I'm really excited that my blog has already gone international! Thanks to my newfound OT's in New Zealand for checking me out and leaving comments. It's going to be so interesting to see how blogs and web journals will help in our profession, especially on a global level. Links are posted on the right!
I know this is way too early to talk about, and I have no intention of limiting my education by any means- but it's going to be cool to see where I "end up" in the OT field. One thing that attracted me to OT is that the possibilities and opportunities are really endless. I can work with kids, adults, or elderly adults. I can work with brain injury, sensory integration, orthopedics, mental health, assistive technology, education, research... it goes on and on.
Although I have a lot more to see out there, I find myself being drawn to brain injury and stroke patients in particular. Their recovery fascinates me the most because it's so variable on so many levels. Nothing is ever exactly the same from patient to patient and the OT needs to engage in every system of the person to see the best outcome possible. Not only must an OT have an incredible amount of knowledge and expertise to help their patient physically, but it's essential that they also have empathy and compassion for the PERSON they are treating.
I've studied psychology for the past four years, and I can really see it's significance when I observe people with strokes (or any other disease or injury, for that matter!). To many patients, it's a tragedy. It's a terrifying, confusing tragedy. I can't even imagine not being able to understand what people are telling me, or even worse, not be able to express what I need. I encountered my first experience with Global Aphasia today where the patient couldn't express or comprehend spoken language. Sometimes I see patients cry, sometimes I notice that they are frustrated and angry, and oftentimes they are scared about what has happened to them. I see now how important it is for a therapist to allow their patient to acknowledge their emotions. We need to let (or even encourage) our patients to express how they are feeling inside. Emotions are what make us real. Sometimes all we need to do is extend a compassionate hand to hold, and pass over the tissues.
In other news, I received the Graduate Assistantship. :) It will cover 1/3 of my tuition bill, which is fabulous. It's going to be a lot of work and is a huge time commitment. I'm in for one busy year! 17 more weeks!
I received some great quotes that I found inspirational:
Keep away from people
who try to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that,
but the really great make you feel
that you, too, can become great.
- Mark Twain
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Ghandi
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~ William James
If I can truly make a difference in just one person's life,
within my lifetime, my life would not have been in vain. ~unknown