A collection of random wafflings as they pop into my mind

Sunday, December 24, 2006

T'was the night before Christmas

The final preparations have been carried out

Monday, December 18, 2006

I passed!

Well, I passed my placement!

It's been interesting seeing how the OT service works in an acute hospital, not sure it's where I'd want to end up working, but I've certainly learnt a lot. Although my placement has been on the surgical wards, on Fridays as my practice educator only works part time, I've been supervised by the orthopaedic OT's. One of the interesting (or frustrating) things about their job is that they are on call for the orthopaedic out patients appointments. This means that they can be paged to make braces and splints for patients if the consultant feels it is necessary.
On my last day of placement I got to see them make a long arm brace for someone who had fallen and torn their triceps. The consultant had repaired the tear, but wanted their arm immobilised at 70 degrees whilst it healed, but the support needed to be removable so the physios could take it for their sessions. The OT's used thermoplastic & a lockable hinge to make the brace and I got to make the velcro straps for it!

I also got to see them make a night time splint for someone who had had a surgical release of a
dupuytrens contracture . After we'd finished seeing patients it was too late to go up to the wards as they were about to start serving lunch, so I had a go at making a splint for a dupuytrens contracture of a left little finger, using the OT as a model. It was really hard to try and remember how they had done it (and I needed a lot of guidance), but playing with the thermoplastic (you either put it in boiling water or a special oven to make it malleable and use a heat gun for finishing it) was great fun! I know you're just dying to see the end result so here it is, you have to imagine it'd be lying on the persons left palm with the top strap going round the little finger (a wide strap so it doesn't put too much pressure on the joints), and the other strap coming across the back of the hand and under the thumb and sticking back onto the splint. You can just about see that the velcro has a curve cut out of it so that it doesn't cut into the thenar eminence (bulky muscle bit under the thumb) when worn.

Apparently it's very good for a first attempt (but they may just have been being kind). The sticky out bit on the left could do with being a bit longer so that it comes across the palm more, but you have to take into account the way the individual's hand flexes and it's all a bit tricky. You may note the beautifully rounded edges of the velcro straps - this apparently makes it look more professional. Next semester at college we do a module on OT & Physical Trauma and we have a practical session making splints, on the basis of what I've seen so far I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

2 days to go!

No not until Christmas, but until I finish my placement and then I get three glorious weeks of not having to get up early! There is of course the small issue of four essays to write before the middle of January, but that currently feels a long time away.

I've already started to list the things I need to do in the next week
  1. Help put up the Christmas Decorations
  2. Wrap up Christmas presents
  3. Make, write and send Christmas cards
  4. Tidy room so my niece doesn't get lost in it
  5. Sort out my Discworld Stamps, update my trading list and trade the spares in
  6. Pray that my wonderful neighbour is able to tape Hogfather on Sky One on Sunday and Monday at about 8pm
  7. Start essays

I'm sure there was some other stuff too, but I've forgotten what it was.