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!