Hello my name is Emma, occupational therapist in the frail elderly pathway team.
Bear with me; I am new to the frail elderly pathway team (FEP) and still in the process of finding my feet!
My experience so far has highlighted how working as an OT in an integrated team is a brilliant way to contribute to meeting our fundamental core value of a holistic approach to patient care. By working closely alongside different professions and maintaining regular communication, there is the opportunity to share different perspectives and approaches or gain advice, which allows us to consider multi-factorial influences on frail elderly people’s health and wellbeing. I was initially apprehensive about working in such an acute environment worrying that I might have limited time to apply OT theory or that there would be potential to lose professional identity, however the team’s approach is brilliantly aligned to person environment occupation model of occupational therapy and I feel our initial therapy assessments thoroughly considers the factors within this model. Due to the nature of the environment you often have limited time in which to complete your assessments before there is need for a plan to be in place and this assessment impacts on the patient’s onward pathway. It can be daunting having to make quick clinical decisions but support from the team is always available.
I feel that as we work on such a fast paced ward, it is important as an OT to maintain focus on activity that helps people maintain wellbeing through things they want to do, not only have and need to do, as frail elderly patients can often feel disconnected from their previous occupations and activities, which can lead to social isolation. It has been important to gain knowledge of local services to have the ability to signpost patients as they often so quickly move on. So far working as an OT with FEP has been a fantastic experience – I’m proud to be part of the team!