Reflection of the week

A few reflections from the past week, which has been very hard.
First off, I would just like to say that the AOTA conference was great, but I was very foolish to stay for the entire time and then head right back to work the next day. Because as fun as it is, it is also exhausting, and I didn't get any time to process the new information before heading right back into my crazy daily life. I was looking forward to today, my day off, to do some of that. However, I neglected to remember that we're traveling AGAIN this weekend. So that has added to the stress, and I won't really get a "me day" to process stuff until next Saturday. Very difficult on a personal level, and also because I would like to do some recaps about the cool sessions I attended and to give a glimpse of conference awesomeness to the holdouts who didn't make it this year.
In my stress, I decided to let go of thinking about presenting at a state conference this year, since all the deadlines were very close. However, I will be applying to present at next year's AOTA conference in Philadelphia. I will be trying to do a Tech Day session on hands-on optimization of OT Connections and the web in general using tools such as RSS readers, email filters, and aggregators. Basically an in-depth and hands-on version of my presentation to WVOTA last year. I feel like many people shy away from using online OT tools because they don't know the ways to make it less time-consuming. Any thoughts, or people who want to join in?
This week, work has over-dominated my life, preventing a normal occupational balance. Carved out some time for friends, but it went poorly too. So I'm trying to focus on some of the more positive or interesting things of the week.

- With the brainstorming help of some PT buds, I made a really cool splint. Our plastic surgery dept has been writing some crazy orders of late, and this time they got a crazy splint as a result, but they liked it. A woman had a skin graft on the anterior and posterior sides of her calf, and they wanted all pressure off of this to heal. However, she only had about an inch from the sole of her foot before the graft started, and then it was almost to her knee. So if you think about supporting an entire leg from those 2 points, and you've had basic physics, you know that's just not an awesome idea considering the stress and strain that would be present. And thinking about orthoplastic splint construction, I was really at a loss of how to create a solid object to accomplish this. Then the idea of using an abduction pillow came up, cutting a large piece out of the blue foam and reorganizing the straps so that no part of the graft would touch, but greater support would be available to the leg. Not having a knife, or razor blade, (either of which would have been better, more appropriate tools) I set out with scissors and my BARE HANDS to rip the foam as needed, providing a much-needed laugh to my pt. And it worked! Props to combined creativity!

- I spent a fair amount of time explaining standard developmental tasks for 3 year olds this week. They just aren't made to be perfect yet at that point.

- Happened to have the AE cabinet open, which sparked some ideas during an outpatient session. Gave a teenager a rocker knife, which she absolutely loved. Steak is a favorite food. We spent several minutes chopping up theraputty with me hovering nearby to save the other hand. Obviously, she'll have to use it with supervision, but I think that it was truly helpful for her to have a tangible skill at the end of the therapy session. (This is part of a much larger thought process right now, but that will be a very long blog post at another time)

- Spent time crying the other night over one of my pts who went home instead of to rehab because his wife is dying. Lately our sessions have just been getting him to a wheelchair so he could go visit her in another part of the hospital. Very sad situation, but luckily they have family support to make the end of life time better.

- I think the newborn nursery can sense when I'm overstressed AND happen to be the only one to cover the area. Got 2 referrals yesterday, but got my second really conscientious and involved family in 3 weeks, which is really nice. It makes up for the stress of getting everything else covered when the parents really want to get your opinion.

And that's about it. I'm behind on my online readings, but am just simplifying things by deleting several that are either too frequently posted or not compelling enough. I went from 300 unread to 74 through that method. I'm behind on my library books... really can't get into the current book and am more excited about the other one I checked out, which is about Asperger's Syndrome. I'm behind on my professional reading- I ordered a book about developmental coordination disorder and am now afraid that the child I'm treating will be out of visits before I even get it open, and I borrowed a NICU book from a colleague several weeks ago that has not even been flipped through yet. And now I have piles of notes from conference to compile, and also have to print out my handouts before they expire off the site. I also promised to add new acute people on OT Connections and work on making some awesome acute-related posts but I haven't been able to start yet. Can anyone spare some extra eyeballs and brains to help me with all that? lol. I did read a very good post by "the OT Nerd" about the worth of conference for re-energizing, and I hope that I haven't wasted that feeling by rushing back to work.

Time to jet off on another trip... I will get to everything eventually!


Joan Rogers' Award during Conference opening ceremonies

I'm Attending!
To start the first of many shared media files from Conference, I present to you Joan Rogers accepting the Presidents' Commendation during the Opening Ceremony. Video is in the full post. While the technical quality is not superb, the content certainly is.

Still to come- video compilation from opening ceremony dancing, video from Penny Moyers Cleveland's farewell address, photos and videos from expo, photos from conference classes and events. Full uploading to be done at OT Connections.


Almost Over

I'm Attending!Our conference time is almost at an end...
Saturday was a long day, but still had some highlights. I got some good videos and pictures, which will all be uploaded to the OT Connections Conference Gallery either at the airport or Monday after I get home. So if you're not already on OT Connections... get there! I have been talking especially to acute care practitioners at conference trying to get them involved w/ OTC because I feel that we are very isolated in our practice and need to connect so we can determine what is best practice and what is just "facility tradition." It's hard after conference to maintain the same energy and excitement, and I feel that using OTC can help keep that feeling alive longer in the face of everyday work.

Time to go to my last workshop... these Sunday sessions are hard to get motivated for since all the fun and most of the people have gone. Then the exciting time of 6 hours at the airport!


Notes from Friday

I'm Attending! Friday was VERY busy
I think my longest break between everything was built at 30 minutes... one presentation ended early so I wound up with 45 minutes at one point. Chatting with several different people, most of whom I did not know. Had a good conversation about the evolution of the Slagle lectureship with a 50+ year member, which will get written up eventually. Had a good SIS discussion on issues with oncology and a great NICU course.

On today's slate is either a course on acute management of TBI/SCI or a discussion on the AOTA guidelines for CVA/TBI care which are unfortunately opposite one another. Also of course is the address from incoming president Florence Clark. Trying to decide whether to go to the business meeting... I am anti-meeting in general (and this is run in parli-pro style so even more dry than a staff meeting) but they have occasionally been lively with debate. Unsure if they will ratify RA decisions during the meeting. I heard Thursday from multiple reliable sources that the suggestions from the Participation Ad Hoc committee did not pass in whole, though the COOL and other options for increasing leadership will still proceed. A new committee has been formed to deal with restructure of the organization. Some people are obviously happy about this decision, I saw RA members and several folks I recognize from message boards discussing this happily, but there's still a long road to hoe in increasing participation, and I hope someone in the RA is sitting on some good ideas at how to make it work. More on all that later, got to get out the door.