Level II Fieldwork Diaries: Outpatient Pediatrics Week 6

It’s midterm week! 6 weeks down, 6 more weeks to go. I can’t believe I am halfway done. This fieldwork feels like it is flying by, and I can’t tell if it’s because it’s summer or because I am really loving this placement. Probably a mix of both. This week, I had my midterm evaluation with my clinical instructor (CI). It went very well! It is expected to get a majority of 2’s (Needs Improvement) at midterm, which was the case for me. I also got a handful of 3’s (Meets Expectations) and even a couple of 4’s (Exceeds Expectations). That was unexpected, but felt really great to hear positive feedback. I also got to evaluate my CI, and I am really lucky because she is amazing. I work primarily with one OT, but also with two others on a pretty consistent basis. All three are great, and my only feedback for them was that I would love even more constructive criticism/feedback on a daily/weekly basis. They provide me with lots of positive feedback, but I let them know that I wanted even more constructive feedback so that I can be the best OT that I can be one day. Here is a recap of my midterm goals and what to expect for the second half of fieldwork!

Midterm Evaluation & Goals

Some feedback that I received from my CI in my midterm evaluation included:

  • Ensuring that interventions are motivational for kiddos. Try thinking through what they enjoy and what will be most meaningful for them.
  • Perform check-ins with families/caregivers at the beginning/end of sessions, both in-person and via telehealth. Now that I will be taking on the role of OT and leading sessions completely start to finish, this will be my responsibility instead of my CI’s.
  • Provide activities/home programming/suggestions to specific questions to families/caregivers during sessions or via email.

I agreed with all of the feedback that my CI gave me, and the overall midterm score that my CI gave me was one point off from the score that I gave myself. It is good to know that we are on the same page about how I am doing so far! Here are the goals that I set for myself at midterm:

  1. Perform evaluations independently from start to finish. This includes obtaining the occupational profile from families prior to/during evaluation through phone calls/emails/in-person report, selecting and administering relevant and appropriate assessment measures, documenting findings in an evaluation report, creating a plan of care and goals, and reporting findings to families/caregivers. I am doing some of this already, but my goal is to do 100% of it by the end of fieldwork (perhaps by week 9-10).
  2. I will spend a minimum of 1-hour per week performing database searches for evidence-based intervention procedures in order to provide evidence-based, client-centered, occupation-based interventions to all clients and families. I have been using evidence-based interventions thus far, however I believe that I can be doing a better job of finding relevant research to support what I am doing and to further understand why I am using certain intervention approaches.
  3. Partake in the supervision procedures between the OTR and COTA, including but not limited to reviewing goals and interventions, providing feedback, or asking questions where appropriate. Due to the nature of a hybrid in-person/telehealth model at my clinic, I have not been working closely with COTAs. In the next 6 weeks, I will be included in all supervision procedures to gain the professional development skills needed to supervise a COTA upon program completion.

What To Expect in Weeks 7-12

In the next 6 weeks, I can expect to be given more responsibilities of an entry-level occupational therapist. This includes improving my ability to articulate the value of OT and gather data from families/caregivers. This also includes being involved in scheduling, home programming, and further developing my skills in goal writing, evaluation, and clinical reasoning. I am really excited to see what the next 6 weeks brings!

Self-Care

6 weeks in and I am still trying to maintain occupational balance. Some days I am working for 12 hours and others I am working for 7. In the last 2 weeks, I have started taking outdoor Pure Barre classes at my local studio. After a long day in the clinic, being outdoors doing something that I love for an hour of “me time” is exactly what I need. Some other things that I have been doing include reading (I finished 3 books in the last 2 weeks!!), going on a hike with my boyfriend, Ryan, and his family, and as I write this I am heading to Ryan’s family’s house on the beach.

Thanks for reading!

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