The 2011 AOTA Conference: OT in HD is in full swing!
Wow. This has been a truly awesome experience thus far. I know people want updates, and it's so hard to encapsulate because there are a million wonderful things going on in all facets of OT practice. Deciding where to begin is difficult.
First off, I think it has been great to be able to come with a friend. My best friend (also an OT, how convenient) got to come this year and this is her first conference, so it's been exciting to see things through her eyes and have someone to bounce ideas off of and be interested in similar things. It's also nice to have someone to sit in the big sessions with and go out in the evening together. So her presence has made this conference an improvement over others in that regard.
Another "people power" effect is that since I have become more involved in OTConnections, my state association, and NBCOT, I have met a lot of people and it's very fun to get to meet them in person or see them again. I also have at least a fair memory for names and faces, so I will see someone's name badge or recognize them from a photo and say hello. I've had a couple of people spot my badge and ask about various people at the hospital and life in Baltimore and I enjoy those chance meetings. I have gotten to see several of my former professors and had time to catch up with them, which is great. There are such terrific people in the field that by just talking to others in your sessions you can find out great things and see that there are OT revolutionaries all around.
I have been to some very informative sessions on a wide range of topics thus far. Started with a course on Infant Driven Feeding in the NICU, also got to see some ground breaking research on Contemporary Motor Control with guidelines for practice. Today I had GREAT sessions which have warranted their own posts at a later date- a session on being a Survivor in a tough market which segued well into the presidential address outlining benefits of being competitive. I got to be part of an intensive discussion on telehealth with (dare I say it?) other OT geeks, and then the Slagle lecture was terrific. Tomorrow is very up in the air... I have 3 sessions that are interesting in the morning and 3 in the afternoon that all overlap. I don't have a 3 sided coin. and we are planning on going to the AOTPAC night which judging by last year's pictures should be a lot of fun.
I've got a lot of notes from the various sessions and I'm really glad that I took off Monday to process everything.
Looking at the conference program, I realize I saw several of the "pixel people" at sessions today... I've also been able to match up the color photos with the grayscale on the cover... totally dweeby of me.
The updates on twitter under #AOTA11 have been interesting to follow, but I'm only getting them sporadically given the spotty wifi and cheap cell phone coverage. It's exciting to see so many people posting. I hope that people will also go back and use OTConnections more post-conference to make some dynamic SIS-type interactions.
Sorry this is so random, but that's the way of things during this time of sensory overload and OT-awesomeness. There's a lot of excitement tomorrow and I need my beauty sleep! More updates to come after I get home for sure.