I have chosen PASS placement for practice my assessment skills. In this regard, I have attended five out of six sessions. Many reasons guided me to choose this assessment. First, I want to enhance my proficiency as an aspiring occupational therapist. I believe I have innate abilities to be an efficient occupational practitioner and I want those skills to be sharpened. Second, I wish to update my knowledge base and learn new skills related to my chosen field of study. Lastly, I want to improve my medical vocabulary using the English language.
The inherent culture of the country dictates the rights or wrongs approved by the general public. I came from a different nation. For this reason, traditions and ways of behavior considered proper in my home country may be perceived as unethical or just generally not accepted in Australia. Therefore, if I strive to be an excellent occupational therapist in Australia, I must be educated first with the Australian culture to understand and communicate with the people living here. Due to that I am still a student, I have plenty of time to immerse myself in the diversity of Australian customs and traditions. Understanding the culture of my clients is important since I want to perform a better role as a high-qualified professional in this area in the future.
According to ASCOT (2010), occupational therapy awareness of client culture impacts their interaction with clients. In every patient-healthcare-professional interaction, effective communication is the key to mutually beneficial cooperation. Even if one is confident about his or her skills, knowledge and ability, without effective communication, client interaction will not be successful. I once experienced how critical it is to be able to communicate effectively with your assigned patient. I worked as a licensed physiotherapy technician in my country. I handled many cases and was assigned to different places of rehabilitation. In one particular assignment at SCOP organization, I gave a relatively bad impression simply because I did not know how to interact with the clients and other staff, or rather I interacted poorly with them. Needless to say, my lack of education and experience on this matter greatly affected my performance. This circumstance made me realize that in order to become an effective and efficient occupational therapist in the future, I need to immerse in the culture of Australia. In this case, I would be better equipped in communicating, understanding and interacting with my future patients and clients.
During the 5 PASS placement sessions, many sections have been covered, including:
- sharing our previous placements experience;
- interview skills;
- best ways to understanding and dealing with medical files;
- initial assessment, gaining information from clients and writing up files notes;
- abbreviations that the medical healthcare workers use in patient’s files.
These sections are imperative to learn and if I want to pass placements in the future, I have to master these key elements. These conditions are also significant for my future work after graduation. Having mastered these tasks would save me a great deal of time in my future placements. Instead of learning the tasks all over again, I would opt to learn and master another task for an upgrade. This would improve my learning and broaden the scope of my knowledge.
Initial assessment and writing file notes were major problems in my part. Before I began the PASS placement, I was confused as how to begin the interaction and what were the relevant questions to ask a patient. There are plenty of queries to ask, but the priority is given to the ones that are appropriate and would open the line of communication. It would be crucial to know which questions would make the clients feel at ease and confident that they are being handled professionally. It will take some time before I master the art of interviewing, assessing client and writing notes, but with practice, determination and study, I will reach the necessary level of expertise. The documents that the instructors provided are very useful in sharpening my assessment skills. When it comes to dealing with files of patients, I am now equipped with new methods and styles, different from what I used to do in my former work. I also read plenty of occupational therapy reports and assessment cases, which are great guides for me to understand the complex role of a professional in my field.
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As for the video, it was the first time I completed such type of assignment. I found it challenging and helpful at the same time. I was able to put into good use my second language, which I admit is still in a dire need of honing and improving. Language barrier is something to be overcome with practice and I hope that more tasks will come that mandate me to speak and write in English fluently. Additionally, technicality of creating a video using a computer program was another challenge as I never considered myself as technologically adept. The next time, I hope to record an initial assessment on a dummy patient in the occupational therapy laboratory and practice my newly learned and freshly sharpened assessment skills.
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