Where In The World Are The Temple M2’s

Greetings! It has been a while, but Temple SOTA is back with a new segment titled, “Where in the World Are The Temple M2’s” in which I asked some of our Level 2 students about their fieldwork experience.  Below are Rachel and Emily- come see what they had to say!

 

Rachel Frick

Where is your fieldwork and what type of facility is it?

I am at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in the inpatient acute care setting for my first Level II Fieldwork. The hospital has around 260 beds. LPCH treats acutely ill, complex pediatric patients and the OT department works with children on a number of different services including: hematology/oncology, stem cell transplant, organ transplant, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, pulmonary, trauma and intensive care.

What does a “typical” day look like for you at your site?

Every day is different, but this is what a “typical” day looks like.

8-8:30: Chart review

8:30: Morning huddles with OT, PT and SLP

8:40-9: Chart review, call RN’s, call MD’s, discuss co-treats, set up time for patients

9-12: See patients/document when you can

12-12:30: Lunch

12:30-1: Document

1-4: See patients/document when you can

4-4:30: Document

What has been your favorite or most exciting part of your fieldwork experience thus far?

My favorite part of fieldwork so far has been treating patients! Each week, I gain more independence in being able to treat patients. I will never forget the first session I did completely on my own around week 4. We were chart reviewing before going in to see the patient, and my supervisor said, “You’re going to do this one completely on your own.” I was so nervous but took on the challenge. I ran the entire session from start to finish all on my own like a “real” therapist- it was the best feeling!

What has been the most difficult/ challenging part of your fieldwork thus far?

The most challenging part of my fieldwork thus far has been the overall intensity of working in pediatric acute care. At the end of every day, I am EXHAUSTED. Emotionally, mentally, physically… it takes a lot out of you. It is hard to see really sick kids. It has also been challenging to have to work with such a range of patients- my day bounces around from hem/onc to ortho to neuro to organ transplant, etc. While I haven’t had the opportunity to “master” any of these populations, I have had the opportunity to learn and grow in each of these settings and for that, I am really grateful!

If you could go back and tell yourself something prior to starting your fieldwork, what would it be?

You know more than you think you do. At times, fieldwork can be overwhelming, and you often feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. I remember having a “melt down” one day after my second week because I felt like I had no place being in the hospital, but as the weeks have gone on and I’ve gained more confidence and experience, I have realized that I know more than I give myself credit for.

Any advice for future students?

This experience is what you make of it. So, be curious… Ask a lot of questions and be open to both positive and constructive feedback. This is a time to grow and build foundational skills that will help you become the best OT you can be. Hands on experience, in my opinion, is the best way to learn. Jump in during sessions and take initiative! If you don’t know something, don’t pretend that you do. Look things up, reading articles, or ask your supervisor and/or other providers.  Learning is an exciting journey- some days are fast, some days are slow… just enjoy the ride!

 

Emily Hardy

Where is your fieldwork and what type of facility is it?

My first fieldwork was at CARE for Children in Bradford, PA. This site is a non profit organization that provides early intervention for kids birth-3 and school based OT for children 6-21 years old. Therapists are contracted out to local school districts serving in elementary, middle and high schools. CARE also works with the state to provide in-home therapy to kids 0-3 years old. In the school, the biggest population served includes children with autism, visual motor and visual perceptual difficulties, and attention. Kids are usually referred to early intervention services due to a diagnosis of autism, developmental delay, or prematurity.

What does a “typical” day look like for you at your site?

My typical week at fieldwork entails running between schools and homes to provide care. I have two different supervisors, spending my Monday’s and Friday’s in homes providing early intervention care, and Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s in different schools in the county providing school based therapy. My kiddos on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s primarily have visual perceptual difficulties which has been very interesting and provided a different lens to usual school based therapy. On these days, I provide activities that address the different aspects of visual perceptual skills such as visual closure, scanning, visual discrimination, visual motor integration and many more. Wednesday’s focus more on the traditional aspects of school-based therapy, addressing handwriting and fine motor skills. Home visits on Monday’s and Friday’s include providing therapy in the form of play, working on attention, fine motor, core strength, sensory integration, and providing education to parents/guardians.

What has been your favorite or most exciting part of your fieldwork experience thus far?

My favorite part of fieldwork has been the relationships I have made with the kids that I work with. It has been amazing to see the difference between my first week and last week interactions with the students. With limited experience working with children, I lacked the skill of being able to talk and relate the children easily. As time has gone on, I think I have definitely improved with this skill. Another aspect of fieldwork I enjoyed was watching my kids improve throughout therapy sessions.

What has been the most difficult/ challenging part of your fieldwork thus far?

The most challenging part of fieldwork has been learning what to say when your kids are getting a little too crazy or are not following directions. When first starting, I didn’t know how to handle it, and there would be times that my supervisor had to jump in. As time has gone on, I have learned how to deal with the challenging kiddos.

If you could go back and tell yourself something prior to starting your fieldwork, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, give your opinion, say what is on your mind. It might seem scary but for the most part, it will pay off in the end.

Any advice for future students?

Jump right in! If your supervisor asks you if you want to treat someone your first or second day, do it, even if you are not confident in your skills or are shy. It will pay off because your supervisor will be happy with the fact that you have the confidence in yourself to try! And the quicker you start, the more you can learn! Also, don’t stress guys, you’ll be fine!

 

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