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A feel good assessment for Occupational Therapists!

May 28, 2007

After reading the comments on my last post I reflect back on my occupational therapy practice and those aspects that make us different or set us apart from other professions and am always reminded of a tool/assessment that supports our role as Occupational Therapist and brings us back to the ground roots – the AMPS. I completed the AMPS training in 2002 and by the way I have just gone on you would think I’d use it religiously! To be perfectly honest I have struggled slightly with adopting the use of this assessment into my practice and I think if I have to put if down to one thing it particular it would have to be the time factor. Despite not using the assessment to its full extent the training did further develop my assessment and observational skills and I use a lot of the terminolgy in my day to day practice. I recently came across an article on Adopting the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills into Practice: Therapist’s voices, of which I am yet to read but am hoping it may shed some light on how others are finding this process. Despite not using the assessment all that often I am a strong advocate for the assessment itself and am planning on making a big effort again to begin using it as I am sure the more often I use it the quicker I will become at it therefore should be unable to continue using the old time excuse! Time will tell……………………

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The notion of “Context” and “real environments” – Who’s line is it anyway?

May 13, 2007

After attending the ASSBI conference this month there was a particular theme that stood out to me as an Occupational Therapist……

  • I first noticed the small presence of Occupational Therapists at this conference, not only within the Keynote speakers (speakers consisted of Psychologists (x2), Speech and Language Therapist and Physiotherapist) but also those in attendance (I am uncertain of exact numbers but it would be interesting to find this out – even if there was a larger number than I think they definately kept their heads down!). I must admit when in came to discussions of current and recent research there were a few OT’s presenting and actively engaged in promoting Occupational Therapy.
  • Secondly….. was an underlying theme from presenters regarding the need for assessing and providing treatment within “context”and “real environments”……I sat back thinking…… this is NOT a new concept, we as occupational therapists have been doing this for years!!!! Granted some peoples perceptions of “context” are quite different to what I would consider however I couldn’t help note that other professions may have started to realise Occupational Therapists are onto a good thing and are starting to encroach on a notion that has typically stood us out from the rest of the allied health professions.

I have certainly noticed a change in other professions working closely alongside me in the rehabilitation ward setting……others are now becoming more interested in observing and treating patients within familiar and natural environments i.e in the home, community, workplace etc.

  • I guess this makes me think about the evolution of our profession….what is this shift going to mean to us in the future?? Will it stop here or continue to cross the boundary into what has typically been OT roles

The main point I guess I am trying to make is the importance of PROMOTION and EDUCATION……how can we be taken seriously and our profession more widely understood and valued without putting ourselves out there and promoting our role and the uniqueness of Occupational Therapy as a profession – not only to other health professionals but the wider public. …..We can’t complain if we’re not prepared to do anything about it!

I am hoping this has got you thinking – whether in support or against I would love to hear your feedback!

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OT Blogs

May 7, 2007

Have just got back from the conference I mentioned in my last post and it has really got me thinking…..though I will save my wonderful thoughts for my next post as right now I am sitting in a web 2.0 tools class (see Merrolee’s site for further info on this class) and have been searching for Occupational Therapy Blogs (besides those of my fellow class members!). The first blog site I came across was Will’s which I spent ages navigating around reading his interesting and thought provoking posts and opinions on OT. Definately a must visit! Other sites I have found are Patti’s (who is a ‘soon-to-be OT graduate’ and uses her site to share her thoughts and experience on the road to becoming an Occupational Therapist) and Aishel’s (a new grad OT also using her site to share information, knowledge and her experiences of entering the workforce).

So to all those occupational therapists out there who are using blogs as a tool to reflect and share your knowledge….keep it up – we can never get our profession ”out there’ enough! And to those of you who aren’t into the blogging thing yet….try it out!

So check these out……I’ll post more as I find them (let me know if you come across any blogs you recommend!)

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ASSBI Conference

April 29, 2007

This week I will be attending the Australian Society for the Study of Brain Injury (ASSBI) Conference in Brisbane.

This years conference is titled Ecological Practice: Assessment and Rehabilitation and has some well known speakers (namely Catherine Mateer – Canada, Eli Vakil – Israel, Brigette Larkins – New Zealand, Mary P Galea – Melbourne and Leanne Togher – Sydney) and topics (such as Beyond trial and error: Theory-driven methods of memory assessment and remediation, and Everyday functioning through the lens of awareness and executive control.

I am sure I will gain a lot of useful information on cognitive deficits post brain injury and rehabilitation techniques from this course and look forward to using this blog site to present some of my reflections on the information presented and knowledge gained! Stay tuned……….

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Post traumatic Amnesia

April 16, 2007

PTA – A common theme in brain injury rehabilitation and first port of call for occuaptional therapy assessment and intervention following admission to the rehabilitation ward I work on. For years we have used the Westmead PTA Scale to assess and monitor the duration of PTA for patients following a traumatic brain injury. Recently the use of this assessment and associated protocols have been brought into question by a Consultant reasonably new to the rehabilitation service and in trying to locate research in order to support our practice and ensure best practices I have hit a bit of a rut! There appears to be very limited research or literature on the use of this assessment and recommendations or protocols for patients while they are in PTA. Issues we are experiencing in particular are the push for us to beginning assessing patients who are borderline PTA i.e 11/12 or 12/12 and allowing weekend leave or community visits for patients in PTA. The PTA Protocol book addresses (see link) both these issues and advises against them (as we are currently doing) however to have documented research, evidence or literature regarding these restrictions would be ideal and provide us with a bit more ‘clout’ when arguing (or politely discussing!) our case. I will continue searching and keep you posted but any thoughts or information would be greatly appreciated!

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Setting up

April 15, 2007

well…..several hours later I have finally managed to add some blog links. I have never thought myself as computer illiterate but this has certainly had its challenges! hehe I even had to resort to changing my theme as I couldn’t work out how to display the links on the old one and this one did it automatically! (I’m sure there was some simple way around this problem however I decided not to waste any more time attempting to find it!)

As you may have noticed my blogroll consists of a few blog sites relating to my areas of interest (occupational therapy and traumatic brain injury) however I must say despite a few hours of searching there is not enough information out there on either let alone the two combined!). Therein lies the reason for the research project……lets get our voice out there!

The search will continue…………………….

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Here goes……..

April 2, 2007

This Blog has been developed as a result of my participation in a research project on Web 2.0 tools and how we can use these tools to share and gather information and generally attempt to raise the profile of Occupational Therapy.

WARNING: Believe me….I have the best intentions to regularly update this site however please do not hold your breath as I do not wish to be responsible for any adverse reactions! hehehe

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