Where is your fieldwork and what type of facility
I am working in an adult outpatient neurocognitive rehab. We treat around 35-40 patients a week. Everyone that I have worked with faces cognitive barriers to learning as well as motor deficits. This includes CVA, TBI, brain tumors, ALS, MS, and patients with Parkinson’s disease. Their time frame post-accident ranges from 9 months to 4 years.
What does a “typical” day look like for you at your site?
We start at 8:00am and finish around 4:30pm. We treat anywhere from 7-10 patients a day. Most of our patients are seen twice a week for 45-minute sessions. Twice a month we travel to Bloomsburg Hospital to host an ALS clinic with SLP, PT, neurology, dietary, respiratory therapy, nursing, social work, and ALS Foundation representatives.
What has been your favorite or most exciting part of your fieldwork experience thus far?
My favorite part is coming up with unique, functional treatment sessions. It is fun to pick activities and think about how it can improve a patient’s deficits. I like to bring things from home that would motivate the patient like UNO Flash, a hand held rotary tool, and a painting set.
What has been the most difficult/ challenging part of your fieldwork thus far?
The most difficult part is getting all the documentation done in a timely manner and understanding the ins and outs of the insurance companies. There are many documents to keep up on. After 8 weeks, we have to do a recertification letter to their insurance company and every 10th session we have to update their G-Code status. It does not sound like a lot, but with 30 patients on a caseload, it adds up.
If you could go back and tell your self something prior to starting your fieldwork, what would it be?
Get your layman’s term for OT down to help efficiently explain what we do to your patients during evals. We know what it is, but putting it into words that your patient will understand is difficult and will vary on your setting.
Any advice for future students?
Fieldwork is awesome. Don’t be nervous because your supervisor knows your there to learn.
Anything else you want to share about your experience?
At my fieldwork, I was able to do observation days in several of the Geisinger HealthSouth Clinics such as inpatient in the rehab hospital, peds inpatient and outpatient in the hospital, peds Down syndrome clinic, inpatient in the hospital in the ICU, hand therapy, and lymphedema treatments for OT. Being able to see OT in a variety of settings has helped me get an idea where I want to work.