Wish upon a star

I'm now at that momentous 1-year-since-graduation mark. Still close enough to remember being a student (which is why I try to post tips and helpful things) but also wanting to be a full-fledged totally-awesome practitioner. I've always been a little critical on myself, and don't like to just sit back and relax, as I'm afraid of waking up one day and finding that I'm actually terrible at what I do. So though I recognize that it's way too early to be a 100% awesome OT, I know that there are things that I should be doing more of to be my best. So, as a 'year in review,' here's a list of things that I would like to be doing more or generally better at.
  • Transfers/Independently Ambulating New Pts- Since I left my rehab fieldwork, my transfer skills have seriously declined. I always doubted my general strength and body mechanics, but I used to be able to do a DEP transfer alone (and had to, as there was no support staff!). Now I've grown lax, since there are helpful nurses/techs, rehab aides, and PT staff abounding. I often hold off on my evals if I can tag team w/ PT, which is not a totally bad thing but I should have more confidence in getting pts up on my own. I have gotten a lot better about that, but do try to play it safe when possible.
  • Stroke Treatments- compared to my fieldwork, we get absolutely zero CVAs, so I haven't had a chance to really hone my treatment skills for this diagnosis. This would include the following:
    • Scapular mobilizations
    • Neuro-reeducation
    • Motor control theory- my husband was swift enough to spy an old textbook w/ pictures of Brunnstrum and Rood movement methods at a yard sale. I haven't had a chance to review this, and I know that I don't have a solid practice base in old principles of motor recovery or the new motor control theory, and really need to.
  • Time Management- this has improved greatly since fieldwork, but I still find myself struggling to get everything done in a day
  • Pediatric Goal Writing- admitted bad habit: I often delay writing my pediatric pt's goals and have a hard time making them SMART, as they say. Sensory goals are especially challenging and I've been trying to get some advice on that.
  • Occupation-Based Sessions for Adults- I am good at incorporating BADLs into treatment, but I should be getting my adults to do some more fun things.
  • Laying Down the Law- it seems that a lot of my pediatric pt's parents do things that make my life a lot harder, such as no-show'ing, leaving the waiting room while the child is in therapy, etc. I need to be better at drawing the line with people when necessary.
  • Explaining OT to Adults- I know, this should be second nature and part of my eval spiel, but I do get in a hurry. Sometimes it seems like there's no way to make people care about what we do, no matter what is offered.
  • Sensory-based treatments- I would really like to have a better plan about conducting these during pediatric sessions so that things go smoothly more often. I have some materials to help, but I need time to review everything and make changes.
  • Turning it all off- I need to get better at compartmentalizing work away from the rest of my life. I also need to de-stress better, do more ME time things. I get in a habit of just relaxing and watching tv, but I need to work out more, get back into pilates, read books for fun, spend time with friends.
When you spend many days stretched to complete treatments and documentation, it's easy to fall into a routine and forget about where you want to change and develop. Any suggestions on improving my practice would be appreciated. I won't be able to return comments immediately, as I am on vacation (!!!) but I do appreciate the feedback :)


mind_bodyshop said...

My ideal relaxation is working on upholstry. I spend hours in junk shops buying furniture. I do all the upholstery work myself, and it's like therapy.

Sarah Bodell said...

I read your post with great interest, and am so impressed by your ability to reflect on your performance. But..... You seem a little hard on yourself. Remember to really consider what you do well too! Good luck with your career, and I look forward to reading more of your posts.
You might like to check out our blog at www.frederickroad.blogspot.com

Cheryl said...

Yes Sarah, you have discovered one of my somewhat irksome personality habits- I am quite hard on myself. I have very high standards for myself so that I don't become a slacker, but I'm not really obsessive about it. I will check out your blog- I saw it on facebook too!

oteducation said...

I totally agree with Sarah - rejoice in what you feel confident in doing, be aware of what you are trying to develop but work out what you can achieve realistically, work on an area at a time!

Just a thought re laying down the law - stop to reflect on what might be shaping the parents behavior - parenting is a challenging role, parenting a child with a disability can be very hard work! Rather than laying down the law.. try spending time with the parents to understand their stories - often we don't stop to spend time with families - to fully appreciate where they are at! Check out some of the blogs written by parents of children with disabilities - you will gain much insight into what they face on a daily basis that would send most of us running a mile!

oteducation said...

oh, just an addition to my previous post... remember you are in their lives for a very short time! They are doing what they need to... for a role that can be lifelong.

oteducation said...

Oh... goal setting - you could put an example up and then see who comes along to give comment, rewrites etc!