Inpatient Subacute - OT Student
Kristen Lindeman - Occupational Therapy Student
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
(9/23/05) This past summer, I spent my first Level II experience working with an outstanding rehabilitation team at an inpatient sub-acute facility in St. Louis, Missouri. The rehabilitation department consisted of 3 occupational therapists, 3 occupational therapy assistants, 2 speech-language pathologists, 2 physical therapists, 3 physical therapist assistants, and 2 exercise therapists. I selected this hospital because I wanted to work on my clinical practice, collaborate with occupational therapy assistants, and interact with other disciplines within the health professions.
At the facility, the occupational therapists wore many hats throughout a typical workday, such as educator, team player, facilitator, researcher, and, most importantly, advocate. I was impressed with the occupational therapists' ability to always keep the patient's best interest in mind when planning treatment, setting goals, and educating patients and caregivers. The occupational therapists constantly advocated for the patients from day one. The facility focuses on discharge planning once admitted to the hospital. In many situations, the occupational therapists needed to research a patient's medical condition to educate other members on the team, insurance companies, and other local hospitals.
At first, I thought this hospital would be like every other typical inpatient hospital, or at least the ones that only use cones and pegs for therapeutic purposes. I could not have been more wrong. I have improved my clinical skills, treatment planning, and ability to be a team player. At the end of the 12 weeks, I felt I was a part of the rehabilitation staff and did not want to leave my patients or coworkers. Working at an inpatient hospital for my first Level II was a wise choice because it allowed me to apply all the clinical skills that I learned in occupational therapy school.
My fieldwork experience met all my expectations and more. Most importantly, it made me realize that I enjoy being an occupational therapist, and I selected the right profession.