A whole new adventure...

An expression of my thoughts and feelings on my OT journey, both personal and professsional.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Being flexible; it's in my job description.

Reflecting on my day I realised that flexibility is essential when working in an acute setting such as the one I am in. Today I did boardround (a multidiciplinary meeting to discuss medical status and discharge planning needs) on a ward I have never been on, to cover for a colleague, 5 minutes after being asked to do so. Seeing patients with conditions that are not my 'norm'; in a layout that is completely alien and maze like to me. Head back to my ward, the band 3 who is usual on my ward was required to assist another OT with my priority work, and asked to pick up a patient on an outlying ward. All of which is 'outside' my usual working patterns.

Having an insight to the success, and limitations of your practice is also key.
Being flexible ensures that I can see every patient as an individual, which is key to working in a client centred way. Understanding that an individual is more than just the person, but the occupation and the environment too. Working with all sorts of different people with varying backgrounds, cultures and values means that I need to ensure I match my therapeutic strategies to work with the patient, sometimes encountering barriers to my practice and being required to roll with resistance to ensure the patient's needs are met. To do this I need to be flexible in the approaches and techniques used.

The British Psychological Society says flexibility is being “able to be easily modified to respond to altered circumstances or conditions” and that flexibility is linked to insight – another trait that many OTs are blessed with.

Would you consider yourself to be “flexible”? and what does that mean to you? Being flexible is literally in my job description. And it is a trait I believe most if not all OTs possess in one way or another.

I love routine and structure, and my entire life revolves around lists and planning sheets and in my personal life once I have an idea in my head I am very fixed on it, I like to achieve it and do it how I had planned, if a spanner is thrown into the works, I feel very much out of sorts. I like to know where I am with things. However when I have my 'OT head' on it's a whole different kettle of fish. Strange, I know, but it's these little idiosyncrasies that make us individual and unique.


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