Saturday, October 19, 2013

Level II Fieldwork 2nd rotation: Pediatric OT!

Don't have a lot of time,  but just wanted to say that I looooveee my second rotation setting! I'm working at an elementary school and a high school.  I feel so full of energy just by being around the kids. It's not as hard to wake up in the mornings and Mondays are not bad at all. I think this is the true feeling of loving what you do!

I'll keep you updated,


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Level II Fieldwork update

So I'm about to finish my first fieldwork rotation and I wanted to let you know that my plan (the one I talked about in my last post) didn't work. Since other therapists gave treatment to patients over the weekend, most of my treatment plans were already done by Monday! So you can imagine that I felt pretty frustrated. But the good news is that things got better with time. As I got more experience with different patients with similar conditions, I got better at figuring out what to do with them in sessions. I also got much better at my time management and documentation skills.

The only thing that stills pretty difficult to me is doing transfers with patients. I'm 5'1" tall and weigh less than 100 pounds, so moderate assistance for transfers feels like total assistance to me! This is the only barrier I have to be able to work in the future in this environment (Impatient Rehab Hospital, that I have learned to love over these two months). Lets see how it goes on my next rotations!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Lesson #12: "Don't let life randomly kick you into the adult you don't want to become"

Today I read this great comic made by "Zen Pencils" inspired  from Canadian astronaut Christ Hadfield's quote (, and it was just what I needed.

These first two weeks of fieldwork have not been any easy. The work is physically and mentally exhausting. Many times I have felt like I have no idea what I'm doing or like the School didn't prepare me for this as I thought it would. I even felt like I gave up trying to do my best, and just started to be mediocre.  So, after seeing this quote, specially the part that said: "Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person.... Don't let life randomly kick you into the adult you don't want to become", I felt really inspired. It made me decide that I can't let the system make me become the kind professional that I have always disliked. I have to start sculpting myself into the kind of Occupational Therapist that I've always wanted to become.

 So today I started looking up more treatment ideas, and made little treatment plans for each of my patients next week (even though things can change depending of their health status). I think this would help me show more confidence in what I'm doing, and have the patients get the most out of the therapy sessions.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

First day of Level II Clinical Practice!

Today I started my Level II clinical practice in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. They gave me a lot of binders with policies and regulations to read and a 38 page manual about the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). The Rehab Director told me: sit there, read the information about the FIM, and when you finish come to me to give you a test. I was like: What?...haha. Anyway it took me all morning and part of the afternoon to read the manual and then the rest of the afternoon to finish the test (while reading, one of the patients in a room nearby was screaming obscenities in a very funny way, which made it harder for me to concentrate). She told me I needed an 80% to pass, so I was nervous. The test was super difficult, it was a complicated clinical case in which I had to administer scores in every area of the FIM. I thought I wouldn't pass. After the director scored my test, she congratulated me and told me that I was the first student to pass the test with such a high score!!! I took this as a reminder that God is with me in every important step of my life!

Feeling blessed,


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lesson #11: You don't always get what you deserve.

This has been my "learned it the hard way lesson" of my semester. I know that many times throughout my life I have received many blessings that are much greater than what I deserve. But sadly, this thing works both ways. Sometimes in life, you can feel that you deserve better things than the ones that are coming your way. I have been feeling like this lately. I'm still blessed, and the problems I have are nothing compared to most people but still, I feel like I need to let it out.

What is bothering me the most is that some of my problems could have been avoided if someone else had decided to put me in a different situation. Somehow I felt betrayed because I thought that because I am good student, I don’t deserve to go through all the trouble they've put me through. Sometimes professors put good students in the worst situations because they think they will be able to manage it best. I think that if it isn't going to benefit the student in any way, this is just an unfair punishment.

Anyway, I know this doesn’t happen only in school, everyone has to go through unfairness in all life stages and scenarios.  What I’ve realized today is that if I want to be happy, I have to stop thinking that I deserve better and start moving forward with what I got.

