Monday, August 11, 2014


As part of my occupational therapy schooling, we are required to complete two 3 month fieldworks, which are like unpaid internships. I spent my first 3 months from February to May in Lafayette, Louisiana working at The Center for Work Rehabilitation at the Fontana Center. They specialize in a very specific kind of occupational therapy - industrial rehab. I spent my days with guys who were going out to work in the oil field testing them to make sure they were fit for duty and could fulfill all their essential job functions. We also taught them proper body mechanics and lifting techniques so that they would be safe on the job and avoid any type of work-related injury. I also completed several Functional Capacity Evaluations, which are 1-3 day assessments to determine if a person is fit to return back to work after an on-the-job injury or an illness that required them to take a significant amount of time off work. I had some pretty neat opportunities, like visiting an oil rig, analyzing a Pepsi factory and special ed buses for ergonomics, learning about helicopters, and attending a state-wide council to fight for the OT scope of practice.

I was incredibly blessed to be able to live with a family from church for those 3 months. They housed me, fed me, treated me like one of their own, and kept me company while I was missing home. I feel forever indebted to them.

While working about 60 hours a week I rarely had time for sight-seeing and enjoying the Louisianan culture, but every once in a while an opportunity presented itself.

I was lucky enough to have the chance to experience Mardi Gras. The parades and festivities last for weeks. I collected more beads than I could count.

Brad was able to come visit me during his spring break, and I was able to take some time off work so that we could visit LSU and gaze upon Mike the Tiger.

Mike's transport from his habitat to the stadium. 

All the following pictures are from the Greek amphitheater on campus where the movie Pitch Perfect was filmed. 

These two pictures are from a little park just a few miles from campus.

Brad and I were able to visit Avery Island were Tabasco Sauce is made. They also have a pretty large "jungle garden" with lots of trails, birds, and gators.

Those 3 months were the hardest of my life between having an incredibly difficult fieldwork and being away from home and only seeing Brad twice. And to be honest, I haven't seen any sort of immediate benefit, but I have no doubt that one day I will be grateful for the time I spent working in Louisiana.