General Well-Being Update for the Fam-Damily

I started this whole blog thing to basically keep my family apprised to what’s going on in my life over here on this side of the ocean. Lately, it’s been my general musings about life as a grad student and an Aberdeen resident, which, I guess, covers most of my life at the moment. But I figured I would throw in a general summary since my posts have been a bit scatter-brained lately.

Here we go!

What’s happening right now?

While a majority of my class is out on their 4th placement, I am working on assessment re-sits here in Aberdeen. My last one is due on Tuesday (the 29th). I’ll pretty much be back on track at that point assuming my coursework from this spring semester turned out okay. The placement I’m missing right now will be pushed back until after my placement in Sri Lanka (more about that later).

On the 6th of June, I’m headed to Alicante, Spain for a week and a half for some R & R and to visit a family friend I know through the Powells. I’m excited to get out of Aberdeen for a bit and to soak up the sun. It’s been sunny here in Aberdeen lately, but not like what it will be in Spain.

What’s up next?

On June 18th, I’m supposed to start a new 5-week placement. I say “supposed to” because it hasn’t been assigned yet and placements are really hard to come by at the moment. Basically, the clinical educators in the hospitals are declining students because they want to take their summer holidays without having to worry about scheduling “babysitters” for their students. This is in breach of their NHS contracts, so the Scottish Government is getting involved but, like most things, it takes a while for the effects to trickle down. I am choosing not to stress too much about how the set-ups are progressing, but I have asked our school’s placement coordinator if attempting to set up a pediatric cardiorespiratory placement back in Minnesota is an option. No response yet, though, because I only sent the email last night.

On July 24th, my best Scottish friend, Nikki, and I will be flying to Minnesota for three weeks for our summer holidays (and also to bring back as much crap as I possibly can to avoid shipping it later). She’s also a physiotherapy student, but she’s in the B.Sc. program. I’ve promised her lots of time on the lake and trip to Chicago for a Girls’ Weekend with some of my best Theta sisters from July 27-29. We’ll also be stopping in Milwaukee on the way back to visit my little, Stephanie, and her little-bitty, Mariella (a.k.a. my niece). We might even try to teach her how to swim… and take her shopping. Because who doesn’t like a little afternoon of girly shopping?

After that?

I head back to school on August 14th to bang out the rest of my Masters education. My research project/systematic review is due on October 26th. For those of you who are interested, I’m researching the use of standardized outcome measures to evaluate the effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions of seated postural control in children with cerebral palsy. Thrilling, right? Maybe not to you, but I’m actually pretty pumped about it. For once, I get to research something I’m actually interested in. We have another module that we’ll be doing at the same time, but I’ve been told the assessment isn’t quite as complex as our previous ones.

We finish classes on November 2nd and on the 9th I leave for my elective placement in Sri Lanka for 6 weeks. I haven’t decided what field I’m going to be working in yet, but I have a feeling I’ll be leaning toward neurological rehab or pediatrics. As part of my time there I’m also doing a village health care experience which will primarily focus on the use of traditional Ayurvedic medicine as a primary method of health care as opposed to the health care offered in hospitals in the big cities. I’m really excited for that and I can’t wait to report back to the yogis in the family. I fly back to Minneapolis on December 23rd, arriving just in time for Christmas Eve.

I decided to forgo traveling around SE Asia after Sri Lanka for two reasons. 1) Having a placement pushed back means I’ll need to start it the first week in January in order to finish in time for RGU’s exam board to confer our degrees. 2) Although a week-long tour of Thailand was available, I decided that being with family this Christmas was the best choice. We’ve had a stressful and difficult year to say the least.

And in 2013?

As of right now, it looks like the placement that’s being pushed back will be happening in the Washington, D.C. area. It’s not confirmed yet, so I’m not getting too wrapped up in it. But my course leader did say it was the most likely location, so I’ll at least semi-plan for it. That will begin in early January and go for five weeks.

Although the dates for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) haven’t been released yet, it’s likely there will be an exam at the end of March, which I’m aiming for. So, hopefully, while I’m in D.C. and then while I’m studying for the exam after that, I’ll be able to go on interviews all over the country (I have no idea where I want to start out) and decide what’s best for me and the Madsters. If I take the exam in March, I’m going to try to take a week-long Caribbean vacation right after it and visit a friend in the Dominican Republic in celebration of finally making it through grad school.

If I can’t take the exam in March, I’ll likely have to wait until July. That would be less than ideal, but it’s a possibility I’m mentally preparing for. If that is the case, I will try to get a job as a physical therapist, but one who will need to have her notes signed off on by a superior–just like I’ve been doing as a student. That only works in some states, though, so we’ll just see how it goes. When I left my serving job at Toby Keith’s before I moved over here I told myself that would be my absolute last day serving for the rest of my life. But, like anyone in this economy, I’m aware that I might have to go back on my word for a short time.

So, yeah, that’s what all’s been going on here and what’s coming up!

I hope things are going well for all of you back home and around the globe!

Oh, and if any of you are interested, I would love to have you come for a visit during my last week here/my birthday (October 29)! And I would be eternally grateful if you brought a bag/box worth of my stuff back to the U.S. It doesn’t matter if it ends up somewhere that’s not Minnesota–I’d be happy to collect it upon my return to the States.

Hugs, Kisses, and Good Wishes!



One thought on “General Well-Being Update for the Fam-Damily

  1. I’ve gotta admit, Kaitlin, when I saw this, “I’m researching the use of standardized outcome measures to evaluate the effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions of seated postural control in children with cerebral palsy,” I was like: Wha? Huh? But then, I had to smile. That was probably the reaction my family had to my Masters thesis. (Where is that body of work? Probably buried in a backyard somewhere.) Continue to keep us posted! P.S. Your last paragraph cracked me up. 🙂

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