April rolls us into a month honoring and celebrating the profession of occupational therapy (OT).
A friend recently recommended (with enthusiasm) that I read a book titled, “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin. Godin suggests that people discern and ultimately embrace becoming “remarkable” at what s/he brings the world. (The reference to the Purple Cow is that you would remember seeing a purple cow because it would be... remarkable.)
In an effort to not only celebrate this profession and our journey in it, but to also encourage self reflection to promote a revolutionary year to come, I pose 2-3 questions today.
- What is there to celebrate and honor about what YOU do as an occupational therapist?
- What if, anything, makes YOUR OT remarkable?
- Or if you find there is nothing yet remarkable about your current practices as an OT, what could you do different if you truly wanted to be remarkable?
I will risk sharing my own answers to stir the pot of a hopeful revolution into ...remarkability for us all, especially the people we serve.
What is there to celebrate and honor about what YOU do as an occupational therapist?
- the ability to focus on what is most meaningful to a person's daily life
- the true uniqueness and creativity of each day’s experiences
- being a true advocate for health “care” and interdisciplinary approaches in the US healthcare system
- helping so many adults either return home more engaged, safe, and/or independent or helping their caregiver understand ways to better meet daily needs
- the use of teaching as a tool for therapy in the home
- the use of a client’s own home setting as a tool for therapy
- nearly 5 years of clinical experience working mostly with older adults
- finding a new "OT Toolkit" that has truly helped me provide more client-centered education and training
- being able to introduce cool and helpful equipment to people who could benefit from it
Or if you find there is nothing yet remarkable about your current practices as an OT, what could you do different if you truly wanted to be remarkable?
In all honesty, I felt I worked much of my last year as an OT “working” versus truly serving and being remarkable. I will admit that I often felt suppressed by and gave my power away to the area of practice that I had chosen for myself. After a recent switch to home health with a local non-profit, I find not only a renewed interest in occupational therapy, but in also being remarkable as I provide the service. This one feels more like a position of service, not a j-o-b. I digress. Now to answer the question.
Being truly remarkable=
- carefully describing the value of occupational therapy at the start of each evaluation
- providing and carefully reviewing appropriate handouts (OT Toolkit is badass)
- asking at least one personal question when setting up appointments (even if it’s merely, “How are you today?”)
- making at least one follow-up phone call per week to clients who are more sensitive
- specifically affirming at least one team member per week
- writing down client-centered interests or happenings to follow up with on future visits (i.e. a birthday, weekend event, etc)
May we go forth and make this the most remarkable year as OTs yet! The Force is with us;)
Happy OT Month!!