The theme for OT Week 2020 is focusing on increasing diversity within the profession and securing the future workforce. With this in mind, we thought we would share some of the many contributions we have had in The OT Magazine from OTs sharing their roles and highlighting what they love about their job. We hope that this will help to shed some light on the wide and varied roles within the OT profession for the future generation of OTs.
Celebrating OT Week 2020, our first instalment is from Chloe Tivendale, a rotational occupational therapist currently working at Manchester Vascular Centre, Manchester Royal Infirmary. Chloe featured in our Sept/Oct 2020 issue.
What is your current role?
Currently I am a rotational occupational therapist on a busy vascular ward.
Describe a typical day…
Many of our patients have just had major amputations and their life has changed considerably. My typical day would usually involve carrying out transfer practises. Many OTs think all amputees use a banana board to transfer, but this is actually pretty uncommon in vascular OT. We prefer to get creative!
Usually we would do personal care assessments with patients and teach them ways to maintain their independence despite their amputation. At present due to COVID-19 we are unable to go out to do access visits when there are people in the property. We are relying on pictures from families and friends which comes with its own complications when you’re trying to set up a home for someone following a life-changing event. These pictures will be discussed between the MDT and equipment ordered as needed.
I also assess a patient’s mood following amputation, as well as the phantom limb pain they are experiencing through the use of questionnaires, this allows me to plan interventions accordingly. We may carry out relaxation or mindfulness with patients.
Practising getting on and off the floor back to a wheelchair or up and down steps using upper body strength is something we like to practise with those amputees who are able as this may allow some patients to be able to access more of their property. For other patients being able to get back to their wheelchair following a fall can increase their safety and independence.
We tend to carry out discharge home visits with patients in order to ensure they can safely manage getting around their home environment and can iron out most teething problems! Specialist amputee follow up therapy is also arranged.
What is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is discharge planning for patients who are new full-time wheelchair users in a house which is not appropriate for a wheelchair at all. Issues such as steps into a house with extremely small rooms isn’t uncommon, and we have to problem solve around this!
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is seeing people regain function and independence following a major amputation. Working collaboratively with patients, their families and outside services to provide the best possible outcomes for patients going home.
If you would like to share your role with The OT Magazine for OT Week or to publish in a future issue please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more articles from OTs here