Monday, November 14, 2011

Student Conclave 2011- Day 1

We left Radford right after I had my peds client on campus...I rode with three other people from my class and we got almost to the interstate when I realized I had forgotten my wallet back on campus so we had to turn back around so that I could get it. Ha great start to the trip! :)
We made it to the Charlotte airport safely though and in plenty of time :) We ate a small dinner at Chili's in the airport and hung out a bit before boarding the plane! This was my VERY first time on a plane so I was pretty nervous/anxious! I really enjoyed it though :) I kindof want to plan another trip just so that I can fly again!
Kalyn, Me and Mary on the shuttle to the airport

OT girls at the airport

Aaron, Kaley and Rosemary on the plane ready to go!

We got to the hotel in Providence at like midnight and we all were just exhausted and decided to call it a night.

On Friday, we got up and headed out to get coffee/brunch at Panera before exploring around a little bit.
all of us on Friday morning, pic courtesy of a local bus driver
After brunch we walked around the HUGE mall that was attached to our hotel- we went there at least once/day. It had everything...I just wish I had had money to spend =(
Around 1:30 we headed to the Rhode Island Convention Center - that was also connected to our hotel-  to check in and browse the exhibits that were open. There were about 50 health care companies there that had set up tables giving away pens, notepads, and lots of bags! We talked to pretty much all of them over the two days of the conference.
The first concurrent sessions were from 3:00-4:00..and 4 of us chose to go to one titled "Your Fieldwork, Your Future".
me, mary, kalyn and catherine at our first session
We thought it was going to be a great session since we are all thinking about our level 2's coming up this summer. It was quite what we had expected. They had 3 students, that I think were all in peds, a clinical educator and a physical therapist (?) who each spoke for a few minutes before opening up the floor for questions.
Here are the main points/advice I got from this session:
be culturally competent/sensitive
use clinical reasoning
build a therapeutic relationship with clients throughout the OT process
be aware of what is expected of clients (peds in school) and the developmental milestones
build alliances with colleagues
get a Frame of Reference quick reference book
start a binder/folder of  'go-to' tx activities to take with you at all times
take textbooks and class notes from relevant courses
trust your education and what you have learned
practice good communication skills
have a good attitude
and keep your tx client-centered
Have any of you been on a Level 2 Fieldwork- if so, what is your advice ??

After that session, we headed to the Welcoming Ceremony where we heard from the president of AOTA and other members of the board...
our group at the opening ceremony reppin' Radford :)

After the welcoming ceremony we headed back to the hotel to get ready and head to the mall and dinner at PF Changs -it was my very first time eating there and it was deeelicious!!

I did take pics of our food, but I'll spare you :)
After dinner we headed to a local bar/lounge and hung out for a while before heading back and calling it a night.. Sessions started at 8:30 the next morning....but I'll save that post for another day :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Student Conclave 2011

Just got back from a great weekend in Rhode Island at the 2011 AOTA/NBCOT Student Conclave! I can't wait to post all about it...but for now here's a tease...
the 8 of us that went from Radford at the Opening Ceremony

with AOTA's president Florence Clark...our new role model!
check back later this week/next week for more pictures and my experience at the conference!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

RU Occupational Therapy Video

Graduate Programs in Health and Human Services at Radford University from Radford University on Vimeo.

posts coming soon about...
-Our Student Occupational Therapy Association
-My Level 1 Fieldwork in a State Mental Hospital
-The AOTA Student Conclave 2011 - It is in Providence, RI this Friday-Sunday so when I get back, expect posts about the sessions I attended and the experience as a whole! I am so excited about it =)

Pediatric Client: Treatment Session 2

Last Thursday we had our second treatment session with our little kiddo! And our prof videotaped us...yeah I don't ever want to see that video haha I hate how I sound on camera.

