The concept of OT is meaningful activity - The Core Values of OT

Welcome to August’s blog, the fourth in a series of five, looking at the core values of Occupational Therapy

Last month we looked at goal setting and timescales and what it means for your practiceThis month, we will be looking at interventions and will be linking it to your reflections and evidence to the HCPC standards. 

In exploring how client centred you were in June you may have reflected on the interventions you use?

The whole concept of occupational therapy is meaningful activity. This is not necessarily meaningful to you, your department or your organisation. It is what is meaningful to your client or patient, not what is next on the discharge criteria but the number one priority for them.

Recently I was working with an elderly lady, 82, who had been in hospital over three weeks. She didn't want to do a kitchen assessment, she wanted to set her hair and wax her facial hair. She wanted a mirror to put on lipstick before her visitors arrived. Making a cup of tea was way down on her priorities, but by starting where she wanted to start it created the motivation, and enthusiasm for her to move forward in other areas of her life.

I was also working with someone fifty years younger who's priority was to visit a previous working environment to work through some issues which were impacting on her ability to make decisions in her current working environment.

Unless we start with what is meaningful and relevant to the client, it's not occupational therapy. With both people we identified the issues, prioritised them, set goals and worked out how we could achieve them. Client centred all the way, therefore meaningful activities or interventions that could be graded and were achievable.

Take a moment to reflect on your current practice, the interventions that you have used today or this week. Do you know how meaningful they were to the client? How did you find out that information?  How did you enable the client prioritise them? 

As I stated earlier, your practice, and your service delivery should be underpinned by the philosophy of occupational therapy. If your intervention is not meaningful to the person, is it client centred and therefore, is it #Occupational Therapy?  Just asking.......

Great news you have managed to take time out of your busy schedule to review and reflect on your current practice. In relation to HCPC standards, you have

  • Reflected on your practice and documented your action plan for reviewing interventions used.
  • Documented clear evidence of how your meaningful intervention has benefitted the service user
  • You have reviewed your current practice and ensured your intervention is meaningful to your clients
  • Identified any changes you could made, in the light of your reflections to the quality of your service delivery.

In next months blog we will review the outcome measures that you currently use. So identify a time in the next month, just 30 minutes, to read something and/or reflect on this topic.

If you have any thoughts questions or queries, I would love to hear from you.

Margaret Spencer

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