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!