Blog Posts

OTalk

#OTalk Research 7th December 2021 – Research Journaling

This month our #OTalk Research is hosted by Dr Anuja Cabraal @AnujaCabraal with @NikkiDanielsOT on the #OTalk account.

Anuja describes herself as a qualitative enthusiast, and so we are delighted to welcome her as this month’s host. Anuja will help us to think about research journaling and how it can be best used to support our research.
A research journal, or research diary is a log that is kept throughout your research. It can include whatever you choose and can be structured based on your style – it can even be unstructured. There are many benefits to keeping a research journal, which we’re looking forward to chatting about during the tweetchat. 

Questions:

What is your understanding of a research diary or research journal in qualitative research? 

Why keep a research diary? What are some ways it can be useful?

Do you keep a research diary? What are the sorts of things you have, or think you might put in there? 

How do you think a research journal can add value to your research? Can you share any examples?

What are some of the challenges you find when it comes to keeping or maintaining a research diary?

What are some things you could try to help you with your research journaling? Do you have any tips to share with others?

OTalk

#OTalk – 30th November 2021 – Creating a Sensory Friendly Environment

This weeks chat will be hosted by Rebecca Cusworth @RebeccaCus.

Sensory integration is when our body and brain organises sensations which tell us about ourself and the environment (ASI Wise 2021). The senses including touch, vision, hearing, smell, taste, vestibular, proprioception, and introception (ASI Wise 2021). We receive sensory input from our sensory receptors, we process the sensory information, and then we generate a response to this (Miller 2006). An example of this process might be:

James is swinging on a swing. 
He is enjoying the sensation of moving through the air, the weightlessness at the top of the swing, and the heaviness when he is closest to the ground. He can hear the wind whistling in his ears and can see the ground moving along beneath him. While he swings, James holds onto the chains which he can smell are metal. James can tell he is becoming hungry so he waits until the next upward swing before jumping through the air. 

As all of us are sensory beings, we all have preferences for what we enjoy and dislike. For example, another person may feel motion-sick or afraid when swinging on a swing. When we are in our own homes, we might choose to dim the lights, to light scented candles, surround ourselves with comfy blankets, and eat food which makes us feel good (e.g., chocolate). 

When we are unwell, stressed, or in different environments (such as hospital, a friend’s house, workplace), we are less inclined to use our preferences to make ourselves feel better. 

This #OTalk chat aims to initiate the conversation about how we can create a sensory-friendly environment for ourselves and our patients. As occupational therapists, we are well placed to promote improvements in our services. 

Questions:

1. What is your understanding of sensory friendly environments?

2. What needs to change in your workplace to make it more sensory friendly for patients?

3. What needs to change to make your environment more sensory friendly for staff?

4. What do you feel would be challenging about putting this in place?

5. What support do you feel would be beneficial from RCOT or your Trust?

POST CHAT

Host:  Rebecca Cusworth @RebeccaCus.

Support on OTalk Account: Rachel @OT_Rach

Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt.  So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?

HCPC Standards for CPD.

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  • Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD.
OTalk

#OTalk – 23rd November 2021 – Occupational Therapy and Intermediate Care.

This weeks chat will be hosted by  Paul Wilkinson @Paulwilkinson94 who is a rotational occupational therapist currently working for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

It is evident that hospitals across the country are experiencing heightened demands and challenges during these unprecedented times. Whilst the National Health Service across the United Kingdom continues to strive to meet individual patient needs, it also continues to do battle and cope with the pressures from COVID-19, staff shortages, and increased hospital admissions. Consequently, the above factors mean hospital beds are in more of a demand than arguably ever before. 

Nationally it is recognised that the longer individuals remain in hospital the greater the risk of deconditioning and being diagnosed with hospital acquired infections can occur particular among the elderly and vulnerable. As occupational therapists we recognise that individuals thrive and recover often more effectively within their own environments. However, during a time of uncertainty it could be argued we are forced to consider discharge planning from the acute settings earlier than ever before, meaning often individuals are medically optimised but not fully from a therapy perspective. 

It seems to make hospital beds more accessible intermediate care settings and wider community settings are being utilised to bridge the clinical pathway for older individuals transitioning from the hospital to home more than ever before. According to The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2018) intermediate care services provide support for a short time to help individuals recover and increase independence. The service is often provided by a combination of health and social care professionals including occupational therapists. The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2016) suggest occupational therapists working within intermediate care settings can help ensure smooth transition into the community.  

In April this year I was fortunate enough to rotate into an intermediate care setting based in the Northeast of England. Several months later working as an occupational therapist within this setting it became clear to myself through interaction with service users, relatives, and wider professionals the understanding of the role and purpose of an intermediate care setting and how occupational therapy fits into this setting was blurred and limited. This led me to further want to extend my understanding and gain insight amongst the occupational therapy community through #OTalk with the following questions:

  1. How would you best describe the purpose of an intermediate care setting? 
  2. Why do you think the purpose and understanding of intermediate care if often misunderstood? 
  3. What challenges do you think present to an occupational therapist working within an intermediate care setting? 
  4. What do you think are the benefits of an occupational therapist working within an intermediate care setting? 
  5. How do you think the role and purpose of an intermate care setting could be made clearer?  

