Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Aspects of Holism

I was involved in a session with our Level III students a couple of days ago discussing the issues of aspects of holism as an occupational therapist when my colleague asked the students to raise their hand if they believed that they had seen holistic practice whilst on any of the practice placements to date.

Not one student out of the 85 present raised a hand.

Is this indicative of the current debate as to where the future of the profession lies within parts of the UK in terms of our main employer being the NHS and/or Social Care services? Is this the impact of resource restrictions, service constraints and political drivers and targets on the profession i.e.: the endangerment of true holistic practice. Are practitioners no longer able to adhere to the philosophy of the profession whilst remaining employed and managed by bodies that are focused on delivering value over quality? Or is this a more fundamental issue within the profession itself?

By introducing the concepts of occupational deprivation, occupational injustice and occupational apartheid as discussed by Kronenberg et al (2004)we have started the students thinking outside the box in terms of both their own practice and as future drivers of the profession. We have asked them to consider where occupational therapists can use their skills in areas outside the usual health and social care systems, to be more self aware in terms of their own practice in order to address the issues of injustice by considering all aspects of holism for each unique individual and to become more politically aware (with a small "p") in order to understand the local and global community of their service user.
I would be interested to hear other's views on this issue and particularly from practitioners and students who may agree or disagree with the view that the profession needs to move on.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Angela,
As you know we discussed this issue in class at length with our third years and they had many fantasic comments and ideas. So, why I wonder (and I know some of those very students will be reading this!!) do they feel reluctant to put a comment on the blog?