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

Friday, 26 September 2008

From little acorns .................

image:New cohorts 2008

Having spent the last few weeks inducting our new students onto both the new MSc Advanced Occupational Therapy programme and our Part Time and Full Time undergraduate programmes we are now getting ready to
deliver the first modules.
It is strange how the academic cycle is repeated each year and yet it never fails to be different each time. As new cohorts are admitted and each student's evolution from inductee to graduant occurs it becomes clear how the development of an occupational therapist is not just about gaining knowledge and skills. It is the philosophy and the way that an OT thinks that is internalised by each successful student. Each year I find that I am discussing issues with my personal tutees that embrace how they are changing as a result of their learning, managing not only their immediate studies but also their own environments, applying the values of occupation to their own circumstances. Occasionally they experience occupational imbalance as their studies take preference over other aspects of their life (ususally around assessment time) and then family responsibility may take priority and they have to cope with juggling roles and routines in order to achieve their goals, constantly evaluating and reassessing their circumstances and their objectives. In this way they begin to realise that OT is not a 9-5 job, but a way of being, a way of reacting to and living with their own world.
I think therefore that the recent editorial in BJOT by Sakellariou et al (2008) is very pertinent to our cohorts. They are discussing the importance of occupational therapists getting more involved - not just in their own world - but in aspects of the wider world about them. That as a profession we need to become much more political in our outlook, ensuring that we can "maximise the potential of our impact" by using "adaptable and transferable skills to help (them) navigate an unknown and rapidly changing terrain".
It is possible that the students we have inducted this week - both those undergraduates embarking on a new career and those already experienced practitioners on the MSc programme may indeed be preparing to work in areas that require them to develop and utilise this wider perspective as the profession continues to create areas for emerging practice and extending boundaries. We look forward to supporting you all through this steep learning curve and through the transitions to come.

(the link above is only available to COT members)
Authors: Sakellariou, Dikaios; Pollard, Nick; Kronenberg, Frank Time to get political BJOT Vol 71 No 9 p359

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