Archive for March, 2007

Conducting Online Research

A big part of any graduate OT program is conducting research on any one of many topics. Whether it is for a research proposal, class assignments, or for a research class, everyone has to do some form of research. I have recently found a new way of doing research, which has helped me find relevant full text articles quickly and efficiently. While Ebsco does allow me to do this, I have found that it isn’t the best search engine because you have to choose multiple databases to find your search query. Even then, it is often times confusing which journal is found in which database. Therefore, I’ve started turning to Google Scholar.

Google Scholar is one of Google’s many search engines, and it allows you to search in peer-reviewed journal for just about anything. However, in most cases it does not allow me to access the full text articles. That is where my school library comes into play. My school has a list of each and every journal that they own, in addition to the ones that they have access to online. So after finding the article on Google Scholar, I make a note of the exact citation, log in to my school library, and I can quickly find the article. I’ve found that this cuts down the time it takes to carry out research almost in half.

Another great feature of Google Scholar is that in the preferences, you can set your own university to be included in search results. In this way, you can click on the link after each search result, which tells you if it is even available at your university.

If any of this is unclear, let me know, and I’ll try to explain it further.

March 23, 2007 at 12:46 pm 3 comments

FAQ

Going along with the theme from the previous post, here are two of the most frequently asked questions that I (and I think most other OT’s) have been asked:

  • Is occupational therapy like physical therapy? (Variations: How is OT different than PT? OT is just another name for PT, right?)
  • So you help people find jobs?

No, we don’t help people find jobs (although some OT’s do work in vocational centers). I think that the best way to describe the difference between OT and PT is in the following quote I once saw:

“A Physical Therapist will teach you how to walk. An Occupational Therapist will help you get a date and enjoy the dance”

In other words, we take the basic skill of walking, and make it into something meaningful to the client.

March 20, 2007 at 11:02 pm 1 comment

Job Descriptions

As seen on the forums of OTility, here are brief, 1-minute job overviews of OT, PT, SLP, and TR:

OT:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9jQRCr1XDQ”>

PT:

SLP:

And TR:

March 19, 2007 at 10:57 pm 3 comments

Hip Precautions

For one of my Level II fieldworks, I did a three-month internship in an acute orthopedic unit at an area hospital. As such, I saw predominantly hip and knee replacements, as well as several limb-lengthening patients. One day, I was looking something up on Wikipedia about something hip related and noted that there was no article on hip precautions. As occupational therapists, we’re worried about patients being able to complete their ADL‘s while being safe. I figured that I would write an article about hip precautions on Wikipedia, and it hasn’t been edited since I created it, so I’m happy it was well written. Hopefully, it was well described as well.

Here is the article:

Hip precautions refer to certain things that one should not do after having a hip replacement. Since the hip joint is very weak from surgery, doing any of these three things can greatly increase the risk of hip dislocation.

The three hip precautions are:

  • Bend
  • Cross
  • Twist

One should not bend the hip past an angle of 90 degrees (L-shaped). This is especially difficult when sitting on toilet seats, which tend to be low. Therefore, an occupational therapist will educate patients in techniques on sitting on low toilet seats, as well as telling them to obtain raised toilet seats.

Crossing refers to any time one leg crosses the other. Since it is difficult not to cross your legs when sleeping, many doctors will recommend that a patient sleep with abductor pillows, which keep the legs separated.

Twisting refers to putting a lot of weight on one leg and twisting to retrieve an object. For example, if one is cooking a light meal, they should not twist their bodies to retrieve a pot from a high shelf, rather, they should shuffle over sideways, retrieve the pot, and then shuffle back to the starting point.

I’m thinking that I should add a bit about how because of these precautions, patients with hip replacements can’t do basic ADL’s like putting socks on. After all, that is why we give them our wonderful hip kits.

March 16, 2007 at 2:52 am 12 comments

Applying for the same job

One thing that I am finding that is coming up pretty often is how to deal with more than one person applying for the same job. As new grads, the entire class is graduating at the same, which means that we’re also all looking for jobs at the same time. So what do you do if you find out that your best friend is applying for the same job that you are?

I see two potential ways of handling it. On the one hand, you can keep your friend informed from the beginning and tell him or her that you’re planning on applying for a specific job. Alternatively, you can keep all your job interviews a secret.

Personally, I like the second option better. If you go with the first option, then you may have to deal with a friend who says, “Oh, but I’m already applying there, and if you still want to be friends, you wouldn’t take away a possible job from me.”

But even if you do keep things hush hush, there is plenty of room for awkwardness. Just yesterday, I was doing an internship at a hospital that I interviewed at when I saw a classmate of mine getting a tour from the senior OT at the hospital. Now I had already applied for the job, and they had said over and over again how interested they were in hiring me. So when I suddenly saw my classmate dressed in a suit and getting a tour, I was a little put off.

So no matter how you handle the situation, it’s a tough call. I would say that if you go out on interviews with the realization that there’s a whole class of new grads, then there is going to be competition for jobs. Thankfully, there are plenty of OT jobs currently available with most offering hefty sign on bonuses.

Any comments on how to handle the situation are welcome.

March 15, 2007 at 11:52 am 2 comments

Welcome

As I get ready to graduate from OT school, I wanted to start this blog so that I can write about my experiences as an OT student about to enter the workforce and the challenges that I might face. I also hope to talk about the process of taking the boards. Hopefully, this will develop into a good blog that will talk about the issues that OT students and new grads face. If you would like to contribute or know someone that would be interested, feel free to leave a comment.

Updated at 11:23pm:
A speech therapist was kind enough to agree to occasionally post things from an interdisciplinary point of view. I think that it can be beneficial to see things from another perspective

March 15, 2007 at 5:52 am 3 comments


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