Introduction – Callum (Founder & Occupational Therapy Lead)
Here at bOunceT, we have two new students on placement from Queen Margaret University (QMU). Cadhla & Andraya are both in their final year of BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy and have their final placement with us for 8 weeks. To help meet their learning outcomes, and squeeze in some extra CPD, both students are going to blog about their experience of being on placement during a global pandemic. This will earn them the title (and badge!) of being a bOunceT buddy.
Every academic year comes with a new placement opportunity and a new set of learning outcomes to achieve. One aspect of the learning outcomes that remains the same from first year to final year is Learning Outcome 1: Practice within an ethical framework congruent with the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics, and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
From receiving my own copy of these handbooks in first year, I have always been aware of the importance of adhering to HCPC and RCOT principles and I have strived to promote the values and behaviours in order to maintain good and safe practice while contributing to my professional development. As a learning opportunity for myself and others, I have decided to blog about how I adhere to these set guidelines during my professional practice at bOunceT. I will do this by breaking down a reflection of my experiences at bOunceT to identify which HCPC and RCOT values and principles I have been demonstrating.
I have also spent time managing my case load by drafting individual risk assessments for service users. The purpose of this assessment is to identify, evaluate and minimise the level of risk in order to make the environment safe for staff and individuals attending bOunceT (HCPC 6.1, HCPC 7.1, RCOT 3.1.2)
I have spent majority of my time engaging in and leading OT led sessions in the therapy room and in the school that we visit each week. I have been adhering to HCPC and RCOT guidelines during these sessions by ensuring that each session is tailored to the individual needs of each person (HCPC 2.2, RCOT 2.1.1). An example of this was ensuring that the pathway into the therapy room was clear for a wheelchair user and his Mum to enter the room and that mats were placed on the trampoline for the service user to engage in rebound therapy comfortably (HCPC 2.1, HCPC 6.1, RCOT 2.1.1, RCOT 2.3.1, RCOT 2.5.2).
Throughout each session, I ensure that the activities are based around the needs and wants of the service user (RCOT 2.1.1, RCOT 2.1.3, HCPC 2.2). Before each session, I plan some activities that I believe will support the young person to engage with me during the session. When planning these activities, I consider the information provided on person’s ‘All About Me’ form, as well as the person’s hopes, wants and needs which have been identified by their family in order to determine the purpose of each activity (HCPC 1.2, RCOT 3.3.1). these activities are often analysed by the bOunceT team where we suggest ideas for grading up (making the activity more challenging) and grading down (making the activity easier). Although each session plan has a structure, I’m aware that things don’t always go to plan and I modify these activities based on the changing needs of each service user and what they would like to do, in order to increase their autonomy in sessions (RCOT 2.2.2, RCOT 3.2.1, HCPC 1.2, HCPC 1.3).
During each session, I record my observations by taking pictures of the service user and uploading them to EviSense (HCPC 10.1, HCPC 10.2, RCOT 2.6.1). I received consent for this as each parent/carer has filled out a disclaimer form which is kept securely in the service user’s file (HCPC 1.4, RCOT 2.6.1, RCOT 3.3.3). I write my notes in a SOAP note form and include descriptions of the session which are backed up by my professional reasoning and a plan for future sessions (RCOT 2.1.3, RCOT 2.6.1).
Throughout my placement, I have been carrying out report writing. In collaboration with my placement partner (HCPC 2.5, RCOT 5.4.4), I contributed to a Form 5 report. This is a standardised form that all children’s services use when producing a report from Team Around the Child meetings with Education (school), Social Work, Health, Third Sector (RCOT 5.1.2, HCPC 2.6, HCPC 3.3). The purpose of this report is to provide information to the service user’s school regarding their engagement with bOunceT which can be discussed during their TAC meeting (HCPC 2.6). Before sending this off to the multidisciplinary team (MDT) to include in the minutes that all relevant professionals would receive for that meeting, the OT team at bOunceT read over the report for additional compliance and to ensure it was up to standard (HCPC 3.5).
I have also utilised my time in the office to complete the Children’s Health Scotland – Children and Young People’s Health Rights – online training course (RCOT 5.1.1, RCOT 5.1.2, RCOT 5.3, HCPC 3.3, HCPC 3.4). This course has given me a better understanding of how a rights-based approach in the workplace can help support children and young people’s wellbeing. The course went into depth about how the European Association for Children in Hospital (EACH) sets out to make awareness of the rights of children and young people which are related to the underpinning principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). These core principles and rights from the UNCRC can be linked to the practice caried out at bOunceT (RCOT 5.1.2). This includes children’s rights to equality (RCOT 2.3.2, HCPC 1.5), the best interests of the child to be the primary consideration (HCPC 1) and the right of a child to engage in recreation and play. The GIRFEC (getting it right for every child) approach which is based off of the UNCRC values is also incorporated into the work carried out at bOunceT (RCOT 5.1.2, RCOT 2.2.1). The wellbeing of each child is at the heart of this approach and is detailed using the eight indicators (SHANARRI) which should be referred to at home, in school and in the community. At bOunceT we ensure that the wellbeing of each child is always being considered (RCOT 2.1.4, HCPC 1.3) and we refer to the SHANARRI wheel within the work we carry out.
From my reflections of my placement, I have identified that I am constantly relating to HCPC and RCOT guidelines, sometimes without even realising it! I found this task of identifying these values and principles in my practice to be very eye opening and informative, as often, placement can be so busy and hectic that I lose sight of the core values and beliefs of occupational therapy. I feel like I have learned a lot from analysing the guidelines set out from my regulatory body and I plan on becoming more mindful of these values and principles in my future practice.
Thank you for spending the time reading my blog and I hope it has helped you consider how you adhere to these guidelines in your everyday life/practice. It’s hard to believe that my time on placement at bOunceT is coming to an end but keep an eye out for my next and final blog where I will be reflecting on my overall experience at bOunceT.
Chat again soon,