POST CHAT

Host:  Paul Wilkinson @Paulwilkinson94

Support on OTalk Account: @kirstieot

Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt.  So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?

HCPC Standards for CPD.

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  • Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD.
OTalk

#OTalk Tuesday 16th November 2021 Continuing professional development – challenges and opportunities

This weeks in the lead up to the OT show #OTalk is hosted by Adam Ferry @adamferry3 on behalf of The OT Service.

There are numerous CPD opportunities across the health and social care sector, many of them offered free to delegates, such as events and webinars.   This session looks to consider what CPD really is, what occupational therapists want from their experiences and how it benefits the end user.

HCPC describe CPD as ‘how you learn and develop throughout your career, ensuring your skills and knowledge are up to date so that you can practise safely.’ This session challenges whether this definition is enough and indeed if safety or re-registration is the primary objective. 

With links to HCPC registration requirements, reflection and how CPD not only challenges delegates but the profession to grow, the questions will ask participants to reflect on their own experiences and discuss what CPD needs to offer them in order to maximise their engagement.

Questions:

  1. What do you consider to be a good CPD opportunity, and do you have pre-requisites about what is considered CPD?
  1. When engaging with CPD what is your goal?  HCPC definition states skill development and safety to support re-registration, is that indeed your focus?
  1. It was put to me this week that CPD at events often does not represent the value of occupational therapy.  What do you consider important within CPD programmes to ensure that the value is represented?
  1. Is there anything you would like to see more represented within CPD offerings, bearing in mind that events often need to try to ‘cater for all’?

POST CHAT

Host:  Adam Ferry @adamferry3 on behalf of The OT Service.

Support on OTalk Account: @otrach

Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt.  So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?

HCPC Standards for CPD.

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  • Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD.
OTalk

#OTalk – 9th Nov 2021 – Are you being the OT you dreamed you’d be? 

This weeks chat will be hosted by Natasha Bruce-Jones, @NatashaBJo Clinical Director, Think Therapy 1st

As the anniversary of my second decade as a qualified OT draws to a close I’m lead to reflect on my ‘why’. Why did I choose OT? What did I envisage my job to look and feel like every day? I can easily recall: the diversity of approaches and the ability to ‘do with’ rather than ‘do for’. Whilst enjoying delivering therapy with arts, crafts and leisure I was often amazed that this was actually classed as work at all! But having used my scholarly dissertation to confirm that even two decades ago there was a low uptake in these activities as a therapy method, I’m pulled again to reflect on how things have changed in OT practises today under the ever-growing pressures of statutory authorities, and restrictions of red tape and budget tightening. 

I’ve worked in emergency, acute, community, education, and most recently in private practise. I have felt pressured to meet targets more than meet people’s expectations; to meet deadlines more than meet people’s real goals; to save money more than provide ‘quality of life’ focused treatment. I have watched OT emerge to address the needs of the setting rather than the needs of the client, have felt pressure to become a Consultant OT and mould myself into the medical model to be recognised, and ultimately decided to leave roles for fear of not being allowed to actually practise OT in my OT role. I was fortunate enough to find the freedom of private practise as my saviour, but friends and colleagues have felt so dismayed at the limits in their roles that they have tragically left the profession altogether! 

When I joined private practice, my fire was reignited. I was reminded how amazing, inspiring, creative and interactive OT can be, and how boundaried, restricted and distracted from my ‘change the world’ student vision statutory roles had forced me to become. Now my therapy days consist of kite flying, metal detecting, velodrome cycling, mountaineering, open water swimming, boxing, knitting, refurbishing house boats, learning Spanish – the list goes on, and I love it. The biggest win however will always be hearing the unreserved thanks and surprise from clients at the magnitude of effect true OT can have on their entire lives. 

This poses me to ask the rest of the OT community about your experiences and draw you to think about what your role potential could be. 

  • What is it about your OT role that prevents you realising your full OT potential? 
  • How can OTs truly provide client led services if working within the ‘top down’ management systems of local authorities and NHS?  
  • How can OTs refuse to allow role or service changes that reduce their scope and impact? 
  • Is OTs use of terms like ‘prescibing’ and ‘consultant’  a sign of OTs feeling a need for medical recognition and contributing to an already blurry public understanding ? 
  • What is the most fun you’ve had delivering your OT in the last year? 

POST CHAT

Host:  This weeks chat will be hosted by Natasha Bruce-Jones, @NatashaBJo Clinical Director, Think Therapy 1st

Support on OTalk Account: @colourfulot

Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt.  So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?

HCPC Standards for CPD.

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  • Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD.