Thinking OT

Thoughts from Harrison Training and the occupational therapy world

Archive for the ‘Occupational Therapy as a Profession’ Category

What Does Occupation Mean? This.

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The Chilean miners stranded down their mine gives an example that OTs can use to communicate the value of occupation.

In a recent BBC article, here, Dr James Thompson, a psychology lecturer at University College London made the point that the priority was not to send anti-depressants to manage a situation but rather that;

“What they need is food and supplies and then systems building up and then to be given tasks to keep them busy.

“Maybe send down some equipment to give them something to do and to keep them involved.”

What a succinct and dramatic way of demonstrating the therapeutic role of occupation.

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Written by harrisontraining

September 9, 2010 at 10:51 am

We make sense of the world depending upon our experiences of it.

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There are a great couple of posts over at the A Voice In The OT Wilderness blog.

Part one is here.

Part two is here.

The story revolves around a conflict arising from a client’s non-compliance with a specified art exercise.  When asked to create a collage, one user, instead, created a 3D model.

This was used by one observer as evidence of that client’s “defiance” – a chilling thought redolent of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.  There was a fascinating reason however for the deviation between the expectation of the observer and the interpretation and actions of the client.

The story reminds us that although we might be absolutely clear about communicating what we are asking clients to do, they, being the recipient of the message, receive the message and interpret it through their own filters.

Those filters are, in turn, shaped and coloured by their life experiences.

Go to Allie Hafez’ A Voice In The OT Wilderness blog now and read the story for yourself.

Online Training? Your Thoughts…

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I am looking at what people’s preferences are regarding accessing training online. Can you help?  The more information we have, the better we can tailor our courses to suit your needs.

There are 7 very short multiple choice questions here which will take literally seconds to complete.

Thank you.

Challenge What I Think

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Changing What We Think

I thought was going to write about the NHS Confedration’s consultation paper, and looking in particular at the consortia that service purchasers, previously known as GPs, will be obliged to join.  I might get onto that later.

Instead I got distracted by a curious search that has come up on the blog stats.  It read;

“Challenge what I think”

Someone had searched for “Challenge what I think” and Google, in its infinite algorithmic wisdom sent them here.

That set in motion a chain of thought.  How readily do we open ourselves to being challenged in what we think?

The two topics are not entirely disconnected.  The angle I was contemplating on NHS reform was that it is easy to get stuck in resistance, anger and opposition.  We might rail against the system on the basis that it is

  • Wasteful
  • A broken promise
  • Unnecessary
  • Politically motivated
  • Unworkable
  • Meddling
  • Unwelcome change

or we can recognise that the march of this reform is inevitable.  Once we do that then the challenge is not to change the system or the political tide, but to look to ourselves and change how we are going to respond to it and engage with that change.

Note the word “Respond” as opposed to “React”

For those who are employed within the NHS, then we need to consider our roles within our teams.  How can we bring greater value, not just in pounds and pence, but in contribution?  What skills can we tap into to make our contributions more meaningful?

This has motivated the previous posts about self-effectiveness, or self leadership.  How can we position ourselves as being central to a team’s effectiveness, but not in a destructive way that undermines others, but constructively, helping to support and improve the whole.

For independent practitioners, how are you going to position yourselves in order to market your services to a larger number of smaller purchasers?  What do you need to do to demonstrate utility, effectiveness and ensure (to use the current buzzword) improved outcomes.

The current uncertainty needs us to remain adaptable.  It might mean getting to grips with social media – and the momentum that is now seen within social media and occupational therapy is very exciting.

It might mean, depending on how the consultation goes, that we need to be much more commercial in selling ourselves.

For some, let’s be realistic, it might mean looking for new roles altogether.

All of this needs us to be open to be challenged about the way we think.

We need to break the well worn patterns of X leads to Y and therefore Z applies. Experience shapes our responses so that if we find ourselves facing a situation we anticipate the outcome will the same as last time.  That can often drive how we respond.

And yet the outcome, to some extent, is shaped by our intervening response.  What if we choose, therefore, a different response?

What options have we got to select from?

What responses have we not tried previously and how might they serve us, and our service users and clients, better?

What new responses can we create for ourselves?

For more on this consider the issue of heuristics – there is a good summary on Wikipedia, right here.

Will NHS Reform Change You?

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The dust has settled to some extent following the announcement of the Liberating the NHS program for reform.

The political explosion has subsided and we will now enter a period of calmer appraisal and acceptance, with varying degrees of willingness.

If you have not yet read the government white paper then click here

Two issues stand out as they may relate to occupational therapists upon our brief initial reading, namely

  1. The Government will devolve power and responsibility for commissioning services to the healthcare professionals closest to patients: GPs and their practice teams working in consortia
  2. To strengthen democratic legitimacy at local level, local authorities will promote the joining up of local NHS services, social care and health improvement.

How do you think occupational therapists will we be employed, or if we work independently, to whom are we offering our services, and how will we do that?

Will it be the various GP consortia?  How will they be run?  Will they be self governing, as a local collective, or will they be administered by external, out-sourced services from the privte sector?

How will we be required to work between local authorities and these new consortia?

And what of this passage, for those who work with adults?

We want a sustainable adult social care system that gives people support and freedom to lead the life they choose, with dignity. We recognise the critical interdependence between the NHS and the adult social care system in securing better outcomes for people, including carers. We will seek to break down barriers between health and social care funding to encourage preventative action.

Bland rhetoric or meaningful promises?

Let us know your thoughts about what might happen.

Are you anxious, calm, indifferent, angry?

Perhaps you can see opportunity ahead.  Tell us in the comments.

Over to you.

Written by harrisontraining

July 15, 2010 at 11:54 am

Award Winning Accolade For Therese Jackson, Harrison Training Associate.

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Harrison Training Associate and leading stroke care practitioner, Therese Jackson, has been awarded the Excellence in Stroke Care award by the Stroke Association.

Congratulations!

This is an auspicious award, recognising “exceptional service in the provision of stroke care.”

You can read Therese’s full associate details here, on the Harrison Training website.

We recommend visiting the Stroke Associations website.  They have produced a very impressive set of videos paying tribute to all of their award winners.  To see all the videos, click here,  to see Therese’s award winning video, click here.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Absenteeism?

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Upon reading through our Twitter account this morning, I spotted this comment from Alyson Fennemore

How Much Does Absenteeism Cost Organisations? What About The NHS?

Reading the summary  report from XpertHR reveals that the cost of absenteeism within the public sector is “significantly higher” than in the private sector.

That is perhaps no surprise.

Further reading around the issue suggests that represents about 6 days sick leave every year in the private sector, per employee.

An earlier article, from the same source, puts public sector absenteeism, in 2009, at a whopping 9.7 days per year.

That might be a surprise.  Many people will read that and think “I haven’t been sick in years.”  Others are less fortunate though and find their working life and aspirations beset with absence.

I have recently been presenting to several NHS teams for Harrison Training, both to OT and mixed discipline teams, and they are invariably affected with absenteeism.

I’ll write later about how absenteeism ties in with the current economic climate.

I would love to hear, in the comments below, how absenteeism impacts upon your teams and your own ability to carry out your work effectively.

And what is your answer to the problem?

Thanks to Alyson for providing the original link in her tweet.

Written by harrisontraining

July 8, 2010 at 9:35 am