Posted on Tuesday October 24 2017 by RIG Healthcare
Of all the battles Occupational Therapists have to fight, and there are many of them, for me the abbreviation of our name is the very last thing we need to worry about. OT is still Occupational Therapy.
Our first battle is that very few people have even heard about us, let alone have any idea of the outstanding life changing work that we do. Apart from that it's the people who's lives we change, quietly and steadily.
Our next battle is to listen, really listen to what our clients want, not what we think they need, or equally importantly what the system says they need. We can then work with them side by side supporting them in their goals. We can think of inventive and creative ways to enable our clients to put one step forward when sometimes they can't even see a path ahead to walk on. (to quote one of my own clients.)
We battle to find the beginning of the piece of string with someone. To start the journey at the smallest step so there cannot be failure. We do that by using our professional skills effectively including our unique analysis of activities. We watch, we observe, we keep on listening and communicating.
We battle to work with others to challenge the notion that they are the experts in their own condition not us as health care professionals. We are their advocate, and they in turn will advocate for us.
All the people we work with have needs or are vulnerable in some way. If all they can manage to call me is OT, after they have had a stroke, head injury, are experiencing chronic pain, unable to read or write, or process clearly through a fog of drugs etc, etc. As long as they know OT means I am genuine, authentic, believe in them 100% and have made a difference to their lives, I will take that and be a proud OT.
I for one don't care if people call me an Occupational Therapist or an OT, there are so many other important battles to fight.
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