We worked on finger identification, handwriting and radial digit isolation and shoe-tying
*For finger ID- we had 3 pairs of gloves (working on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th digits mainly) and had one of those fingers cut out of each glove so when he put the glove on either his 2nd, 3rd or 4th digit was sticking out and not covered by the glove. Then we had him close his eyes, i touched a finger and had him identify it by name.
I was so happy that he met his goal of identifying fingers with 90% accuracy by last week :) We will still review it these next two weeks tho.
*For handwriting, we flattened a piece of play-doh out on the table and gave him a stylus. Then we traced a letter with our finger on his back and had him draw the letter in the play doh. Once we did a handful of letters like that, I just had him write the alphabet on a sheet of lined paper so see how he was with writing every letter like he would be expected in the classroom. Only one reversal, but some inconsistent letter sizes and spacing between letters.
*For radial digit isolation we "fed the tennis ball". Kate had gotten two tennis balls and cut slits in them for mouths, them we decorated them with faces. He was to use his radial digits to pick up beads/pom-poms and put them into the tennis ball's 'mouth'. we also worked on handstrength with this too- sometimes we would be holding it open for him to put "food" into, and then sometimes he would hold the ball open while we put the 'food' in the mouth. He REALLY liked this activity so we may repeat it :)
*Annnd then there was shoe-tying. Oh I wish it were easy to teach this! We went from a shoe-tying book and tried to go page-by-page. He has the first step down pat, but its the from the "bunny ears"/loops and on that gives him trouble. This week we are going to do some backward chaining to try and teach him to tie his shoes. I REALLY want him to reach this goal in the next two weeks- I know his mom would be SO happy if he could tie his own shoes! =)

Only TWO more tx sessions before he will be discharged!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pediatric Client: Treatment Session 1

Last week we started treating our pediatric clients! like I said before, we are treating in pairs. We each had to come up with our own goals (1 LTG, 4 STG's) and treatment activities for our session.
Last week we worked on handwriting, finger idenfication/isolation and shoe-tying.
For handwriting, we put shaving cream on a mirror and had him draw letters in the shaving cream, we also traced letters on his  back with our fingers and then had him draw the letter than he felt.
For finger isolation/identification we used finger monsters in a 'lesson' to go over all of the finger names. and then we had him draw his had on the paper, then label and color each finger a different color
then for shoe tying we had a paper plate with holes around the outside that he laced a shoe string around and then we helped him to tie a bow at the top (like a wreath) then decorate the plate.

It went really well and we got good feedback from our clinic supervisor, and our client seemed to enjoy the activities!

Tomorrow, we have our second tx session....we'll be working on isolating the radial digits, fine motor skills, handwriting and shoe-tying again.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pediatric Client : parent interview + eval

This semester I'm in a Pediatric OT class. For this class this is a clinical component and we are actually seeing REAL clients, in pairs and under the supervision of our professor. I have clinic on Thursdays for an hour, and we'll see them until the end of November. The child I'm seeing is 6 1/2 years old and is in the first grade!
Two weeks ago we interviewed his mom for an hour and got to meet him. Kate (my classmate/partner) and I split up the questions and each talked to her for about 30 minutes. This was my second time interviewing a parent and I thought it went pretty well. It was about how I expected it but the mom had been through this process before so she knew what types of questions I may ask and the kind of information I was looking for. Asking the questions didn't go exactly how I planned bc she just talked and talked (which is good- the whole narrative thing) but I was so scattered with my interview notes that it made analyzing it a little difficult.
Yesterday we had G come back in for the evaluation. Kate and I chose to use the BOT-2- a test of motor proficiency, and we only did 2 of the subtests that covered Fine Motor abilities. It was my first time administering an evaluation to a real child. I had administered the Peabody twice to my professor, but it's different with an actual child. It went okay, it was pretty easy to administer and the items self-explanatory.
After that we had a clinical observation planned. It was an obstacle course with stations that had different activities. The stations were:
1. "treasure hunt" we had a big tub of rice with large foam beads of different shapes and sizes buried in it and had him find the beads and then lace them onto a string
2. we hid beads in play-doh and had him try and pick them all out.
3. Simon says
4. building with toothpicks and fruit snacks (idea from :
5. finger painting/stamping. I printed out this tree and looked at finger isolation, then he tried to stamp with mini marshmallows (idea from: )

