5.03.2008

Metablogging and questions about the future

Through some recent exploration on the internet and making some new online OT friends, I have seen that there is a larger online OT presence than I originally expected. This was pretty foolish, since I do consider myself to be technologically aware. I have discovered numerous OT/student blogs, websites, listservs... there is a gigantic presence out there. My own listing of blogs to the right is drastically limited and will probably be removed... I have had to employ an RSS reader just to stay on top of things (which, by the way, has proven so far to be a worthwhile time investment that I highly recommend). At any rate, these discoveries have shown that there are a lot of other people in the OT world who have been at this longer than I have and appear to be leading more interesting professional lives than I am, which makes me question if this blog will ever become what I had hoped. Hopefully, all our efforts will be worthwhile to the whole and create a greater connectivity between all of us professionals.

My debate about the possible future of the blog has also reminded me of the lifelong debate over the possible future of me. Specifically, for "OT me," there is a lot of uncertainty. Prior to college, I was tossing up careers in architecture or OT. During a college tour, I explained this debate to a professor (Diana, for my peeps) who encouraged me to look into home modifications. That was my first area of OT that I found particularly exciting, and it stayed that way for the first years of OT school, right up until my Level II fieldwork approached in said field. That was a pretty crummy experience, and I haven't done any work in that field since I left that internship. I had become very interested in intensive rehab for SCI/TBI. I was scared off of taking my second fieldwork at RIC due to the distance and the intense atmosphere, so I settled instead for the Healthsouth rehab center close to home and was on the SCI/Orthopedics team. I quickly learned that team saw FAR more knee replacements than SCIs, so while I learned (A LOT) about how to be an OT, I didn't get to learn a lot more about the specialized treatments for more intense injuries. I have held onto an interest in stroke treatment, and still hold out for another rehab job to learn more of those things. And now I have had my first job for 9(?) months, working acute care, SNF, and peds. This is not a combination that I anticipated, and I am unsure of where I am going.

I was taught never to do things halfway, and to actually go above and beyond whenever possible. (this may be obvious from the previous entry where I admitted to doing something OT related outside of work every week... there are some weeks when I am actually doing that everyday.) I put a lot of work into my previous interests (neuro, SCI, home mods) but didn't spend much time on peds since didn't see myself as 'that type of person.' Now, I'm probably overcompensating, but I would like to think of myself as somewhat competent in my practice area. I've been working w/ handwriting w/o tears materials, the Alert program, and will be going to a sensory processing conference this week (anyone going to Harrisburg?). I seem to have a pattern of going all or nothing with my personal continuing ed, and the switch has been flipped to peds. This makes me seriously question the future.

Do I want to keep looking for peds jobs? Do I want to go after a tough rehab job? If so, do I go the path of neuro or orthopedic? Will I be ready for the intense environment? I know that the experience I am getting is worthwhile... it's important to have the time out in the field and continuing to learn. But I can't help worrying that when I try for another job, I won't have the experience level in their field that would be required. The uncertainties of the future are making it hard for me to plan the present.

I find it appropriate to close with a portion of a well-known quote by Thomas Merton. Best of luck to everyone else as they contemplate personal/professional development.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.

3 comments:

bloggingot said...

For OT month, several of the OT's in my hospital went out to a Universal Design house, where from top to bottom, there were tons of things that made everything a lot more accessible. It's interesting, because the owner of the company's wife is an occupational therapist, and he's a contractor and real estate agent, so they put the two field together to make houses more accessible for people with phsyical disabilities.

bloggingot said...

Oops, I forgot to give you the link of the place we went to:
http://www.accessiblehousingservices.com

For the virtual tour:
http://accessiblehousingservices.com/Tours/601/index.html

Cheryl said...

I do love the concept of universal design, and when I get a house, I really want to do it up well to be totally accessible. It's just not something I can do full time :)