Management of a #VirtualOTPlacement Plus Assignments With Cerebral Palsy

Hello and welcome to week 8 I cannot believe we are 3 quarters of the way through, its flying by.

Last week marked a year since my supervisor, Margaret and I talked about and explored the potential of this placement and now it’s nearly over! I will always look back on all my placements think of all the fantastic learning opportunities I’ve had but I think that this will be the one that I’ll talk about the most.

That doesn’t mean I’m not finding it challenging. I find it hard managing my workload on any placement. Working as well as doing an assignment is tiring for anyone but when you add CP to the mix fatigue is what you get!

This week I have had an assignment due in and even though I am organised and started this a few weeks ago I still had a lot of things to get done at the beginning of the week. That’s why I have been a bit quiet on social media because I was eating, living, and breathing my assignment. On the bright side I could now probably write a pretty decent blog on interprofessional collaboration.

In all seriousness, workload management is something that is not easy when living with a disability and this is a topic that I have spoken about once or twice before on my blog.

At the beginning of the placement, I did not feel the weight of my workload as such, as the placement evolved organically, meaning that there wasn’t really a priority list as such. Now with only 4 weeks left the priority list is getting bigger and I would be lying if I said that it did not stress me out a little bit. It is a good stress though, trust me. I am enjoying every minute of this placement and I am so thankful to my supervisor for giving me the opportunity to work on something that I am so passionate about. However, because I am so passionate about this it means so much more therefore, I’m putting a lot of pressure of myself (I know I shouldn’t, but if you come here on a regular basis you will know it’s just my nature).

I have a lot of things to do before the end of my #VirtualOTPlacement as well as 2 assignments that are in shortly after, but I know that I WILL get it done. I know this because this placement is flexible, and I have a lovely supervisor that makes sure I’m managing my fatigue and (alongside my parents) reminds me to rest. My dad even ordered me to do no work one-day last week! But the truth is I love doing this work it is keeping me going! Today (Wednesday), for example- I submitted my assignment this morning meaning that I should rest, and I have. But, what better way to spend my evening during lockdown than writing a blog for you lovely people?

I do listen to my body and over the years I have become a lot better at knowing when to rest (this is not a line directly copied from my previous blog about fatigue, I swear) but I still feel guilty for having a rest when I know that there’s so much other productive things I can be getting on with. I am working on not feeling as guilty as I know that resting is just as good as carrying on when it’s needed. But what can I say? I’m just having the time of my life on the placement and I want to get the most out of it. With good reason…

To qualify as an OT, I need to do so 1000 of practice placement which is split between my 4 placements and I must do at least 80% of the hours of each individual placement to pass them. So, I am trying to get as many hours in on this placement, so I will have some flexibility to manage my CP, on my final placement.

My last placement was 8 weeks during October to December which meant that it was a cold 8 weeks which increases fatigue even more. With this in mind, I am aware that my next placement is 10 weeks during the winter, so I know that I am going to find it hard to maintain my energy.

My tutors already know that this is going to be a challenging placement for me and have suggested I do it part-time (4 days a week) meaning that I will have to continue for an extra few weeks.

However, if I do my maths right and go over on this placement then I will have some flexibility on my next placement to meet the requirements meaning that I may not have to do that many more weeks.

I am not going to say workload management is easy, because it is not. A few months ago, I did a post covering some tips on managing fatigue. But the greatest tip of all is to talk to someone about it like I did with my tutors because your never know there may have one useful tip that will make your life a lot easier to manage.

If you have a disability remember the Equality Act (2010), and don’t be scared to work out with your educator how to make reasonable adjustments. I used to be as a bit hesitant to do this as I did not want to ‘make a fuss’ but sometimes you must use the law to get what you need!

Thank you for reading,

Georgia
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

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