This is my (and hopefully your) contribution to Occupational Therapy Awareness Week which is coming up soon in New Zealand.
My challenge is to all the occupational therapists, and occupational therapy students who drop in and read this site – please very briefly describe your job/training and the thing that you like best about it, or add a brief story or tale. My blog statistics (I know I am obsessed by them!) tell me that there lots of people out there wanting to know more about occupational therapy. Given that we know it is difficult to describe the breath of possibilities for occupational therapists if 20 or 30 or more people posted it would be really interesting to see what we could show about the diversity of occupational therapy
I am an educator now but as a clinician I worked of 20 years as an occupational therapist who worked with children and their families I loved the diversity as each day was always so different no two children or their families were the same. The two jobs I loved most were working in a child development centre in New Zealand home visiting children who who had a disability or whose development was delayed and working in a Bobath Centre in Britain working with children who had cerebral palsy.
In every setting I have been lucky to find peers and team members who stimulated and challenged me ensuring that the job was never dull. But mostly I loved having a good excuse to spend the day knee deep in play.
I’m on a conquering technology blitz. For those of you interested in your blog statistics check out my clustrMap on the right. This gives a visual representation of the visitors to my blog telling me where in the world they are based (so now whilst I don’t now who the lurkers are I can enjoy knowing where they are based!!). I have admired for a while Hosmer Schools cluster map and suddenly realised that I to could have one.
It continues to amaze me the things people have developed that are free to download and use. If you want a clustrMap when you click on mine it offers the opportunity for you to set up your own.
Sometime ago I was talking about mastering technology and had to confess that I couldn’t figure out how to get my photo’s from the camera to my blog, and that if you ever saw Harry (the cat) you would know I had finally sorted the problem. I have been reduced to bribing Merrolee (Occupational Therapy Education Issues) with a glass of wine and a browse and borrow from my book shelf in exchange for some “looking over the shoulder” learning – and hey it’s sorted. However now I am on a roll and in the belief that the only way to cement my knowledge is to practice I have changed all the photo’s on the blog to photo’s I have taken this winter. I have left the Banner but perhaps one day it too will change. When it all comes together technology is a wonderful thing.
How do we as occupational therapists contribute to global sustainability?
I can’t believe how long it is since my last entry. It’s been a pretty busy couple of months. I am a bit amazed that I even have to confess that I didn’t check my blog statistics for three weeks ( I was becoming a little addicted). I see Merrolee (Occupational Therapy Education) has a bit about checking the blog statistics and I have to agree they do give you a prompt to keep on posting – so all those lurkers who read but don’t post have something to think about (mind I would love it if they posted). I am interested that people are still visiting despite the weeks of silence.
Last week I attended the New Zealand Association of Occupational Therapy Clinical Workshops in Cromwell Central Otago ( so right here in our backyard) held in the off year to their conference. It was great to catch up with other occupational therapists and interesting to see what issues are occupying people’s mind about the profession.
There was quite a lot of conversation about how to position occupational therapy so that therapists are able to offer more in the primary health area, topics on strengthening communities – how to facilitate communities in their support and encouragement of each other, changes to ACC (New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation) the International Classification of function (ICF). There was an interesting challenge about whether some people who clearly have significant challenges in going about their everyday occupations get the opportunity to receive occupational therapy. The example given was people who live with psoriasis (most often only seen by the doctor and treated through medication) . Perhaps maybe we need to open our and others eyes to think more about who could benefit from occupational therapy rather than staying with the traditional client base. Plus lots more.
I was fascinated to hear about how the building we were meeting in was built. A real story of a community knowing how to make something happen. I am not sure I have all the facts sorted but it goes something like this. The area needed a new church they decided that they would build a building that whilst a church could also be used as a conference centre and become a community asset . They had the plans drawn but were facing real issues in raising sufficient funds to build it. The community rallied and over a weekend the shell of the church come conference centre was built . Over 300 people donated their time and skills they saved themselves 1.5 million and were able then to get the funding to finish the building. It is a building that is now clearly used by the whole community and which has the potential to fund itself, by having people like us having their conferences and meetings there. A great story – one that makes you realise the power a community working together can have.
Well I hope this ends the blogging holiday – guess we will see.