#OTalk 13th February – When we’re busy helping others how can we make time to look after ourselves?

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “occupational balance” and will be hosted byAmie Mowlam-Tett (@Amie_OT).

Here is what Amy had to say…

Personally, this topic is one close to my heart; during the second year of my MSc I experienced a number of personal setbacks, including the death of a close relative. At one time I couldn’t imagine myself qualifying, it took peer support and time to balance my occupations, remembering time for myself and I did it. I qualified. More importantly, I learnt a lot about balance and need for ‘me’ time. I want to share my experiences and get talking about the importance of our own health and wellbeing when so much of our times is focused on the health and wellbeing of others.

Wilson & Wilcock (2005) addressed the topic of occupational balance in student populations, finding time, money and stress to occupational imbalance and negatively affect wellbeing. Similarly, Clouston (2014) found Occupational Therapists often prioritised their workload and studying over leisure occupations negatively impacting on occupational balance and overall wellbeing.

With months to go before the end of the course for students, it’s easy to become focused on work and neglect time for yourself. I am asking you to take a break, breathe and think about your own wellbeing. Let’s talk about balance, what it means to us and come up with strategies to help keep that work-life balance healthy. This isn’t just for students, for clinicians, it’s a perfect opportunity to share your experiences, hints or advice and maybe pick up a few tips too.

Some questions to consider:

  1. What does occupational balance mean to you?
  2. How important is occupational balance in your daily life?
  3. How well balanced do you feel your occupations are? (eg work/studying and home-life)
  4. What most affect your occupational balance?
  5. How do you create occupational balance, what strategies do you use?
  6. What tips do you have for students about to qualify?
  7. If you could change one thing about your occupational balance what would it be?

References

Clouston TJ (2014) Whose occupational balance is it anyway? The challenge of neoliberal capitalism and work–life imbalance. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 77 (10) 507–515.

Wilson L & Wilcock A (2005) Occupational Balance: What Tips the Scales for New Students? British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 68 (7) 319–323.

POST CHAT

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript February 13th 2018

The Numbers

2.031M Impressions
612 Tweets
110 Participants
16 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

 

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#OTalk 12th December – Critical reflection

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “Critical reflection” and will be hosted by Stephanie Lancaster (@TheOutloudOT).

Stephanie has practiced as an OT for over 25 years. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN. Stephanie blogs at www.stephanielancaster.com and hosts a podcast for people interested in OT called On The Air (www.OnTheAir.us)

Years before I went back to school to get a Master’s degree in Leadership & Policy Studies, a colleague of mine told me that she had been asked by her faculty what her one big take-away had been.  Her response, she said, had been that it’s important to read the foreword in a book.  

In all honesty, I didn’t see the value in the behavior she recommended at the time of our conversation; it wasn’t until years later that I discovered the wisdom in her words.  Something else that exchange did for me, though, was to serve as a prompt during my own graduate studies, I identified my own big take-away: There is great value in the process of critical reflection.

Since I began teaching, I have been interested in how, when, and why they reflect in a critical fashion and how that impacts their learning. Over time, what I have noted is that there is great variability in the methods of instruction in and in the expectations and evaluation of critical reflection and to the reflective writing process that accompanies this. In fact, “the widespread espousal of reflection as a key to effective learning has meant that its meaning is assumed to be obvious to all” (James & Brookfield, 2014, p. 26); however, in the midst of the multitude of methods of delivery and expectations associated with this teaching and learning technique, only infrequently are students provided with structured and distinct instruction about the process of reflective writing (James, 2007).

I have heard students and practitioners ask what the difference is between reflection and critical reflection and want to address that question here:

Reflection is defined as looking back at something, and sometimes the phrase giving serious thought to is also added into the mix. Critical reflection occurs when we analyze and challenge the validity of our presumptions – or what we think we know – and then assess the appropriateness of our knowledge base, our understanding, and our beliefs, given our current context (Mezirow, 1990). It involves looking back and looking inward and then comparing that to another set of information or viewpoint, followed by actively reconciling, or making peace between, the two data sets. While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, critical reflection is a more involved process that is expected to have a more perceptible impact on one’s level of understanding (Brookfield, 1990).

Several months ago, I came across an article by Martin Hampton in the Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement at the University of Portsmouth (n.d.) that provides a detailed breakdown the components of a high-quality critical reflection.  In the article, reflective writing is defined as evidence of critically reflective thinking and, in the context of academics, described as having three components:

  • Looking back at something
  • Analyzing what occurred, including thinking from different perspectives or places of understanding
  • Determining and expressing what that means for you and your ongoing progress as a learner and/or practicing professional​

Please note that this is just one way to structure critically reflective writing; there are other ways, and you may be required or you may choose to follow a different model. Please remember, though, regardless of the format you choose, that there is great value in reflection … and that, like many other things in life, oftentimes what you get out of this process is directly related to what you put into it.

Questions to consider

Q1: What do you know about critical reflection?

Q2: How have you gained this understanding?

Q3: In what, if any, form of critical reflection do you currently engage?

Q4: How can OT students and practitioners improve their ability to critically reflect?

Q5: Provide an example of a professional development goal written to target critical reflection.

References
Brookfield, S. D. (1990). Using critical incidents to explore learners’ assumptions. In J. Mezirow (Ed.). Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood. Pp. 177-193. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hampton, M. (n.d.) Reflective writing: A basic introduction. University of Portsmouth:          Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement. Retrieved from http://www.port.ac.uk/ask
James, A., and Brookfield, S. D. (2014). Engaging Imagination: Helping Students Become Creative and Reflective Thinkers. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
James, A. (2007). Reflection revisited: Perceptions of reflective practice in learning and teaching. Art, Design, & Communication in Higher Education, 5(3), 179-196.

 

Mezirow, J. (1990). How critical reflection triggers transformational learning. In J. Mezirow (Ed.). Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood. Pp. 1-20. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Post Chat

Online transcript

The Numbers
1.303M Impressions
405 Tweets
42 Participants
324 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants