Friday, April 27, 2007

Observation Fridays

While I'm on my internship, I've been sent to observe at different speech-language clinics in the area to get a feel for the setting that best fits me. So far my favorite is still Children's Therapy Center (CTC), where I'm doing my internship, but I've had some adventures.

Observation #1: In Federal Way at a center to be left unnamed. My car caught on fire when I got there because I spilled oil on the hot engine. Silly me. The fire department came because the call was placed before the fire went out. Fortunately for me, nothing was damaged under the hood. I observed a really slow day with a few therapy sessions, one eval, and one session conducted with an autism specialist. It was interesting, really different feeling from CTC. It was alright.

Observation #2: At a hospital down south. It was interesting; slow morning with some kids working on artic (speech sounds like "r" and "s") and an evaluation. The afternoon included a swallow study (seeing a kiddo swallow barium and watching the pattern of the swallow via fluoroscopy) and an inpatient visit up to the pediatric ward to watch a baby feed. I liked the medical stuff a lot.

Observation #3: Today - at a hospital in Seattle. This was my favorite observation so far. Therapy in outpatient takes place much like it does at CTC - comfortable and slightly relaxed atmosphere. Some kids with medical issues, others with just developmentally delayed systems. I liked the therapists a lot. I got to spend a lot of time with one in the three different pediatric wings - the NICU and then the 2 different places that babies go as they get progressively too old for the NICU. (They're still tiny, though.) Lots of feeding and swallowing stuff and I just loved it. Saw one baby with cleft lip and palate who was born at 26 weeks gestation - teensy. Saw a baby who was in for a serious virus but was sort of failing to thrive due to issues in the environment, which was heartbreaking. All in all, it was the only place I've ever really observed other than CTC that I thought I could have high levels of job satisfaction. I was encouraged by the knowledge that other places out there can work for me and will definitely cherish the experience.

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