A whole new adventure...

An expression of my thoughts and feelings on my OT journey, both personal and professsional.

Monday, 2 June 2014

I've been in my job a whole year. Wow!

Okay so this week marks an entire year in my job and I can't believe it, it's gone so quickly.

I'm at the end of my second 'official' rotation in urgent care and about to rotate into trauma and orthopaedics which is exciting. I'm really looking forward to it as I feel it completes my band 5 basic skill set, as I've never worked in T & O even as a student.

I've been so lucky in my first year; I've been given the opportunities to experience a variety of clinical areas and work with, and learn from lots of fantastic and dedicated professionals. I really feel I have grown as a therapist and am happy with the progress I have achieved.

So looking forward to the future I am aiming to consolidate my current skills, take on more service development roles, mentoring a more junior band 5 and supervising a lower band colleague. I will become competent in and run my own hand therapy clinics.
 Additionally I will be looking to do student supervisory training, take on more responsibilities and be looking for opportunities to experience some of the 'management' tasks of a band 6.

I am incredibly happy and proud what I have achieved over the past 4 years. I love my job and wouldn't change it for the world. But this point marks a new chapter in my life and therefore I don't plan to blog anymore, however I will leave my blog 'live' and will continue to respond to emails about my journey.
Thank you to those who have consistently read my blog since 2010.

Lucie xx

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, 13 April 2014


I cannot believe it's already mid April; 3 months have passed since my last post. Things are very much the same, still loving my job. Still finding it hard to find time to post. On the plus side it's sunnier and my garden is looking pretty!!

I've been reflecting on the change I have seen in myself throughout my 'journey' following several comments from friends and family. Some attributes I feel I have gained, or developed wholly as a person, and some I feel are more dominant at work.

When I am 'work' me, I am very much myself, just with a little more restraint, not much else changes about me. On a daily basis I put myself in situations outside of my comfort zone, as per the description of my job - I have to approach people, make telephone calls and be decisive; things which I find lacking in my 'home' me. In fact decisiveness, on my lack of at home is the main reason Ben and I bicker.
I have never been brilliant with words, and tend to 'say it how it is' so to speak, but I am increasingly able to be articulate and concise in communication at work. Although I still find myself saying such things as 'mrs lady in bed...over there' and using gestures to describe things when I am unable to find the word - these happen less frequently now, but they are typical 'lucieisms'.

In general I feel I am more balanced, I have occupational balance. I am in flow. And I am enjoying being able to use all the words and phrases I learned at uni to describe myself :p. Throughout my life, I have never been described as confident, all my school reports stated that I lacked it. But I feel confident now, I feel I am competent and capable to do my job, and it's a great feeling.

I plan to post a final post around the date I will have been working for a year as a qualified OT, and will continue to monitor my blog and reply to the messages I receive. I may even add additional posts now and again, but I certainly plan to keep the blog live, as I enjoy being able to document my personal and professional progress.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Finding time for CPD

Since rotating, and taking on a few more responsibilities I have been struggling to find time in the office to complete a reflection I started in October for my preceptorship...

A reflection...I know!? I shouldn't take that long right - But every time I go into the office to sit down and finish it I find other more pressing tasks arise. For example I listen to the office answer phone and then end up chasing and sorting the answer phone messages; I find notes that need filing; admin paper work that is required to be submitted imminently, the list goes on...

I currently have a list of 17 items to summarise on my CPD sheets (Appendix 1.7: Logsheet for CPD activity in BAOT preceptorship handbook), oops!

Therefore my #ResOTlution14 is to manage my CPD file/pile/stack/mess more effectively, (and to continue blogging at least until I have completed a whole year qualified). 

Monday, 13 January 2014

If my career as an OT fails, I can always become a mystic

As in mystic Lucie Meg...

In June I updated the left hand column of my blog to read

"From then on? Who knows.

Although it will probably involve trying to make a new home for myself,
 building flat-pack furniture, collecting household items from various places,
 scouring charity shops and car boots, decorating, exploring, meeting new 
people, a preceptorship, cats, OT, medical conditions, weekends in Canterbury,
 Northamptonshire, being a proper OT, working, being an official adult..."

I have achieved all of the above. Tick!! 

I have a home, a lovely little house I rent with my boyfriend and cat; I've become pretty great at flat pack furniture, I have enough furniture now that it is impossible to fit my entire life into my pug 107.  I have made new friends, and explored my new area. I'm half way through my preceptorship, and been to Canterbury twice. I am a proper OT and am officially an adult. 

