Archive for September, 2007

National Backpack Awareness Day

Today, Wednesday, September 19, 2007 is National School Backpack Awareness Day, and the AOTA has published ten tips for kids (this can apply to adults in college too!) to follow to avoid back pain directly associated with backpacks:


1. Never let a child carry more than 15% of his or her body weight. This
means a child who weighs 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a backpack heavier
than 15 pounds.
2. Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back and arrange books and
materials to prevent them from sliding.
3. Always wear both shoulder straps. Wearing only one strap can cause a
child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or
4. Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Too much pressure on
shoulders and necks can cause pain and tingling.
5. Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly to the child’s
back. The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower
back, never more than four inches below the child’s waistline.
6. Wear the waist belt, if the backpack has one, to help distribute the
pack’s weight more evenly.
7. Check what your child carries to school and brings home to make sure
the items are necessary to the day’s activities.
8. If the backpack is too heavy, consider using a book bag on wheels if
your child’s school allows it.
9. Choose the right size pack for your child’s back as well as one with
enough room for necessary school items.
10. If a student is experiencing back pain or neck soreness, consult your
doctor or occupational therapist.


September 19, 2007 at 7:56 am 2 comments

Working with Doctors

I recently had an interaction with a doctor that I wanted to share, as I think that it is important to understand our own role and how we need to educate and interact with doctors.

  • I was getting ready to see a patient, but noticed that in the OT orders (everything is on the computer), the order said that the patient was on bedrest. I couldn’t find anything in the chart that would indicate why the patient was on bedrest. Usually, it is obvious; they’re being ruled out for DVT or PE, they’re scheduled to go to the OR, etc. But for this patient, I could not find any reason in the chart as to why the patient was on bedrest, and the nurse herself couldn’t figure it out. Finally, after a half an hour of trying to figure this out, I was able to track down the doctor who had put in the order. Turns out, she was in a lot of pain, and he figured it would hurt even more to get out of bed, so he ordered bedrest. In my mind, I was thinking that if every single patient we saw was put on bedrest because of some pain, I wouldn’t have a job as every one of my patients would be on bedrest. Instead, I had to explain to the doctor that as therapists, it is our job to get them out of bed and be able to work through their pain to be able to ambulate and complete their ADLs. I went on to explain that when we see an order for bedrest, the therapists don’t touch the patient. Needless to say, the doctor was a new grad, but I was happy that I was able to educate and explain our role as therapists. Combined with the fact that I did it nicely, the doctor didn’t feel insulted, and he even asked a few further questions regarding our role.

September 16, 2007 at 11:15 am 2 comments

Traditional OT

What do you think about when you hear the phrase, “traditional occupational therapy?”  To me, the phrase refers to OT’s doing just crafts, be it woodworking, painting, or whatever.  I would picture this traditional OT being given to a psychiatric patient or an injured soldier from World War II.

Interestingly enough, I recently had an elderly patient (in her 80’s!) who told me that she was a retired occupational therapist!  And she told me that back when she was working as an OT, she worked mainly with psychiatric patients doing crafts.

It is hard enough finding patients who even know what occupational therapy is in the first place.  But to get someone who actually was an OT is exciting.

Just thought I’d share 🙂

September 6, 2007 at 7:24 pm 34 comments


I have imported my blog from the old site,, for many reasons.  I think I will have more flexibility and ease of use with  WordPress, as I am long familiar with WordPress (being that I have another blog on WordPress).  Also, if I use a free service, I don’t have to worry about domain and hosting costs.  Anyway, hopefully this will be a new and improved blog.  I still have to work on getting all my links back on.  Luckily, OTility has a great OT link resource guide.

If everyone could please update their bookmarks, I would greatly appreciate it!

September 4, 2007 at 3:57 am 1 comment

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