Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Building those clinical skills

One thing that happens when you begin the process of trying to expand your scope of knowledge after 6 years, is that you spend a bunch of time hunting down high quality CEUs. I wanted to share some free courses that I am currently in the process of enjoying:

1. ASHA's monthly case study- The topics vary each month and the majority have been extremely interesting. 
2. Presence Learning- They are having a winter CEU event geared towards older students. I greatly enjoyed this past summer's courses and have used much of the information that I learned. 
3. DynaVox and Mayer Johnson- If you have an interest in AAC, I have found these to be a great way to start building up those clinical skills. Just be warned that some of the classes do not count for ASHA credit. I've volunteered to be the second SLP on my district's fledgling AAC team.
4. Leaders Project- This site is associated with Columbia University and it is one of my favorite suggestions to other clinicians that I meet. 
4. Passy-Muir- These all relate to tracheotomies. I have found that they are also a good way to review anatomy as well. 
5. Voice and Swallowing Clinic Lecture Series- Again, these are geared more towards the medical side but are a great way of keeping those clinical skills. 
5. SpeechPathology.com- Yes, I know that this is a site that you have to pay a subscription for but they do have some special offers. I was able to sign up and take one course for free. I am joining their fan club and getting a membership after experiencing this course. If you don't like it, hey, at least you got one free credit hour from them. 

I also have a list of suggestions from others to take if you are trying to do PRN:
1. Medbridge. This is another subscription site. It is more costly, but you can access one "chapter" for free. I was specifically told to look at Angela Mansolillo's 7 hour training.
2. Northern Speech Services. NES offers a good selection of courses, but it can easily add up to a big expense on a limited budget. 
3. Shadowing in a facility. I haven't quite figured out how to accomplish this one yet. I know there's the Expand Your Scope group that is all about getting these experiences, but I live in a fairly rural area so my options are limited. 

May I also add that NCSHLA will have Dr. Joseph Duffy coming to our convention this year! One of my favorite professors constantly talked about him in our classes. I am really looking forward to attending one of his sessions. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Mid-Year Blues....

I saw this picture on facebook today and thought that it was poetic justice. I had to share it.

I've never really had a bad case of the mid-year blues before. I've had plenty of hectic Easters/springs so that is something that I know to expect. I'm not quite sure why this year has been so different. Perhaps it is because we've had such an overrun of referrals before that we normally don't get until March or all the technical difficulties I've had recently with my work computer....(I now know that I have the oldest laptop in the district and they don't make parts for it anymore). It could also be because of all the different health problems my grandmother has run into since the summer. I've just started a crash course lesson in high blood pressure and vertigo that I pray will get better with Physical Therapy.

I've been trying to find an outlet for all of the stress that I'm feeling. My wonderful husband actually helped me come up with the only one that seems to work....Sweatin' with the Oldies. I know it's terribly dated and silly, but Richard Simmons was definitely on to something with his over the top videos. It actually makes me want to get up and exercise. His facial expressions alone are worth watching even if you don't do the actual exercises.

The other outlet that I'm using is professional development. I love to learn and find new things to try with my students. I recently watched the SLP Summit videos and found the one on Sensory Bins to be really good. It's something that I've known about and briefly tried with Mr. Potato Head pieces. I think it's time to revisit this tool and give it more of a chance with my kindergarten groups. I am also starting to read research articles related to adult therapy as I don't want to lose those clinical skills. Even though I plan to work in the schools for a long time to come, I am thinking about trying to get a PRN job this summer at a nursing home since I want to get a certificate in Assistive Technology. I've asked about getting some help through work, but I'm pretty sure all of the lovely state budget cuts have killed what help we used to get for this kind of training. We shall see how it goes. I was one of the few in my graduate program to miss out on a skilled nursing facility placement and I don't know much about what to expect.