This week Lauren Osborne @LaurenOsborneOT is hosting here is what she had to say,
This week’s #OTalk is explores well-being in the first year of practice. It is being led by Andrew Bates (@AndrewbatesOT) and Deb May (DMay_OT) of the year 1: Thriving not Surviving project team.
The project is funded by the Elizabeth Casson Trust and aims to develop a resource to support well-being in the first year of practice. The team comprises newly qualified OTs working with OT Dr Lynne Goodacre and writer Rob Young. More information about the project can be found here (https://www.lgpersonaldevelopment.co.uk/year-1/) and details about the team is found here.
We know that the first year of practice can be hard. You suddenly feel as though you don’t know enough about anything. You’re not sure how you will fit into the existing team. The previous band 5 in the rotation was so amazing you may never fill their shoes. You arrive with models of practice and theoretical approaches and find that the team you’ve joined doesn’t fit anything you’ve learned. Suddenly you have your own caseload and you sign your own notes – with nobody checking on you or countersigning them. You have responsibility. Your work life balance may be totally altered. You may have a long commute. You have money burning a hole in your pocket. There are so many things to juggle. It can be frightening. It’s challenging and rewarding and fun and it’s exactly what you’ve worked so hard for but some days it can be utterly overwhelming. On those days, where do you turn?
We would as many newly qualified occupational therapists as possible to join us for tonight’s talk to explore how you are managing your own well-being in your first year of practice and to help us develop the resources which would help future cohorts of newly qualified OT .
The questions we will be exploring include:
- What support was available for you as a newly qualified OT?
- What made the biggest difference to your well-being during your first year of practice?
- What actions did you take to maintain a state of well-being during your first year?
- What would have better improved your well-being during your first year?
- What piece of advice would you give to new graduates to support their well-being?
As the Derby Occupational Therapy Society, we encourage to increase continued professional development for students by either providing the opportunity to organise events, attend our events or support students to attend external events.
We facilitate an educational, charity, revision and social event each month, aiming to capture all needs of the student. This has proved successful in integrating cohorts and giving students the confidence to attend CPD opportunities.
We would love to facilitate discussion around how CPD is viewed and accessed amongst Occupational Therapy Students nationally and internationally! We look forward so speaking with you all (past and present students)!
- What CPD events have you been able to access whilst being a student, has this been internal or external to your curriculum?
- How easy do you think it is to access CPD as a student alongside your studies?
- What barriers have you come across in terms of accessing CPD as a student (personally and structurally?
- What changes have you seen in the ability to access CPD as a student during your studies / since your studies?
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global life-changing event effecting all parts of society. Research, as with all aspects of life, has been directly affected.
My own research activities have been impacted. I am now working from home in a busy family household (with all the challenges that brings), studies that I lead and collaborate in have been paused indefinitely, new major grants awarded since lockdown are unable to start.
However there are also opportunities. I have become actively involved in a number of funded COVID related studies, new opportunities of digital collaboration and remote working are becoming apparent, new collaborations are forming and the requirement for taking an interdisciplinary approach to research has never been more apparent!
This week’s #OTALK provides an opportunity for us to look at the challenges and opportunities that the global COVID-19 pandemic has had for occupational therapists involved in research. I am looking forward to joining you all for a great discussion!
Questions to discuss:1. What has changed in your research activities as a result of COVID-19?
2. What challenges have you faced as a result of COVID-19 and how (if you possible) have you overcome them?
3. What areas should occupational therapists be leading or collaborating in as a consequence of COVID-19?
4. What can we learn from this time so that our future research, and research activities, becomes smarter, more focused, and more impactful?
Therapeutic groups can have many benefits if they are well considered and maintain a person-centred approach (Beynon-Pindar, 2017). Enabling meaningful activity for those with dementia will prevent occupational deprivation (Harmer & Orrell, 2008), minimize boredom (Welton, 2013) and enhance pleasure and quality of life (Vernooij-Dassen, 2007). Groupwork is a dynamic and cost-effective tool in Occupational Therapy practice, for both intervention and evaluation (Creek & Lougher, 2011).
Co-production is the collaboration between people who run a service and the people who they support. Co-production gives service users, family members and carers more control in the care and support they receive (SCIE, 2015). Co-production acknowledges that the individuals using services have knowledge and experience of how services can be improved – recognizing people as assets and equal partnerships (Boyle, Slay & Stephens, 2010).
I recently started my role-emerging placement, where I am working with Older Adults, the majority of whom have Dementia. The task / expectation was for me to plan, implement and evaluate a group with this client group. I have spent the first few weeks scoping the placement, getting to know the client group and understanding their needs and preferences (the essential first step of planning a group!)
It is important to consider that the carers of those with Dementia are also the client. Interventions for dementia affect family carers as well as the client themselves, indicating that clinical decision-making needs to be informed by the impact on carers’ quality of life too (Oyebode et al., 2019).
To ensure carers can fully engage in providing dementia care, they deserve to receive support and have their needs addressed. Looking after family carers can be done by maximizing their abilities and minimizing their burden (Wesson et al., 2017).
Unfortunately, due to the current situation (COVID-19), things have had to change in terms of the placement – I am now going to be completing written detailed plan of what I would have done. I am passionate as ever about working with people with dementia and their carers.
I am so interested to hear your thoughts and experiences of planning and implementing groups – whichever client group it has been with – all knowledge and advice is welcomed!
Thank you to Margaret (firstname.lastname@example.org) for our in-depth discussions and your help in writing this, it is very much appreciated!
- To start as an OT, what skills do you believe are essential in researching, planning and delivering a successful group?
- How do you ensure your groups are different from other non OT led groups that may be being delivered in a service?
- How have you noticed participating in group work can make a difference with people with dementia and/or their carers?
- How did you measure the difference being part of a group has meant to people?
- Meaningful activity’ is at the heart of what we do, what has been the content of the sessions when you have delivered groups for either people with dementia and/or their carers?
- To finish in general what are the positives of delivering group work with people who have Dementia and/or their carers?
Beynon-Pindar, C. (2017). Group work in Occupational Therapy: Generic Versus Specialist Practice. Occupational Therapy Evidence in Practice for Mental Health, 59.
Boyle, D., Slay, J., & Stephens, L. (2010). Public Services Inside Out: Putting Co-production into Practice. London: New Economics Fooundation.
Creek, J., & Lougher, L. (2011). Occupational therapy and mental health. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Finlay, L (2002). Groupwork in J. Creek (ed) Occupational Therapy and Mental Health. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone
Harmer, B. J., & Orrell, M. (2008). What is meaningful activity for people with dementia living in care homes? A comparison of the views of older people with dementia, staff and family carers. Aging and Mental health, 12(5), 548-558.
Oyebode, J. R., Pini, S., Ingleson, E., Megson, M., Horton, M., Clare, L., … & Wright, P. (2019). Development of an item pool for a needs-based measure of quality of life of carers of a family member with Dementia. The Patient-Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, 12(1), 125-136.
SCIE. (2015). Co-production in Social Care: What is it and how to do it.
Vernooij-Dassen, M. J. F. J. (2007). Meaningful activities for people with dementia.
Wesson, V., Chiu, M., Feldman, R., Nelles, L. J., & Sadavoy, J. (2017). Dementia and caregiving.