3.16.2008

Dueling Jobs

I work, as some of you know, for a hospital of a smaller city (population: under 20,000). Our entire OT department is comprised of 4 OTs and a COTA and we cover acute hospital cases, short term SNF rehabilitation, and outpatient therapy. The outpatient department has built up a thriving practice focused on hand therapy and work hardening; the inpatient department has its ups and downs of census and minutes needed each week. Different documentation, different mindsets, different world. Inpatient and outpatient are in separate buildings, approximately 300 feet apart, and few employees cross over at any time.

I am one of the few exceptions. I cross over 3/4 days a week at different times due to the (continually growing) caseload. It is a challenge, and a balancing act. I have to be very motivated in the hospital so that I can get my adult caseload seen, but I have to be careful not to be so motivated that I take on extra evals and don't have time to finish paperwork before heading to OP. If I don't, that just adds to my documentation docket for after my 2-5 peds appointments. Other OP people are MUCH better at time management for documentation than I am, but my kids require full hands-on and mind-on concentration during their session.

Since I haven't been able to strike a good balance yet between the dueling demands of the job, I've wound up staying late most nights. As I discussed earlier, I also try to put in a little work each week, reading OT Practice, listservs or relevant books. There is also a lack of balance here, as my at-home continuing ed has been focused almost solely on developing my peds skills. (Or writing up reports for these kids' MDs, as I am today). I worry that I will let my other skills just sort of coast, instead of working harder to be better at neuro and ortho. But I am limited. There is only so much time in the day, and only so much that I can bear to devote solely to OT.

Anyone else have tips from living in this dueling lifestyle? And how on earth does anyone manage to do this when they have a family?!

1 comment:

bloggingot said...

Sounds like you have quite a caseload/crossover!

My hospital is huge compared to yours, a 650+ bed hospital with OT's working in acute, rehab, stroke/TBI rehab, outpatient, driving, NICU, and more. In all, I think we have 18 OT's on staff. But acute care only has 4 OT's right now, which makes for some difficult times!