After spending three days in the skilled nursing type of facility surrounded by elderly over 60, I have found a love with geriatrics. 24 hours with these humans taught me so much regarding the importance of OT & the different reasons why they were there. Some were there because diabetes got to them, some with old age have fallen too many times and have broken or fractured a bone, & some have diseases affecting their health.
Observing Tina, the OTR, was very eye opening. Their staff were very personable & made my experience great. They let me observe many different things OT does involving dressing and undressing, bathroom/showering, working on standing for longer periods, balance, electrical therapy, arm exercises, & the documentation that comes along with it all.
Tina told me the importance of making the documents not cookie cutter, setting goals that are achievable and showing improvements, and even ways to pass boards. She said she studied through times when her friends or boyfriend wanted her to go out, or how she took the practicum three times for practice and noticing how to know which answer is wrong and why, and to even have breakfast and not study the day of the test.
I was able to have all of my questions answered by her-anything from hospital vs rehab facility vs one on one or group therapy, to what population I should work with, to how the boards are.
Overall, I learned a lot from the patients regarding their reasoning they were there to their life stories. Geriatrics is so far my favorite to work with. They are wise and caring. The only thing that is hard to work with is knowing or seeing their life come to an end. The dirty stuff is doable, the hard work or late nights is worth it, the elderly deserve it.