My “first steps” in building pediatric clinical competency

I was fortunate enough to find a beginners-level pediatric continuing education course allowing me a month to finish the video series, of which there were more than 100. This is originally a two-day course recorded in video that was taught by two esteemed pediatric therapists, one of whom is Julia Harper, an occupational therapist practicing in Florida (per my understanding) and who founded this company, Therapeeds. It offers a variety of different AOTA-approved CEUs in pediatrics ranging from general courses to more specific ones, such as in sensory integration. The course I took was called The Pediatric Primer, and it is specifically designed for new practitioners or practitioners transitioning to peds from other settings. Both of these qualities applied to me as I still consider myself a new practitioner, even though it is now almost two years. Regardless of my being a new practitioner, I know I will always be learning because therapy is such a dynamic field in that there is always some new research to keep up with, or always some skill to refine.

The Pediatric Primer’s main focus is on assessment and evaluation, as that is the first step in starting any pediatric plan of care. I had learned many of the assessment tools discussed in graduate school which is not too far in the past for me, but I also learned how to form an outlook which allows me to see the BIGGER PICTURE. Julia’s examples, stories, sample cases and videos talked me through how to form that outlook, certain key tenets which should structure how I analyze each eval. In that, this course was even better than my pediatric classes in school- I didn’t have to wait to stumble through real-life situations to form a clinical outlook, although I’m sure it will become more refined once I actually start to practice in peds.

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Early Summer in Beautiful Arizona

Out of the blue one day Pathik asked me if I wanted to go with him on a work trip to Tempe, AZ- the location of ASU. I had no idea where Tempe was, never heard of it before, or even knew how to pronounce it. He told me it’s somewhere near Pheonix, and Sedona- that’s all I needed to hear to say a quick yes, without thinking twice about it – even more than during the half hour lunch break in which he asked me. Even though it was really hot, I was able to do a variety of different things- from eating out, spending time in the pool and even the hot tub, and of course being in nature. I’ll say being in nature instead of hiking because we didn’t really do any hiking except up some hills to see certain spots on the map while in Sedona- we weren’t really in any shape to do 5 mile hikes in the heat, and Pathik was still recovering from his soccer playing. Continue reading

My first beach wedding

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a wedding in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I’m referring to it as an opportunity because I truly felt lucky to be there. Not only did I get to spend some quality time with people I hadn’t seen in a while, but I also got to enjoy a vacation on the beach. Pathik will readily attest that I had been obsessing over a beach day for a while.

I had looked up things to do in VA Beach prior to our trip, just because I like to be prepared and plan things to do ahead of time so that we can make the most of our experience. We didn’t actually end up doing anything other than hang out on the beach, which itself was a lot of fun because of the company we had. I’ll still share my research though in case anyone is going to plan a trip there :

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What it means to live in “the spectacular now”

I just saw a movie with my husband, The Spectacular Now. I’ve never heard of it before, and I think I’ve only seen previews once. Anyway, it’s rated really high on Rotten Tomatoes for good reason. It’s not a typical superficial teenage coming- of- age story, quite the opposite actually, and it is done very elegantly.

The movie itself is captivating but the entire time I had no idea where it was going, what the main point would be, or how it tied to the title until the very end. At that point I felt like I had traveled a journey of personal growth with the main character, and maybe I really did because I felt very reflective at the end of the movie. It wasn’t a great situation for date night, but it was refreshing for me to think back to my teenage years.

I don’t want to give away some of the main dialogue of the movie so I won’t quote directly but at the end of the movie I was wondering if I actually embrace the good in my life- things, people, circumstances. Whenever we think of “carpe diem,” we think of pursuing actions/experiences that are amazing and extraordinary. But the whole point of the movie is to be appreciative of whatever is happening in life at this moment, whether it’s good or bad. Which got me thinking, am I mindful of things I should be grateful for, do I immerse myself in my relationships or am I too fearful? I decided I wasn’t a very mindful person;I don’t fully “live in the now,” if you will. To me, being mindful/living carpe diem goes beyond the actual science and involves cultivating an outlook that appreciates life and the people around me. As I’ve said before in my other posts, it’s not about what’s spectacular in my life, but what is ordinary in my life that is spectacular. Here are two examples of how I can groom my outlook to be more positive:

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