborn patients and about all the cool things I'm going to be able to do! I'll be here in Arizona for the next 11 weeks (week one is done!) and things are gonna get crazy. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Made It

Hi readers! Just a quick update from my phone to let y'all know that Megan and I made it safely to Arizona! We even stopped at the Grand Canyon, and it was breathtakingly beautiful. Enjoy.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Feeling Overwhelmed

So I'm attempting to study for my last final EVER tomorrow, and I am struggling. Y'all know I lost all my motivation like a year ago but who really cares which isn't a good thing. All I can think about is how much fun I had this past weekend but how stupid it was for me to go home right before finals. In the long run, it's totally worth it, but right this second I'm having regrets. And then my mom and Megan fly in tomorrow afternoon and my birthday is Wednesday and Andrew is flying in and then I have to pack up my life and send it back to Texas while my sister treks with me to Arizona. Oh yeah, did I mention I got placed in Arizona for 12 weeks of fieldwork? No? Well, I am. I've got a place to live and I'm planning to pack as lightly as possible. Megan is riding with me in the car to Arizona, so we'll go through Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, then Arizona. Two full days of driving. Gross. Okay, enough procrastinating...back to studying. Less than 24 hours left of school!! Yay.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

She Did It!

So this past weekend I flew home to Texas to watch my younger sister, Megan, graduate from college. I am so proud of her for persevering these last few years because she has achieved a major accomplishment! We spent Friday celebrating, had a delicious lunch as a big family, then headed to Houston for the weekend. I stayed Friday night with Andrew's parents and went to a baby shower Saturday morning for one of my sweet friends. It was so wonderful to see her and I couldn't believe how big she had gotten! After the shower, Megan picked me up and we headed down to Clear Lake for a family party/crawfish boil/graduation party. I spent most of my time studying for finals and finishing up lectures and homework. How boring. I did spend a little time with family members and we even celebrated a little of my birthday, which was a total surprise! Then of course, Sunday was Mother's Day and we celebrated by driving me back to the airport.

The graduate!
Andrew and me
Mom-to-be! Due in August
Delicious birthday cake from HEB!
Even though the weekend was fast and furious and hectic as could be, I'm so glad I was able to go home and celebrate Megan's huge accomplishment. Love you, sissy!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Goodbyes Suck

Creighton OTD GO Class of 2016
So last week was the last lab for us as a class. I'm going to miss these guys so much. We have become so close in the last two years something I thought would never happen because I was all alone and didn't know anybody and we just get each other. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have survived school without them. I really cannot believe I won't see some of them until graduation...May 2016. A whole year from now. Yikes. I guess in the meantime I'll keep up with them on Facebook and through texting. Sad face.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

AOTA Conference

Hey readers! I had such an awesome and educational weekend! Some of my classmates drove from Omaha to Nashville for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Conference held each year in April. Cause, ya know, April is OT Month! It was my first time in Nashville and I had a little bit of a chance to be a tourist (drove by the Opry, checked out local cuisine, etc.). More than anything though, I attended several educational sessions and learned so much. I'm already excited to attend next year's conference hopefully! The only downside was the long drive...which really wasn't that long since it was similar to my usual drive home (12ish hours). Unfortunately, I'm feeling lazy and don't want to get a ton of photos off my phone. So these two are all you get. Did I mention Stanley Cup Playoffs were also happening? Nashville was crazy busy!

Classmates at Conference
Waiting for a table at Rosepepper Cantina--well worth the wait!