I am content as a proverbial 'content thing'!


Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Being a band 5 rotational OT is all about the learning...and the being flexible...

I say this because initially when I started, I was on a surgical ward, treating medical patients; I then covered two general medical wards which had detox beds; I covered 2 cardio-respiratory wards for two weeks and then took on supervising half of a band 3s caseload on a cardiac ward with a senior. I rotated early due to service cover and took over the cardio-respiratory wards for a couple of months. Additionally myself and the other band 5 Claire, visited a local school to promote OT as a career at a world of work day too.

So that takes me from June 2013 to January 2014.
So far I have got to grips with all things gastro, had the opportunity to learn about bariatric manual handling. Learnt about pressure care, risk assessing for beds and bed accessories. Been able to manage a variable case load, instructed a student and supervised a band 3. I've put in to practice what I learnt from my dissertation. I've gotten over my fear of portable oxygen, become more confident in my clinical reasoning and gained a greater understanding of disease progression. I Had the opportunity to work with some fantastic doctors nurses and physios. I met princess Anne. I am actively being the voice of occupational therapy to raise the profile of OT and awareness of its valuable contribution (as per the COT strategic plan), and encourage children to consider it as a career working in an educational arena.
So all in all, I don't think I've done too badly!!

Where am I now? I've officially rotated, and I am working in urgent care.
The role is a little bit different as it is about minimising avoidable admissions, or signposting to services to facilitate a timely discharge from the assessment wards and avoiding a transfer to, or longer admission on the main wards. It is fast paced, and the referral process is different. Here I work with a band 4 assistant practitioner and a band 8 clinical lead. We screen the notes and identify our own case load - working closely with the elderly and frail in reach team. The conditions we encounter are vast, as it can be anything that comes through the doors to a&e. I also cover outlying wards, where people are transferred when they are just awaiting social care arrangements such as social services assessments, care packages etc. Although my static case load has dropped dramatically from 25-35 'active' patients to about 12, the case load on the unit I am on can vary from day to day, which ensures I am always busy.

Working in urgent care can be frustrating because you can just be getting to grips with a complex social situation that requires input to facilitate a safe and timely discharge - and this can have many different components (e.g. family dynamics, geographical limitations, funding, ethics etc), and then your patient is transferred to another ward for the case to be continued by another therapist, and therefore you only tend to see the beginnings of a patient's case.

Tomorrow I am spending half the day in an educational role alongside a physio colleague I have worked with previously to promote our respective roles at a connexions careers fare. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed taking a more educational role - as public speaking and children are two things that I don't particularly enjoy!

I feel with each day I learn something new that develops me both as a person and a practitioner - I feel privileged and proud to have a job which allows me such opportunities.


Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Okay so its been quite a while since I posted on here but working full time and building up my new life in northamptonshire is taking its toll on my free time... don't get me wrong though, I am loving it! !!

We are slowly getting there with collecting furniture around us - making a compromise between costs, wants and needs. There are a few small things left we wish to get to make it feel like we've been able to put our mark on the place. As it's getting colder, and wetter (and muddier) I am noticing both the pros and cons of having the downstairs almost entirely tiled. Yes the floor is colder and a bit on the slippery side when first coming in from outside, the benefit of it is its easier to mop up the muddy foot prints of our furry son.
So far we have had a few guests to come and stay, first up was Katie,  G and paul for my birthday weekend, along with a flying visit from Sammi, nanny came up next and then Ben's sister and her partner.
Its nice being able to settle and nest in one area for more than 4 months - as my previous chapter where by I was a nomadic student did not easily allow for continuity. Northamptonshire and my new little home is really starting to feel like home, and I think Ben feels the same! As per usual he already has a better grasp of the area than I do. He's enjoying his new job so things are finally starting to become easier and we are settling into our routine. Ted is getting big now and curious as a curious thing!! This evening I was upstairs fixing the blind only to find him sat the otherside of the window on the roof!!

I am still loving my job, it feels weird to have fit in so quickly, I'm lucky as I work such a great team. I'm currently covering several other wards in medicine which is great because its really challenging me and I am able to hone my prioritisation and delegation skills as well as my ability to manage myself and environments!! Ive almost been there for 6 months now, during which I've met princess anne, started my preceptorship and am due to spend a day promoting OT as a career choice for gcse students.
I've reached a point in my career which I would suppose I'd deem to be a milestone, which is hard to explain but it was a kind of eureka moment when things just fell into place - it was a great feeling.


