Hi everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been gone for about a week. I really have no excuse now that I’m done with classes and coursework, although I have got a job until the 29th of June now, so that’s eating up my time.
I have some exciting news, or at least it is for me. As you may know, I did my dissertation on the use of virtual reality in addressing upper limb function in children with cerebral palsy. In a couple of weeks, I will be meeting a researcher who has focused on virtual reality interventions. This is because I will be helping a group of Japanese postgrad OT students carry out research in August while they’re here in the UK to see how OT works on this side of the globe. So not only am I excited about being a part of real research in my field of interest, I am also excited to be spending time with Japanese students and giving in to my nostalgia!
A few days ago, I was wondering how I was supposed to get into my little area of interest – the use of technology with children – and also wondering whether I would be better off as a researcher than a practitioner, and I’ve been handed this wonderful opportunity to try the role of researcher out in my field. Isn’t that funny?
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m working temporarily at a school. The school is trying to implement a new Care Form, and I’m currently transferring information from photocopied Health Questionnaires – filled out illegibly by hand by non-English speakers – to a temporary online database until the school can develop the form. I like efficiency and having the right boxes for the right information, and the current temporary database is seriously confusing.
So it’s only natural that I started thinking of how I would design the form. In fact, I’ve already told the headmaster that I’m considering it, and he’s willing to sit down with me.
What’s the source of my ideas? CMOP! While transferring the information, I couldn’t help but think that I could far more easily put it under CMOP headings than the current database headings. Every student is turning into my own little case study in my head. I wonder if I, a lowly new temporary administrator/magical printer fixer, can teach the staff about CMOP and we can all help the students achieve maximum occupational engagement? I have to admit, the idea excites me, though I know it’s not likely.
I had my final exam on Thursday. If you recall, I had ten days to prepare four case studies, and two case studies would be in the exam. The case studies were mild/moderate learning disabilities, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia and traumatic brain injury. I was hoping to get the LD and TBI case studies, but alas, neither were on the exam. I’m sure I passed, but I would have felt more confident answering the questions if I could relate to my experience working with brain injuries. Having never worked with someone with a learning disability, I don’t know why I wanted that case study, but then I’ve never encountered RA, nor have I really worked with someone with schizophrenia.
The next few days involved trying to reestablish occupational balance. I started reading for pleasure again. I decided to try catching up with some of my TV shows. I played a strategy computer game with Flan and my brother to exercise my brain in a different way. My face is already starting to look clearer from the drop in my stress levels.
Then today I started working – temporarily – at a school in Newbury. I loved it! It’s too bad that I have to drive all the way there and back, and that it’s temporary.
I have to really start looking for an OT job and figuring out the magic formula to get to the interview stage. I think I’ve found one just inside the M25 down the M40, so I could commute (yeah, I hate driving, but I love Oxford). It’s a paediatric centre, and they need a Band 5. I think I have a better chance getting an interview for this one than I have most jobs on offer, as I have absolutely no acute experience, nor orthopaedic, nor stroke, nor community. On the other hand, I did my dissertation on using video games with children with cerebral palsy, I had an adolescent mental placement, I had my final placement in a school for children with dyspraxia and I am now working in another school. I think paediatrics is the way to go! Plus, I might get to venture a bit into assistive technology, hopefully!