Occupational therapy private practice: A day in the life
I received an email yesterday from an anonymous commenter who wanted to know what one of my actual days looked like as a private practitioner. So here goes a listing of what happened today, which seems as representative as any other day :D :
4:30am Wake up. Read email, respond to email. Check local and national headlines, reading 1-2 articles of interest. Check Internet forums, respond to messages. Look at clock and sigh.
5:15am Go back to sleep.
7:15am Wake up, again. While having breakfast read email, respond to email. Complete a journal and focused medical news scan, reading 1-2 articles of interest. Check Internet forums, respond to messages. Look at clock and sigh.
8:30am Wonder why children are still sleeping, pay attention to the cat and dog, leave for the office.
8:50am Arrive at office. Meet with parents in the waiting room while their children are in for therapy. Banter, advise, support. Repeat as needed. Schedule meetings to resolve lingering issues with marketing consultant and accountant.
9:30am Sit at office computer, load up email program, Twitter, Facebook, and news readers. They are now prepared for scanning throughout the day.
Write reports. Schedule incoming appointments with new families. See children. Talk to more parents. Supervise and monitor Level II student. Meet with staff. See more children. Talk to even more parents. Respond to emails. Ruminate, generate questions, and research morning issues including:
1. What are all the possible reasons why a child who has dual diagnosis of Down Syndrome and Autism would have neurodegenerative regression during the preschool years.
2. What are appropriate (sensory tolerable) calorie enhancers to suggest to a parent whose child has a constricted diet.
3. Is inappropriate use of social media a problem in itself or does it represent a foundational ethical problem with maintaining appropriate professional boundaries.
Act on information obtained following rumination and research. Direct staff, advise parents, rant on professional forums.
12:45pm Look at clock and sigh. Eat lunch rabidly.
1:00pm Complete evaluation of a new child with Level II student. Make decisions. Consult with family.
3:30pm Read email, respond to email. Check Internet forums, respond to messages. Look at clock and sigh. Consult with COTA about caseload issues. Try to return phone calls and wish that more people worked later in the afternoon. Start some letters, but only finish the marketing one to the cardiologist about the recent study in Circulation re: neurodevelopmental problems in children following complex cardiac procedures.
4:30pm Worry about personnel shortages in rural areas. Commiserate with colleagues about shortages. Call another colleague and commiserate about the child/family who is having feeding difficulties. Ruminate, plan, coordinate.
5:00pm Tell student to go home. Tell staff to go home. See more children with COTA. Meet with parents to discuss MD plans to add Metformin to an Abilify regimen. Discuss activity level, changes in routine, and difficulty with measuring behavioral effects when overall routine is disrupted by summer schedule. Worry about how to give MD the best information to understand effects.
5:30pm Worry more. Research cardioprotective value of Metformin. Try to find articles related to use in children who have autism. Tell COTA to go home. Look at clock and sigh.
6:00pm Look at what didn't get done today. Didn't address billing today. Didn't pay bills today. Didn't finish letter thanking someone for interviewing. Didn't receive payment from some vendors that owe some money. Be thankful that payroll is NEXT week.
6:15pm Write pointless blog post outlining my day.
6:30pm Leave office.