A photo of Whitby Abbey and the beach.
Cerebral Palsy, Newly Qualified Occupational Therapist

A Year Into Being an OT With CP

It’s been a while, at one point I was debating if they’d be a blog at all this month! The thought of not posting a blog for more than a month does not sit well with me. Therefore I thought why do not a general life update seen as it’s a year since I finished my studies, can you believe it? 

It doesn’t feel like a year because I’ve only been working as an occupational therapist for 4 months. Yet, I have still learnt so much this year. In this blog, I wanted to talk about the adjustment to this learning as this has only become more apparent in the last month or so.  

When I first qualified I did a lot of freelance work whilst I was finding a job. When I did find a job I started working online. Therefore this adjustment wasn’t that hard. They’d be moments where I’d have that, I can’t believe I’m doing this kind of thing. I’d certainly be emailing people constantly to make sure I’m doing everything correctly. Yet, I was quite comfortable. So, when the start of this month came I was very happy to go into clinical practice. Side note: I’m currently working in a primary school as a practice educator with students.

A lot of prep has gone into this placement and I desperately wanted to gain some clinical skills! No matter how much I am willing to get stuck in, I still feel like I am the student I was on placement who shies away. The line I keep using in supervision is… “I can talk the talk but I can’t walk the walk” this is exactly how I feel and I know this is largely disability-related.

Taking on new challenges excites me I love enhancing myself. Yet, when I’m trying to deliver something and I can see those around me are having trouble picking up what I am saying it does massively hinder my confidence. I know it shouldn’t, it never has so why should I let it?

Even as I write this, I’m thinking to myself, Georgia just go for it you have nothing to lose! But no matter how much I want it I still hit that wall! I know with experience, I will get better, I do accept that. But after longing to do this for what feels like forever, it certainly gets a bit annoying. 

Then there’s the fatigue! I am really careful when it comes to my fatigue, trust me there’s nothing that isn’t prep for the next day that gets done after work. Getting into that routine again, after so long out of the game is hard! Driving home, for example, has been impossible, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had the energy to drive home after work!

Getting the right balance at work and being able to drive to and from is taking a while, I would say longer than expected. But in fairness it isn’t, it’s just a lot longer than what I’d like it to be. Although it is solely frustrating and I wish I was on my way. When reflecting on how far I’ve come since the beginning of the year I am proud. I am driving a lot more than I was, even if it’s not independently. I am working and I am finally being the occupational therapist I longed to be.

Yes, this isn’t perfect and I have a lot of work to do, to get where I want to be! This is a very non-traditional role. I have to remember my first job is non-traditional and therefore I can’t compare!

I’m very excited to learn more about this role and looking forward to writing a whole lot of reflections on NSTP too, to improve my practice (apologies in advance)!

Thank you for reading,

Georgia x

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