I spend the past three weeks doing my first fieldwork experience as an occupational therapist (OT). I was placed at the Marian Center School and Services, which offers services for people with intellectual and physical disabilities and is under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Miami. This was my first time in the field really interacting on a long term basis with clients, understanding their conditions, and linking theory to practice. We finally got to get our hands wet and really experience what OT is all about. This hands-on experience was connected to our community and mental health course and we were supposed to go into a community setting and implement an intervention for our clients from a community perspective. The Marian Center School and Services, services clients with a wide range of conditions including cerebral palsy, autism, mental retardation, and down syndrome. It is amazing how much I learned about myself and about these amazing individuals. We also got to interact with Catholic Nuns which was a whole experience in itself for me.
One of the best parts of my experience was really learning more about how vast the field of OT is, and when I describe what I was doing to others, they are in shock. You see, most people think of OT as job coaching (which we are not), or as somewhat of a physical therapist or a trainer. We are a little bit of everything. As I have explained earlier in one of my posts, OTs help people regain or relearn an ability in order for the individual to live a meaningful life and this can really be in any setting of the individuals life. In our setting, we chose to focus our intervention on the employees of the center as we were concerned that they were experiencing burnout, stress, and had stopped working as a team. We had quite a bit of success implementing our intervention and wished we would have had more time to work with the employees to really get them back working together and finding ways to deal with their burnout and stress. It is amazing how much stress and job burnout can impact our job performance as well as a our job satisfaction.
Slightly changing topics, but still speaking about burnout and stress, we are about to hit the road for about 10 days. We are driving up to North Carolina to stay with my dear friend Jewhungry’s mom in Asheville and then heading east towards Raleigh to visit some old friends and then down the coast back home. I made these little treats to help us with the VERY long drive and invested in a car dvd player so that the little munchkin does not drive us insane, its 30 hours round trip. These are easy to make and can probably be made with other types of flakes. If you like the tablecloth they are displayed on, you can visit Fina Tavola to see that one and many other tabletop gifts!
Enjoy and see you on the return with stories from the road.
Bran Flakes Muffins with Chocolate Chips
Adapted from the Publix Cereal Box
Yield: 12 Muffins
- Paper Muffin Liners or cooking spray
- 1 Egg
- 1 3/4 cups Bran Flakes Cereal
- 1 Cup Almond Milk*
- 1 Tbs of White Vinegar
- 3 Tbs Vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup brown turbinado sugar
- 1 Tbs baking powder
- 1 ts ground cinnamon
- 1/4 ts ground ginger
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips or fresh/frozen blueberries (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Line 12 muffin cups
- Combine the almond milk with the white vinegar in order to thicken it up.
- In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg. Stir in the cereal, almond milk, and oil and let it stand for 5 minutes; to break up the cereal.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger.
- Add the cereal mixture all at once and stir until just combined.
- Fold the chocolate chips or blueberries into the mixture.
- Divide evenly among muffin cups.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
* Alternatively you can use 1 cup of low-fat buttermilk.