Monday, September 18, 2017

4 Facts About Homecare in a Big City

Hi everyone, recently I was reading an article on  The article discussed the Pros and Cons of Early Intervention.  I found the article very interesting and relatable.  I am actually a new OT graduate and I also do home care.  I currently reside in NYC and all my patients live here as well.  I wanted to put a spin on this article with a few points based on my personal experience.


NYC is huge, and drivers are on the roads and highways almost all hours of the day.  Rush hour is insane.  Also, let’s not forget when school is back in session from summer break and all the school buses back on the roads.

Pro Tip: As a homecare therapist, you typically have the autonomy to schedule your own cases.  It is in your best interest to schedule your first session mid-day to avoid rush hour traffic.  If your patient insists on you coming at an inconvenient time, kindly let them know you are not available.  Most likely your families will work with you because they want and need your services.  


Now you have finally made it through traffic, maneuvered around potholes and gotten around what seems like unnecessary construction.  In the suburban or rural areas, therapists are probably driving up into driveways, garages or there is plenty of available street parking.  In NYC…not so much.  One of the most difficult parts of homecare in a city area is finding a spot to park your vehicle without getting a ticket or worse, getting it towed.

Pro Tip:  Many NYC streets have alternate side parking.  You can visit to find out the parking regulation on each specific street.  Literally, you can type in your patient's address and zoom into and read street signs.  This way you can schedule your visits before or after street cleaning ends.  Another tip is to take note of all major and non-major holiday because alternate side parking is suspended on those days. 
 No Bathroom

Ok, I’m going to get a little personal.  Think about it, you’re driving around all day going from home to home.  Maybe it’s a pretty hot day and you’re trying to keep yourself hydrated.  Then you realize you need to go to the bathroom!  You do not work in a nursing home, hospital or a school.  Your car is your office.  What are you supposed to do?!

Pro Tip:  Make sure to schedule rest and bathroom breaks throughout your day.  As you build your daily routine, take note of all fast food restaurants, Starbucks or malls with clean public restrooms in those areas.

 Apartment Buildings

Fortunately, I have never encountered a home where the elevator does not work.  However, NYC has many 6-floor walkup apartments.  I promise you, your patient will reside on the 6th floor.  Yes, climbing up all those steps are unavoidable.

Pro Tip:  Pack light!  This will probably be the home where you probably do not want to bring any supplies with you.  You can also ask patients to purchase their own treatment supplies which you will only utilize in that home.  If you think about, you’re sitting and driving all day and this is one of the best ways to get your cardio in. 

Hope this helps and thank you for reading, Dionne

Saturday, May 27, 2017

So You Want To Work with Kids?

1- You will get sick.
Make sure to stock up on Airborne, Emergen-C, vitamin C and zinc.  Take it daily and to boost your immune system.  Kids don't like to share their candy but they will share their germs.  Also, bring lots of hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes. 

2- Your knees will hurt.

Kids are obviously pretty tiny.  You're going to have to get down to their level which means sometimes getting down on your hands and knees.

3- Practice your "mommy" voice.

If you have zero experience with children understand this!  Nothing gets the point across better than using your "mommy" tone.

4- Be 100% observant.

Be vigilant always.  Children are quick.  One blink and they are hanging off the refrigerator door.  Blink twice and they have already run across the street to McDonald's with your credit card trying to buy a happy meal.  

5- You will have fun.  

Children enjoy the simplest things.  They are motivated by activities they enjoy.  When they are having fun, more than likely you will too.  


6- The dollar store will be your best friend.  

Ball out! 

Thank you for reading, if you have any advice for working in the pediatric population then please do share them below.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

How Much Did It Cost Me to Become an Occupational Therapist?

Well let’s see…

Undergrad-  Free tuition, out-of-pocket cost were fees & room and board (approx. $10,000)
Pre-requisites- Part-time TAP plus tuition reimbursement (approx. $2,000)
Graduate Program- $926 per credit multiplied by 60 credits (approx. $55,560 plus fees)
Therapy-Ed Course- Included in student fees
AOTA Student Membership- Included in tuition fees
NBCOT Exam- $515
Transcript request to New York State- $40
New York State license application- $294
Finally, becoming a licensed and registered occupational therapist- Priceless

Hope this helps.