Weeks 3 & 4: High Dives

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Happy Purim!

Me: “So were you pretty active before your fall?”
New Friend #3: “Yes, I actually golfed up until last September and I even swam occasionally. You wouldn’t believe what I did at my grandson’s birthday party last August.”
Me: “Oh yeah? What did you do?”
New Friend #3: “I dove off the diving board. I wanted to scare the lifeguard a little—heck, how often do you see 92-year-old’s diving off diving boards?!”
Me: “Ya know, that would be a new one for me.” *both laughing*

Wow, the last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of action! Many discharges, evaluations of new friends, among other things—it is crazy how different a caseload can look in a couple weeks’ time! Since last posting, I have continued to do direct patient care and will continue to do so for the next two weeks. During the last six weeks of my rotation, I will be focusing on developing a sensory program, Memories in the Making painting program and providing caregiver education as it relates to dementia care.

I have to add in a quick aside about how my facility celebrated the Jewish holiday, Purim, this past week and had a crowning of a king and queen during a fun ceremony! It was the most adorable thing ever—they ended up crowning a couple who has been together over 60 years! It was so sweet to see the smiles on their faces and the kisses they shared 🙂 The husband’s health is very much on the decline, so I think this was a great way to pay tribute to the beautiful relationship he and his wife have created over a lifetime while celebrating a fun holiday.

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2017 Purim King and Queen

Switching gears… The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about confidence in the workplace. Specifically, why do people lack confidence in their skills? How does one go about increasing their confidence as a professional student? A fresh graduate? I set out to do a little research, and of all the tips I came across, I compiled a list of the five tips I believe may be most helpful.

  1. Cha(llen)nge your self-talk. This is paramount. Your perception completely paints your point of view and if you perceive yourself to be anything but wonderful, talented and capable, no matter how many compliments or much positive feedback you receive from your peers, you will ultimately go back to your innate perception of yourself (whether it’s positive or negative). Your thoughts follow your beliefs, so it’s important that we choose to believe positive things about ourselves.

  2. Fact check. I have found that in many situations in life, the root of our problems is fear. Viewing fear for what it is: ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’ is a great first step in (re)gaining self-confidence. Fact checking and reminding yourself of your positive attributes and accomplishments—the ‘facts’ of the situation as opposed to the worries or uncertainties is an important practice.

  3. Gain more knowledge. Throughout ones career as an OT, going to continuing education courses and continuing to expand our knowledge as practitioners is vital in ensuring we are providing the latest and greatest in caring for our patients. As new grads, we will be hitting the ground running with a lot of ideas, but there’s something to be said about going home after work and researching a condition you’re not familiar with or poring through Pinterest for fun new intervention ideas to keep your patients on their toes… When you feel as though you are continuing to grow and learn, your confidence will likely follow.

  4. Capitalize on your strengths. During my didactic coursework, I was given the opportunity to take the Gallup Strengths Finder assessment on two occasions and found the whole concept behind their assessments to be simple, yet so innovative. In the workplace, there is so often a focus placed on what we need to improve as opposed to what we are doing right. When we take stock of the things we are doing right and capitalize on them, everyone benefits. Find what sets you apart from your peers and embrace it. It’s the collective combination of different strengths and personalities that truly make a workplace great and provide the most benefit for our patients.


  5. Fake it til you make it. I hesitate to have this last point on the list as patient safety comes first and can never be compromised for the sake of ‘saving face’ or appearing to know more than you do… However, to act as though you’re more sure of yourself than you actually are when you’re first starting out (in most situations) is completely called for. So many people appear to have it all together and this can be disheartening for those of us who struggle with confidence. The fact of the matter is that they are likely still resolving issues of their own and are still honing in on their own clinical skills, they might just not be as candid about it as you are. Act like the practitioner you want to be. Work with a smile and embrace every opportunity to showcase your skills. Realize that we all make mistakes (especially in the beginning) and that this is definitely okay and natural and may be one of the best ways to learn.

To wrap up, thanks for reading another installment of my blog– I hope you are learning a little bit more about OT and life with every post (or are at least enjoying the photos and my dialogues with my dear patients)! Stay tuned for Week 5’s installment debuting early next week!

Have a blessed week ♥,

Amanda

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