Maybe God lets us go through this so we don’t get spoiled thinking we deserve it all. I have faith that He is hoping I learn important lessons from this, and that’s what I’m trying to do.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lesson #10: Wars also destroy souls

Since I'm working with veterans as part of one of my rotations, I have been hearing a lot of war stories lately. I don't want to say much though, because I know it might be a sensitive topic.  I'm just going to say that after hearing first-hand what these people have gone through, I admire them just for being there working to get their life back together after a very de-humanizing experience. Even if their bodies are unharmed, their souls are wounded forever. "After this, I would never be able to be the same person", a man said to me after about half an hour of telling me his very detailed story. I didn’t know what to say, I couldn’t do nothing else but validate his feelings and give him my undivided attention. My respects to those that, having no other option, had to sacrifice their physical and mental wellbeing to support their families.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lesson #9: It's ok to be goofy sometimes!

One thing I have learned through my OT classmates since the beginning is that it is ok to be goofy sometimes. My group is very creative, fun and we have been very close since the first days of OT school. Even though we are very different people, we share the same values and beliefs, which made us choose this profession.

 Ok, going back to the goofiness, Michael Iwama, the creator of the "Kawa Model" ( made a Harlem Shake video with OT students from his program and challenged OT students from all over the world to a Harlem Shake showdown. At first as a group, we thought the Harlem Shake was lame and didn't want to participate until Iwama challenged us. But I got to say, even if it looks lame when you watch other Harlem Shakes, it is very fun to make one yourself! I have laughed so much watching it. Each time I see another of my classmates doing crazy things!

 I have learned that sometimes you have to let your pride aside and open yourself to have fun! Hey, if it’s fun and doesn't hurt anybody....why not?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lesson #8: Our health care system is not fair.

This past semester I took a class about administration and management of occupational therapy services. Among other things, this class helped me confirm that what I believed about our health care system is true; it isn't fair. Occupational therapy is such a diverse profession, that we can almost always do something  to help the patients (even if it's just education or prevention).  The ugly truth is that the medical system (at least where I live) doesn't support bringing services to everyone who could benefit from them. I would say that only a few are the privileged ones who can pay, or their insurance pays, for occupational therapy services. Even if the services are covered, this coverage doesn't include prevention and health promotion interventions. So often, conditions that could have been prevented have to become serious in order to be allowed to receive the appropriate attention.  It's frustrating to know that there are solutions available to a large number of health conditions but must people don't have access to them.

As part of this administration and management class, my classmates and I participated in a health fair . We had to practice marketing skills by promoting our profession. I was showing people different devices that helped with daily living activities. When we were about to leave, a man with ALS came looking for something that could help him eat by himself. He was alone and looked desperate. He walked using a walker with wheels that he could barely push. He told us that he wasn't receiving any type of therapy, and since he only had the public health care insurance plan and no transportation, was looking for a therapist that accepted this insurance and that he could access by public transportation. His doctor never referred him to occupational therapy or told him about the assistive technology devices that he would soon need to accomplish daily tasks as a result of his condition. 

I don't know all the details in this case, or if what the patient told us is completely true. But still, it made me sad and angry at the same time to know that there were solutions to some of this man's problems, but he wasn't receiving them. Maybe because his lack of resources, the lack of the doctor's knowledge about occupational therapy, or a combination of the two. I know things like this happen all the time, but seeing it in person gives you a bigger impression. I  hope that someday everyone has the right to receive the best health care available for their situation.

This experience also made me think about how many health professionals ignore the benefits that OT could bring to people with progressive diseases. But I think I'll discuss this in the next post....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I'm currently on Christmas break, but this last semester was so tough, I still feel exhausted! There were so many classes, so many oral presentations, and especially way too much of evaluations reports and goal writing.  Adding to all that, there was the stress related to starting to write a research proposal.

 I start the new semester back in a week, which includes classes, rotations, and continuing with the research proposal.  I feel like I need another month of vacations to feel ready to go trough what awaits me. I did learn a lot this past semester though, and I'm planning to share some of that here soon. It's just that, as I mentioned, I still feel tired. I am really praying to be strong enough to face this new challenges without the negative effects that stress bring to our minds and bodies. I know that with the help of God and a positive attitude I'll survive! Happy New Year!

With OT love,