A whole new adventure...

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

Monday, 13 January 2014

Being a band 5 rotational OT is all about the learning...and the being flexible...

I say this because initially when I started, I was on a surgical ward, treating medical patients; I then covered two general medical wards which had detox beds; I covered 2 cardio-respiratory wards for two weeks and then took on supervising half of a band 3s caseload on a cardiac ward with a senior. I rotated early due to service cover and took over the cardio-respiratory wards for a couple of months. Additionally myself and the other band 5 Claire, visited a local school to promote OT as a career at a world of work day too.

So that takes me from June 2013 to January 2014.
So far I have got to grips with all things gastro, had the opportunity to learn about bariatric manual handling. Learnt about pressure care, risk assessing for beds and bed accessories. Been able to manage a variable case load, instructed a student and supervised a band 3. I've put in to practice what I learnt from my dissertation. I've gotten over my fear of portable oxygen, become more confident in my clinical reasoning and gained a greater understanding of disease progression. I Had the opportunity to work with some fantastic doctors nurses and physios. I met princess Anne. I am actively being the voice of occupational therapy to raise the profile of OT and awareness of its valuable contribution (as per the COT strategic plan), and encourage children to consider it as a career working in an educational arena.
So all in all, I don't think I've done too badly!!

Where am I now? I've officially rotated, and I am working in urgent care.
The role is a little bit different as it is about minimising avoidable admissions, or signposting to services to facilitate a timely discharge from the assessment wards and avoiding a transfer to, or longer admission on the main wards. It is fast paced, and the referral process is different. Here I work with a band 4 assistant practitioner and a band 8 clinical lead. We screen the notes and identify our own case load - working closely with the elderly and frail in reach team. The conditions we encounter are vast, as it can be anything that comes through the doors to a&e. I also cover outlying wards, where people are transferred when they are just awaiting social care arrangements such as social services assessments, care packages etc. Although my static case load has dropped dramatically from 25-35 'active' patients to about 12, the case load on the unit I am on can vary from day to day, which ensures I am always busy.

Working in urgent care can be frustrating because you can just be getting to grips with a complex social situation that requires input to facilitate a safe and timely discharge - and this can have many different components (e.g. family dynamics, geographical limitations, funding, ethics etc), and then your patient is transferred to another ward for the case to be continued by another therapist, and therefore you only tend to see the beginnings of a patient's case.

Tomorrow I am spending half the day in an educational role alongside a physio colleague I have worked with previously to promote our respective roles at a connexions careers fare. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed taking a more educational role - as public speaking and children are two things that I don't particularly enjoy!

I feel with each day I learn something new that develops me both as a person and a practitioner - I feel privileged and proud to have a job which allows me such opportunities.


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