4.10.2008

Finally, a little respect

It is OT month, though you wouldn't know it at my facility. Lately I've been feeling pretty bogged down by my coworkers... from the PTA who thinks I'm an activities director to the case managers who complain about OT performance during team meetings. The complacency of my fellow OTs in this regard is not helping, and rather, is wearing me down too. I haven't felt the "OT vs the World" mentality since I was in school, and I haven't missed it. I really enjoy the good collaborative relationships that I had on my fieldwork and still have with some of my coworkers. It's easier to come to work everyday when it's an environment of mutual respect and responsibility instead of latent hostility.

But this week, I got a rare compliment and decided to pass it along to bolster the OT community. Mrs L is in her lower 90's and came into the hospital with a hip fracture. She had done well through the ORIF procedure, but during her acute care OT/PT eval, she had a cerebral event (don't know whether they've decided it was a TIA or CVA) which has affected the opposite side as her fracture. This pt. has an involved family (I've never seen fewer than 3 relatives in her room at any given time) who have placed some strain on the TCU unit but genuinely care about maximizing her recovery and getting her home with their support. Mobility gains have been minimal since her admission 2 weeks ago. But she has really gained w/ her RUE. We've been addressing FMC, crossing midline, and basic grooming activities with this dominant hand. We're now able to start more involved ADL tasks.

Yesterday, we had planned to have a large cooking group w/ 7-8 participants. Despite encouragement, only 2 agreed to come down and participate. (We have others that would benefit but they are on multiple precautions, so that was quite prohibitive.) Mrs L was sitting in a geri-chair in the kitchen/day room with her daughter, just looking out the window. I asked her if she would want to join the other ladies in making some cookies, and she was agreeable to that. Since our group had turned into a very small group, we decided to let the COTA run the group while I ran off to get some evals done. Mrs L's daughter caught me in the hallway, almost in tears, and stated that she was happy with the care her mother had received here, but she was most impressed with the OT department. She said that she really valued the gains that her mom had made w/ OT and was pleased with all of the OT personnel that had worked with the family. This woman actually helped the COTA with the group, to the point of cleaning up at the end, saying, "you guys do such good work, you need to be doing your jobs instead of this. God bless you."

The other inpatient OT and the COTA have done more of the treatments with this woman than I have, but I am so glad that someone recognizes that OT is important and can make a difference.

1 comment:

Natan said...

That is truly a a great story!