I am a person who worries, doubts, and has times of self depreciation. This is probably evident to many people already, but a disclaimer to anyone else. On the plus side, I likely have those traits due to an urge to be better at the things that I do. Part of the duty of being a member of a profession is a continued commitment to improvement, and I feel that is especially important to be the best I can be so that I can best facilitate goal achievement in my clients. So it hurts when others suggest that OT is not effective, not science-driven, not worthwhile. I found this post linked from another blog, and was disappointed in many of the comments I saw. It also made me wonder if any of my clients or their parents are writing about me. If not writing, they may be talking... one of the things that I have noticed w/ my peds caseload is that some come in for an evaluation and a couple of treatments and are never heard from again, despite phone calls and notes. I often wonder what has happened in these situations when a kid disappears from my schedule and isn't heard from again. Some I know are for financial or personal family reasons, but I know that there's been at least one who didn't come back because mom didn't like me or the therapy session that she observed. It can make you a little paranoid, and I don't need help finding things to worry about.

More thoughts in the full post...

One specific problem that I have is that I feel I'm doing pretty well at evaluating kids and spotting a sensory processing difficulty, and I know that I can pick treatments that challenge them, but I'm not seeing these kids improve as much as I would like. Also, it's difficult to best know what to do for some kids.

I've had more parents observing sessions recently, which I don't mind most of the time, but would rather have a 2way mirror other times. I wish I had better answers for their questions sometimes. I can see in some of their eyes that they don't find me smart enough, or good enough to work with their kids. One set of parents was whispering back and forth to one another as I let their child engage in free play during the eval... they were very upset at her for 'not following directions.' Though I haven't had anyone confusing me with a high school student lately, I don't know that I'm giving off the vibe that I need to best interact with the kids and their parents.

I really wish that I had a fieldwork in peds, or someone else that would share the caseload and give me ideas, or (ideally) a mentor to help me grow as a practitioner. That is on my list of things to do this week... finding people to reach out to online as the ones that I have attempted to reach out to in person have not panned out well. Also on my list of things to do, and gaining priority with each passing second, is preparing my 'inservice.' I have to present it tomorrow. It's not a big thing, more like a five minute thing, but I need to get it done.

Haven't had a chance to check out the OT Connections site... also haven't been on OT Advantage for awhile anyway. Hopefully one or both of these will work out... I am already on the computer too much w/ reading interesting things. And my only network is Facebook, I try to avoid all the other stuff. I already need at least 24 more hours every week, I can't imagine trying to cram in a 'second life' of any sorts.

1 comment:

Occupational Therapy Otago said...

I found you post very thought provoking with a great link which made me think even more. Sadl oOccupational therapy like all professions has a range of practitioners the excellent, the good and the not so good. But wasn't it great to see how this issue was dealt with, you came to a real sense of what the issue was all about by reading the posts.

We are all tasked with ensuring our own professional development and I think that is the most important part of our journey to being the best therapist we can be, often the more you learn the more you realise you don't know or have still to learn. For me having people to share with, and bounce ideas off is very important, as is receiving good supervision or mentoring and as is on going education. But how do you do this when you are working in isolation without others around you?

I think that it takes sitting down and really detailing out your own professional development plan, not because it is a work requirement but because you want to. Then figuring out how you can get the experiences, supports, learning you most need. It takes being creative about how you get what you need e.g. supervision/mentoring, you might suddenly realise that there is a person you see 2-3 time a year at various events that you would like to have as a supervisor - could you arrange to meet with he/she before or after the events, could this be supplemented with scheduled on line conversations, emails etc. Perhaps there are on line courses that you could do?

I also wonder whether the profession is using blogs in the beat way yet. You are already blogging (and it’s free) perhaps you could see if there is more professional development to be gained from your blog or other bloggers. Taking real care with confidentiality could you be posing questions about your work that you would like help with?, include your ideas and rationale and see if others will join the debate (I always think people are more likely to respond when they see the writer is really engaging with the issue/ challenge/ problem). Secondly, find and use the knowledge on ohter blogs, or the expertise of other bloggers. I don't work in pain management but one blog I find full of information and resource on occupational therapy and pain management is Skills for Healthy Living http://healthskills.wordpress.com/ and I feel sure that if you posted a query on this site you would get a very helpful response. There are probably many other blogs where you would get a similar response.

I look forward to seeing how your blog and your professional development goes. Being reflective, being a resource finder and working issues though as you do is a great place to start. Perhaps you can help the profession take one more step towards forming an online community that truly supports professional development.