There are holidays, there are distractions and there are … clinical workshops!


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.


6 responses to “There are holidays, there are distractions and there are … clinical workshops!

  1. I use Blogspot for my blog but haven’t worked out how to see the stats for that-does anyone else know? cheers Sarah

  2. occupationaltherapyotago

    Hi Sarah
    Sorry I can’t help for Blogspot but I am sure someone tripping past will know the answer. I have been a little surprised by how interested I get in them – they are quite successful in keeping me motivated to keep on posting. Jackie

  3. This post sent me off trying to find how I might be able to see my stats too and I can’t find that option. Might have to change to WordPress as it would be really good to know that people do read it. What if they don’t? I don’t suppose it would really matter but I do like the idea someone, somewhere, checks out my blog. I wonder how you get the compressed tag cloud you have. Mine is much too large. I will need to check that out also.
    I was really interested to see that occupational therapy might have a role to play with people with psoriasis, I never would have thought of that. I have known of people who get on with their lives but are really debilitated by psoriasis which can be all over the body. I suppose it is thinking outside the square when working with people who have some sort of limitation on their lives and considering would occupational therapy help this person. I wonder if we, as midwives really know what sort of issues we could or should refer to OT. Maybe OT need to get out around the other professions and tell us what they can do for people. Food for thought? The question of who might be our clients is a wee bit easier for midwifery.

  4. occupationaltherapyotago

    I have to say that wordpress is very easy to use, the cloud is just one of the widgets you can choose on the blog dashboard – they set the size.

    You are right about thinking outside the square about who we could be working with – the challenge is to broaden occupational therapists thinking about the possibilities as well as the people who refer to us. It is also about the profession getting out of the mind set that we can only see people who have been referred to us (usually by the medical profession). Part of this reliance on receiving referrals from others is around how the services will be funded, and us needing to believe that if funding is not available that people would still be willing to fund themselves.

    I have had an interesting thing happen to this blog posting – perhaps it might mean that an occupational therapist somewhere in the world finds that someone with psorasis is asking to be seen. I was curious about a feed coming into my blog. When I followed it back a skin care company selling skin creams of various types had picked up a quote from the blog post on the possibility of occupational therapists working with people with psorasis and offered a link back to this site to follow up. To start I wasn’t sure that I approved of my blog being used to give interest to their marketing – but came around to the thinking that any marketing is good marketing – I’m interested to hear what others think.

    I however now feel compelled to think through what an occupational therapists role might be with a client who has psorasis – just in case someone comes looking.

    Perhaps an occupational therapists role might be to :
    Assist clients to problem solve the difficulties they might be experiencing in doing the things they want and need to do each day e.g.
    -coping socially with flaking skin and other symptoms
    -assisting with finding and enabling participation in hobbies and leisure activities
    -developing strategies to enable them to better cope with work and household tasks/activities

    I’m sure there is more?

  5. To get your stats on blogger, I at least use You wont be able to see past stats, but you like use that to install a code into your template that starts tracking from that moment on. Email me if you need more assistance than that.

    Jackie, I am really happy to see you posting again. I hope too your blogging holiday has ended. It sounds like you had a great conference. I agree that just about ANY population – psoriasis, whatever – could benefit from some OT! Although today, I made a man do a colorful wood puzzle while standing, and when he was done dissessembling (sp) it after completion, I had to put it back together to put up , and I found the simple puzzle very hard, since I have some pretty bad visuospatial deficits/mental rotation issues. At times like that I am like why in the world am I going to become an OT when I can’t even do a simple puzzle. LOL.

  6. occupationaltherapyotago

    I have noted that some of the people who become occupational therapists have often ended up as occupational therapists in part because they have experienced difficulties (and often they are quite small things) in an area of their life and in finding strategies to cope with or over come it – they come to an understanding and a belief about the world that is very compatible with the belief’s and values of the occupational therapy profession.
    Now a confession – I need to use my hands to direct people, as my lefts and rights are a little unpredictable and a bit of a family joke – After successfully navigating my brother to a venue in an unfamiliar city recently I declared that my lefts and rights were obviously getting better with age as I had done it without using my hands to reinforce the direction. My sister-in-law burst out laughing as apparently my brother had been doing the exact opposite of everything I had said!. I also remember with dread the SCPIT (Ayres Sensory integration test particularly the spatial orientation section) – I had to practice it each time before I administered it and I used to use it at least once a week for a while!

    I think it also serves as a bit of a warning however that assessments are all very well but observations of the strategies people use and how they cope are often a better starting point for therapy.

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