The end is nigh, and a recap of my presentation on environmental control units.

Hi everyone. I’m done with lectures. It feels a little bit bizarre, and it hasn’t really hit me yet. Friday was my last day. Four case studies are being released tonight for us to prepare for our exam on the morning of the 17th (Thursday). You’ll find me in front of the computer tonight madly refreshing the VLE to see if the case studies have been posted. If it happens enough before midnight, I might dash to the library to get out as many of the best books as I can.

While I haven’t been able to prepare specifically for the cases yet, I have been catching up on some reading, including a few chapters from EAS Duncan’s Skills for Practice in Occupational Therapy (2008). I would just like to say that Duncan has written/edited an incredibly well-presented book that I don’t have to struggle through, like some books I’ve come across during this course. I have the kindle version, and it’s so useful to be able to have this reference with me on my phone, laptop, kindle, etc. – so basically, all the time.

I also want to quickly give a recap of the ‘conference’ experience I had on Wednesday and Thursday. This two-day event involved splitting the cohort into two groups and having each student give a 15 minute presentation on something they learned and developed on from an advanced skills workshop they attended. I heard many wonderful presentations that taught me about fatigue diaries in cancer care, the Hope Theory when working with addictive behaviours and so on. There were definitely some future conference presenters in the room.

I chose to do mine on environmental control units (ECUs), and I was the only one in my room who chose this topic. Because of this, I wanted to give everyone an overview on matching clients with appropriate ECUs using a model we’d all already covered in an essential skills workshop – the Human Activity Assistive Technology (HAAT) model. I applied this to a case study of a young woman who’d had a spinal cord injury at C5 level. My presentation involved going through each domain of the model and discussing the issues a practitioner would need to consider in each, as well as what to consider in linking domains, such as the human-technology interface. I think the presentation went well, as people seemed to listen and congratulated me afterwards. Someone told me they could see I was clearly enthusiastic about the area of assistive technology, particularly when I apparently excitedly explained RSLSteeper’s evoassist iPhone/iPad app. The only place I feel I struggled, though I did manage to keep talking, was when my lecturer asked me a question that I knew I should have looked up the answer for but hadn’t. doh.

I really want to figure out how I can get into the assistive technology field as a career, as it does seem to enliven me, and I have always had a knack for figuring out gadgets quite quickly. That’s why I’m excited about going to a training event on Thursday/Friday in London (where I had my first placement!) on assistive technology. I should be studying for my exam, but how can I pass up such a great opportunity to learn from professionals in the field and practice my networking? At least I’ll have the bus rides to study! Which, by the way, will be a loooong one, since I have to get to London Victoria and then take the underground to Putney…

So what do you think?