OT in DC and common sense

So the great team at AOTA's Federal Affairs branch has made a blog on OTC entitled "OT in DC." It has been very good thus far, and I wanted to make sure to share this post on why documentation is important- "How We Say It Matters." To me, that title is twofold- how we describe our OT services provided matters in getting reimbursed and recognized appropriately; and that there is a question we need to answer for our Fed Affairs folks and the public in general- how OT matters to the community and how that can be communicated.

This post is a great read to remind you that documentation is not just busywork, not just checkboxes, and not just a legal document. It's the proof that services of an occupational therapy practitioner were required and beneficial to the client. There is a common phrase that if it wasn't documented, it didn't happen. This post touches on the fact that clinical reasoning is invisible unless you, the practitioner, write it there. You know you did it, but does every person who could possibly be reading your documentation know that, and know that it was skilled? If we want OT to matter (and if you don't, you're probably reading the wrong blog) then we have to communicate our worth.

Also, on that note, not that anyone does this in writing but this is an important change to make in your oral communication. How often are you complimented for an idea or treatment and brush it off as "common sense?" Vow now to never say it again. If it was "common sense," it would not have required paying an OT to do it. That phrase diminishes all the intense coursework, fieldworks, and clinical reasoning of an OT. It seems "common sense" to you because of the framework you use for clinical reasoning, your experience, your intelligence. Not to be stereotypical, but women sometimes have a tendency to shy away from accepting compliments to avoid standing out or try to emphasize their cooperative tendencies. There is no reason not to accept a compliment to your clinical reasoning skills, you can do so gracefully (even returning one if appropriate) and acknowledge those skills instead of degrading them.

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