Between the stations we set up things like a balance beam, a tunnel, scooter boards and textured circle steps.
Overall it went really well! we have to write up our eval report, a reflection paper for the interview/eval process and come up with goals and activities for next thursday when we start treating!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First Practicum Experience

We had our first practicum experiences in our second semester of classes (spring '11).
I was placed at a local elementary school with 3 of my classmates and one of our professors. We helped out with an after school program called Beans and Rice. We went once a week and worked with kids kindergarten to second grade and we each took turns leading the group. Our group- the OT Zone-was 30 min every Thursday and we focused on things such as writing, telling time, coin values, and fine/gross motor skills. I learned a lot about working with children in a structured setting, dealing with difficult behaviors, planning sessions and documentation...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Disability for a day

Last Fall, our teacher assigned each of us a disability/condition and we had to pretend like we had that disability for an entire day.  Some had to use slings, some ear plugs (Deafness), some crutches and some of us were in wheelchairs.

I had to be in a wheelchair for the whole day! and let me know you- it was HARD! and I definitely underestimated how difficult it would be. My arms were sore the next day. The part I remember most was getting to work and actually having to work. The ramp to the building where I work was SO steep I couldn't make it up on my own, I had to grab onto the handrail and inch myself up...while people were watching me struggle. I also had a hard time at work in the library, some of the shelves were way to high for me to reach, and the isles too narrow. Oh and I had to go all the way across campus to the bigger library and had to use the elevator, a man was on there with me and was just staring at my legs, I really thought he was going to ask me why I had to be in a wheelchair.

Overall it was definitely a great experience and I have a whole new respect for those needing to use a wheelchair everyday.  Public places think they are doing such a great job at making their building "handicap accessible" but really, they aren't, ramps are too steep, doorways are too narrow, and entrances with the automatic doors are inconvenient... I'm very thankful I do not really have to rely on a wheelchair everyday.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Year Recap- Tool kit

As part of one of my classes in my first semester (Fall '10)- we had a 'Tool Kit' assignment. We were each given a performance skill and had to come up with 5 activities to work on that skill that could fit into a medium sized container. My skill was balance.
I had a few ideas right off the bat but had to consult with on the of OT's that I had shadowed for some more ideas (gotta collaborate :) ) 
I can't find the picture of my tool kit but here are the items that I chose and why

1. Sidewalk Chalk/Red Duck Tape to make a Hopscotch board- play activities- going from a wide base of support (2 feet) to a narrow base of support (1 foot) challenges balance. Plus its fun, and children would enjoy this and may not view it as "work"

2. Stability Ball- I included this in my kit because while the client is sitting on the ball, they are required to maintain balance as their center of gravity and base of support are constantly changing and shifting

3. Pants (one for adults, one for a child)- Activity of Daily Living: dressing. Dressing the lower body requires balance whether you are doing it from a seated or a standing position. I also included an exercise band tied in a circle to simulate dressing if you were, for example, working in an outpatient clinic where the client would already be dressed.

4. Simon Says cards- play activity- The commands include “lean to the right side”, “lean to the left side”,and “lean forward and touch your toes”. Could also have them close their eyes to take the visual component out and really look at the vestibular system.  

5. Hanging Shelves (from my closet) and a couple common kitchen items: This would require the client to reach up and stand on their tip toes, or bend down toward the ground which requires the client to maintain balance in each of these positions.  I chose this because it is practical; most kitchens have high and low cabinets that the client would need to reach

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Student Conclave 2011

Officially booked out flight to Providence, RI for the 2011 AOTA Student Conclave!! :))
so excited!

