corders in the hague

It's like having the Corders round for dinner - except the kids don't smash stuff and Mike doesn't drink all your booze. And when you're bored you can get rid of us with a mouse click rather than having to start tidying up the house.

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Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Monday, November 06, 2006

Irmie's work

Work has been really good for me, I just enjoy working with people and the team I work with is fun. I ride my bike to work which only takes me 30 minutes. It has taken some of my weight as well which is a real bonus.
I have been thinking about the differences between Sydney and here and here are my ideas:
In Australia OT is a well known profession and there are far more OT's. So i'm back explaining what an OT does. In Australia OT is also well established in the community and people in general find their way to an OT. Here it's well established in rehab centres and outpatient services but not in the community.
I'm still working with the elderly but now attached to a nursing home. I see lots of people in the nursing home and in hostels or houses that are somehow connected, but very little in the community independently. So my goal in this position is to get OT at home and not to wait until all the wheels fall off. I have already started with some group work in a community centre which was well received. My next goal is to set up some kind of workshed in the community for people with early stage of dementia. At present I see too many people doing nothing and dozing off and their brain going down the drain.
What else is different? All the meetings-it's a typical Dutch thing that everyone needs to agree on everything which means that meetings take forever and everyone wants to have their say. I find it extremely boring and can only think of all the resources that are wasted.
The funding of wheelchairs, home modifications and other equipment is also extremely difficult, too many people involved and little trust in each other's work so a lot of work is repeated and more sources are wasted. All because someone might ask too much...
My collegues in the North Shore Hospital wouldn't believe their eyes if they saw our wheelchair department. We have 3 different kinds of wheelchairs (IBIS, Roxx and REA) and at least 20 chairs available at any time, and complete! We even have a wheelchair workplace with a technician who can fix anything on a wheelchair. As you can imagine he is my best friend since day one. And we hardly loose any equipment because ther is a huge planboard wih al the names of the clients with matching numbers of the wheelchairs, including cushions. Even I wouldn't dare not to keep this up to date. So for the first time in my OT career I am following the rules regarding wheelchair loans. Shirley would be proud of me.
My latest client is an 80 year old man who still wants to ride his bike after 3 strokes. I did the COPM with him and all the important problems were realted to riding his bike. He showed little insight so we had to hold him with two people to prevent him from falling off. He might join the army of scooter-riders. They are everywhere, mainly because it's all on the flat and paid for by the Government.
Next week I will be going to a conference on how to promote OT, I'm really lookin gforward to that. The good thing is that my work will pay for it. And that brings me to the last difference, courses are paid for by the employer so more people are up to date with the AMPS, A-ONE and COPM. So far I am happy with the job, it pays the bills and keeps me off the street.


Blogger Beecroft Shields said...

Kelleigh wants some tips from Irmie as she has been enjoying using electric wheelchairs at shopping centres since she fractured her foot. Our house looks like a nursing home with crutches everywhere, a walking frame and even a plastic chair in the shower!

3:02 AM  

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