Models of practice

During a previous role working on an acute mental health unit, part of my role was supervising the group of OTs’ along with making sure that our fresh-faced new graduates were supported in what would be their first ever job as a qualified OT. This came with many challenges, but the consistent issue that new graduates found was not having a clear way of articulating their role in such a fast-paced environment with many competing demands. To assist with this issue several planning meetings amongst the OT group were held to look at the idea of formally introducing a model of practice. It was anticipated that having a consistent model would help clinicians to articulate their clinical reasoning, consistently document in a particular format and also allow the broader MDT to see and understand an OT pathway when referring for any input.

The process of developing and integrating a model of practice into the workplace was certainly a challenge that could not have been done without my team being committed to the process and on board with the idea of change. It was a scary challenge but also very exciting and worth the risk as the benefits came not just from seeing my colleagues flourish along with the team of OT’s being better understood by others, it was also great to see consumers accessing timely interventions that was appropriate for their stage of recovery and not driven by a workplace agenda such as KPI’s or if the setting happens to take a more medical rather than psychosocial approach. Many years on, this model of practice is still being used and also expanding into community settings. This however is a much greater challenge but one that is worth tackling due to the potential gains that could be made, I also had the opportunity to present this at an international conference and is certainly a key point in my career that I will always look back upon.

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