Monday, January 25, 2010

T2 W3.5

We're into week 4 already! Time flies. However all the stuff I'm posting about was done in week 3 and received/presented today, so I'm designating the post as a 3.5 lol.
My second try at a scholarly paper proposal has been accepted!! Woot! The topic had to focus on an aspect of the environment that influences occupation and occupational therapy practice, and deciding on a topic was SO hard. Coming up with an idea is the first challenge, but then you also need to go to the literature and see what kind of evidence there is to support your brain child! It took me fully researching three different ideas in order to find one that fit the assignment's criteria and that was a topic I would be interested in writing about. Rejected ideas included: looking at suicide risk factors (environmental) and the legal practice context of patient rights/therapist obligations; rehabilitation with women in conflict with the law and the corrections practice context as an occupationally impoverished environment. Both I think would be interesting to explore, but the suicide one was rejected (maybe I just didn't present it well) and the other seemed kind of big and challenging, so I decided to go another way. I'm happy to report that my approved topic is about the meaning of place and the affect of later life transitions from independent to supported living on psychoemotional wellbeing. I still have some refining to do, but at least it's a start! This paper is worth 40% of my course grade. :s Eek!
In other news, my group presented today on Social Role Theory and I think it went very well. Our group worked well together, and thankfully so because our process in getting the finished product together was not linear lol. That said, I think we did a bang up job of taking a very conceptual model and showing how it could be applied to practice. Go team! I'm also really grateful to our classmates who generated and participated in discussion. It's the worst when you get blank silent stares, so I'm glad we didn't have to face that! :)
And on that note, it's nap time for me. And yes... Napping IS an occupation! ;)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

T2 W2

Evidenced based appraisal of Motivational Interviewing - Done!
Term One Portfolio - Done!
Presentation and Handout for MI - Done!
ASIST course - cancelled :(
Scholarly Paper proposal - done, but not thrilled with it. **UPDATE: My topic was rejected! Phew... now I get to pick something else**
Seminar Group Presentation on Social Role Theory - research underway.
Learning Contract for Term 2 Placement - BANE OF MY EXISTENCE! (begrudgingly in progress).

So far this term is off to a roaring start! I'm loving my new PBT group and tutor... We seem to have good ju-ju together. Now... If I can just stay one step ahead of the school-work flood, everything should be okay *thumbs-up*

Thursday, January 7, 2010

T2 Week 1

Off to a quick start! This week I'm doing my evidence based appraisal assignment on motivational interviewing (due Monday), finishing my portfolio (due a week today), doing research on arthogryposis for my Friday problem based tutorial session, and writing a research paper proposal (due Tues) on, possibly, suicide (social-environmental risk factors and legal rights/responsibilities) with a side of euthanasia. Phew! Busy busy busy...
And for all those people finishing up your applications... Good Luck!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Term One Round-Up

I've been spending some time over the holidays finishing up my Term One review for my portfolio. It's something that we have to hand in to our academic advisers to review at the beginning of each term and it is an overview of all the work we've done in the term that just passed. Because McMaster uses a self-directed and problem-based approach to learning, the knowledge and skills I've acquired in the first term may be very different from the things one of my classmates has. The portfolios help us to keep track of what we've learned so far and they help us to identify our learning gaps so that we know what we need to focus on in future terms. There's also a reflective piece about what you've learned... I haven't written mine yet, but I think it will be a "you've come a long way, baby" kind of thing. And it wraps up with a reflective piece about your future practice... what brought you to OT in the first place, where do you see yourself ending up in your practice after graduation, and how has that idea evolved because of your experiences in each term. While at times it feels like a chore to do this portfolio, I think it will be a really great resource and is good experience for reflective professional practice and development long term.
So, in term one the main emphasis was on "occupation." It's the defining feature of our profession, our domain of interest and expertise... and so we students need to get very familiar with all the nuances of what that term means to occupational therapists.
We only have two courses each term: Inquiry and Integration (that looks at theory and applying theory in practice) and Professional Roles and Experiential Practicum (that teaches more applied skills, such as interview techniques, and also includes our clinical placement). We also have an unofficial course that does not have any grade component, but that will probably be rolled out as a registered course next year. It's called Foundational Knowledge and includes basic stuff like introduction to anatomy and physiology, basics of development, psychology and sociology, and some rudimentary statistics. The reason for the course is that, because the students in the program come from all different backgrounds and there are no prerequisites, not everyone is starting with the same knowledge base. And that's great sometimes... you each get to be an expert and you can help fill in the blanks for one another. It's good for group learning. However, there is some basic knowledge that everyone needs to have... so this course is designed to give everyone an opportunity to get on the same page.
I won't go through and itemize all the specifics of what we learned this term... one, because I think it would be a boring read, lol... and two, because while it was all really important it was also kind of foundation OT stuff with a lot of acronyms that don't make sense unless I elaborate on each of them... which I don't feel like doing. But if you have questions, let me know!
One of my New Year's resolutions is to try and be a bit more consistent about posting to the blog about what we're doing in our course. The posts might be shorter, but I think it will be better!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday... and I wish much health and happiness for all!
Happy 2010!!