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Busy busy busy!!

As the title of the post suggests, at the moment I am rather busy with this and that and not finding time to post... but I will. Bear with me and a new post will be up soon.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

How so much can change in year

This time last year I was an OT student on my last placement in London. Working in a community paediatric setting, completely out of my comfort zone and absolutely loving it. Celebrating my 21st in Oxford, London and the Isle of Wight. I was in awe of the amazing therapists I was working with, aspiring to be as good as them at that point in my career. The idea of having a job and actually being an OT felt like it was ages away...

Oh my gosh, how time flies!! Fast forward a year, and here I am, nearly 4 months into my first post as an OT. Working in an acute setting in medicine - and yes, still loving it.
I've gone from living in hospital accommodation with a series of weird flatmates, to moving in with my boyfriend and gaining a furry baby (our kitten, Ted). My hour commute (both from Essex to E London and Cotswolds to Oxford) has been replaced by a Seven and a half minute drive to work! And my dream of being an OT working in a physical setting and putting into practice all I have learnt and experienced in the past 3 years has become a reality.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me over the past 3 years xxx

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Being flexible; it's in my job description.

Reflecting on my day I realised that flexibility is essential when working in an acute setting such as the one I am in. Today I did boardround (a multidiciplinary meeting to discuss medical status and discharge planning needs) on a ward I have never been on, to cover for a colleague, 5 minutes after being asked to do so. Seeing patients with conditions that are not my 'norm'; in a layout that is completely alien and maze like to me. Head back to my ward, the band 3 who is usual on my ward was required to assist another OT with my priority work, and asked to pick up a patient on an outlying ward. All of which is 'outside' my usual working patterns.

Having an insight to the success, and limitations of your practice is also key.
Being flexible ensures that I can see every patient as an individual, which is key to working in a client centred way. Understanding that an individual is more than just the person, but the occupation and the environment too. Working with all sorts of different people with varying backgrounds, cultures and values means that I need to ensure I match my therapeutic strategies to work with the patient, sometimes encountering barriers to my practice and being required to roll with resistance to ensure the patient's needs are met. To do this I need to be flexible in the approaches and techniques used.

The British Psychological Society says flexibility is being “able to be easily modified to respond to altered circumstances or conditions” and that flexibility is linked to insight – another trait that many OTs are blessed with.

Would you consider yourself to be “flexible”? and what does that mean to you? Being flexible is literally in my job description. And it is a trait I believe most if not all OTs possess in one way or another.

I love routine and structure, and my entire life revolves around lists and planning sheets and in my personal life once I have an idea in my head I am very fixed on it, I like to achieve it and do it how I had planned, if a spanner is thrown into the works, I feel very much out of sorts. I like to know where I am with things. However when I have my 'OT head' on it's a whole different kettle of fish. Strange, I know, but it's these little idiosyncrasies that make us individual and unique.


Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Bestival 2013 (photo heavy)

Bestival was amazing!!! Great company, fantastic music, good times, drinks, food, laughs, banter, dancing, photos, fancy dress - the list goes on. 

 Typical festival shot
Loo roll is multi purpose: A scarve when the evenings get chilly...
...Or as a limbo.
Fancy dress: The girls
& the Boys.

The music.
Random pirate man that appeared in several photos...
Here he is again... :s
People had great costumes.
Although it was a bit rainy, it was ok because we could get 8 people in our tent!

An actual ship for #HMSbestival

Some slightly scary costumes!

All topped off by green glowing trees and fireworks. Amazing!!!

This was the first time I went to bestival after several years of IOW festival, and I am sooo glad I went. There are quite a few differences between them, but these are the ones that stood out to me and made it a fab weekend. 
1. The music - more dj/dance stuff. Very eclectic and very up and coming.
2. The venue - bestival is very hilly - the walking helps burn the calories :p
3. It's less commercialised.
4. There's more variety with stalls, i.e. there was lots of charity stalls, there was a science stall, its more environmentally friendly and it wasn't full of the same £5 hat and burgan van stalls. 
5. The size, bestival is smaller than IOW. 
6. The layout of the stages is better with the bars and toilets in more convenient layouts.

Definitely getting a ticket for next year!


Labels: , , , ,