Haircuts: From Fear to FunJanuary 10, 2024
Let’s talk about the dreaded “S” word. . . splinting.
How many times in school or in your new job do you hear the word splinting and immediately panic? Your stomach drops- intrusive thoughts are marching in one by one like an army of ants.
It has to be perfect. And fast. Don’t you dare leave a fingerprint. Position must be exact. But make sure it’s not too tight or too loose. This feels impossible. And self doubt is ALL encompassing. Where do I start? Can’t I just order something instead?
You guys, I’ve been there. And I’m here to tell you there is magic on the other side.
Three Tips for the New Splinting Therapist
#1 - THINK IT THROUGH FIRST
You will feel more confident if you know what the expectation is and have clear answers about what you are making.
What is the reason for the splint?
- Immobilization? Function? Pain? Prevention?
- Which joints are to be included?
- Positioning (of the digits, wrist, forearm, elbow)
Have Questions? Write down all your questions for the doctor BEFORE you call them.
#2 - PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Practice on yourself or grab a friend to practice on. There’s no shame in practicing. Practice makes you better.
If you’ve tried it once, even on yourself, you won’t feel as anxious when you make it on the patient.
MAKE A PATTERN
It’s OKAY. Cut out your design with a paper towel and make sure it fits exactly how you want it and then trace it on to your splint material.
#3 - BE SCISSOR SAVVY!
When making modifications, sometimes we tend to get a little scissor happy. Remember you can always cut more, but you can never put it back.
So start with a thin trim and adjust as needed.
Make long cuts with your scissors and avoid snipping. You will have fewer sharp edges to worry about.
When rounding a corner, avoid using the tips of your scissors. Instead cut deep and turn your scissors with the corner.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Give yourself permission to grow. Not every splint that leaves your hands is going to be exactly how you want it. You could spend hours finessing but we are not afforded that luxury. You will improve and get faster. But only if you start. Splinting is an art form and I can’t wait to see your gallery evolve!
To take your splinting journey to the next level, check out my free webinar: Little Splints with Mega Tips! Just go to pediatrictheratools.com > create your free account > find it in the course directory
- Rachael P. MS, OTR/L, CIMC