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Year Recap

As I mentioned, these first posts are going to be a backtrack.
This post focuses on my first year of OT school!

My First semester was last Fall (2010) and I took Clinical Anatomy, Fundamental Clinical Skills, Occupation in Human Life and The OT Process.
Clinical Anatomy, is well, pretty self-explanatory.
In Fundamental Clinical Skills we learned skills such as maneuvering a wheel chair, transfers, setting individuals up for meals, positioning in different situations, teaching patients how to use wheelchairs/crutches/walkers etc.. and at the end of the course we had to "role play" with our professor as the patient and demonstrate the skills we had learned. We also focused on learning medical terminology in this course!
Occupation in Human Life consisted of reading many articles and writing journal entries.
The OT Process was an indepth look at each step of the OT process. It was the most challenging class of the semester. We administered the COPM on each other, went to a day care center and administered the Knox Preschool Play Scale. and had many other projects! At the end of this class we had to create a "Tool Kit" for a specific skill and fill it with activites that could be used to work on that skill. I had balance (will have a separate post on what was in my tool kit!). We also had to interview our professor and write a treatment plan based on the interview for our final.

My second semester this past Spring consisted of:
Human Development and Performance: learning about development through the lifespan. We had to visit a day care center and administer the DENVER II, and interview the parent of a child with special needs.
Clinical Inquiry- RESEARCH. we did an evidence synthesis and had to create a poster presentation to present to our class. I did mine on Cognitive Therapy for those with Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Contexts of Service Delivery- this was an overview of the settings in which an OT could work but there was an emphasis on Community Based Practice. We had a big group project in this class that we worked on pretty much all semester- we had to create a community program. My group created a transition program for the public school system in this area.
Psychosocial Aspects of OT- we learned a lot about theoretical models and group treatments. We also visited a state mental hospital 3 times and got to plan and lead group sessions there! It was really interesting!

We also had our first practicum experience in a community based setting. I was placed at a local elementary school at an After School Program. There was 4 of us there and each week one of us was in charge of planning a 30-min activity to do with the group of children. This was definitely a great learning experience in dealing with behavior issues while trying to get through a treatment session.

This past summer, my 3rd semester, we had a Level 1 Fieldwork placement as well as 2 classes.
The classes were:
Professional Seminar- we focused on the things we were doing within out fieldwork placements, and did case studies
Tools for Practice- we did lots and lots of crafts (paiting, stamping, leatherwork, beading, weaving, broom making, paper crafts etc..)
My Level 1 Fieldwork was at the same State Mental Hospital that we had visited in the Psychosocial class. I had a great experience at this hospital. I had no experience with the Mental Health population beforehand so I learned a lot from being there. I was pretty nervous before starting this placement because of the people I would be around, most of them had Schizophrenia or Depression. There was really never a dull moment there! If anyone has any questions about being placed in the Mental Health Setting- just ask!

Sooo.. that completes my first year of OT school! =)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Well, hello :)

Welcome to my new blog! 
I have come across quite a few OT blogs lately and thought it was time to branch out from my personal blog and create one specifically for my experiences related to my MOT program and experiences. The first few posts, I will just be copying/pasting from my personal blog (i have quite a few posts on there about what I've been doing in OT school) just to get this blog up to date.

But first of all, here's a little more about me!

I'm Jessica
I'm 23 and I was born and raised in Virginia, still live here..
and will at least for a couple more years (: 

I graduated from James Madison University in May of 2010 with a bachelors in Health Science

And in August of 2010 I started working towards my Masters in Occupational Therapy at Radford University...and I will be graduating in December of 2012
 I have completed 3 semesters so far. I have had a practicum at an elementary school and a Level 1 Fieldwork at at State Mental Hospital here in VA. Both were great learning experiences! I'll post more in-depth about each in the next couple weeks as I get this blog caught up on the past year.

I really want to connect with other OT students and share experiences! so please don't hesitate to leave comments or email me at willi4jl[at]gmail[dot]com