Level II Fieldwork Diaries: Outpatient Pediatrics Week 4

Hey readers! I am officially 1/3 of the way through this fieldwork experience… MIND. BLOWN. The next time I update you guys on my experience I will be at midterm! Time flies… Anyway, I have been super busy this week because we increased my caseload by a few kiddos. As a student, even just the addition of 3 extra kiddos per week feels like a lot! Here is what I’ve been up to the past few weeks:

Treatment Planning & Notes

My days have basically revolved around treatment planning and writing notes this week! I added a few kiddos to my caseload, so I will be leading 8 telehealth sessions this week. This felt like a huge jump from last week! Here are examples of two treatment activities that I came up with for this week. Some of the skills that these activities work on include fine motor, visual motor, and emotional regulation!

Evaluations

I have been lucky enough to go into the clinic regularly this week (wearing masks and maintaining distance whenever possible), which has been amazing. There are some things that you can see and do in the clinic that are so much harder over telehealth! That has been my experience, at least.

I observed two evaluations over the last two weeks, and I wrote up one evaluation and created a plan of care with goals! I have never written a full evaluation with goals from start to finish before, so this was a really great learning experience. I was challenged to think about what I observed, the scores of the standardized tests that I administered, and the caregivers’ reports, and then explain it on paper!

Coming Up

Next week, I will be seeing the same 8 kiddos again. In addition, I will most likely be administering part of an evaluation and observing an in-person session with an 8-month-old (the youngest client at the clinic right now!).

LWT Print Workshop

As part of my fieldwork e-learning, I attended the Print Virtual Workshop through Learning Without Tears™ this week! The clinic that I am at does a lot of handwriting, which I believe is common for most pediatric OTs. I felt like I would benefit from learning the correct verbiage that LWT uses, as well as a more in-depth understanding of their multi-sensory approach and how to use the program to teach handwriting as an OT student. This workshop was incredible, and they offer a student price. I highly recommend attending if you are an aspiring pediatric OT. Major perk: they send you tons of resources and tools just for attending!

Goodies for attending the LWT Print Virtual Workshop!

Ask For Help

The other day I was really feeling down. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, and I felt like my brain was blocked and I couldn’t think of good treatment ideas. I went to my supervisor for help and she provided me with so many resources for treatment ideas. She told me that I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel for every session, which was so helpful to hear! Sometimes as a student or new therapist you may feel like you need to come up with fancy, fun, exciting new treatment ideas for each session, but that’s just not the case (and not realistic or feasible!). Come up with your own ideas, but also take some pointers and resources from other therapists and programs that are available to you. Pinterest was my best friend this week! And hopefully once I get into a groove of creating treatment plans and have a handful of activities and resources to pull from, treatment planning won’t feel so strenuous. Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, tell your level II fieldwork OT friends that they are doing a great job. They might really need to hear it this week.

Self-Care

If you know me, you know I am all about self-care and occupational balance. I have been very strict and strategic about making time for self-care during the last 4 weeks. For me, that looks like taking a 30 minute barre class before fieldwork (often at 6 AM), reading for at least an hour before bed, putting my phone on Do Not Disturb during the day, eating dinner with my mom, and spending the weekend with my boyfriend, Ryan (no work allowed!). Some days are better than others, but I find that if I prioritize some form of self-care every day, I am able to put more energy and effort into fieldwork. How do/did you maintain occupational balance during level II fieldwork?

Pictured below are some things that Ryan and I have done over the past few weekends to spend quality time and maintain occupational balance. We went to lunch near my school last weekend, so of course I had to take a pic!

Thanks for reading!

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