My Best Friend, the OT – Kristin B., PT
As a traveling physical therapist I move from job to job frequently. At each facility, I make a number of friends and create a good working relationship with my fellow physical therapists and physical therapy assistants, with the nursing staff and the administrators. I can even count a number of physical and speech therapists who are very good friends. However, none of those relationships ever tend to be as close as the relationship I develop with my occupational therapy counterparts.
The relationship between a PT and an OT is a special one for a few reasons. The first reason is that before you might get to know each other outside of work or on a personal level, a bond forms on a professional level as you share the same patients, especially in an inpatient setting where the patients are typically receiving both services. The PT and OT will work together performing co-treatments and co-evaluations and collaborating on discharge planning. Evaluations in an inpatient setting are much easier when both disciplines are present because the patient only has to answer questions about orientation and prior level once. Also, activities that require the assistance of two therapists such as advanced balance training or aquatic therapy are the perfect opportunity for PTs and OTs to provide co-treatment to a patient. Beyond just co-evaluation or treatment, however, PTs and OTs can provide good professional support to each other through reminders of daily tasks due like order writing or just being a sounding board for workplace stresses. My patients comment frequently about how nice it is to spend time with both a PT and an OT because they benefit from the energy that we being together and from the extra support.
I often find, however, that that professional bond extends outside of the workplace. I spend so much time collaborating with my OT friends on my patients, that often they will be the first person that I talk to about my personal life and create an “outside of work” friendship with. I would guess that minute for minute, I spend more time with my OT friend Rheagan, than I do with my fiancé right now, so it’s only natural that we would share a close friendship and shared interests. In the past, I’ve even found myself looking for a place to stay and one of my OT friends stepped up and offered her extra bedroom (a kindness that I payed forward to another co-worker).
Since it can’t be occupational therapy month all of the time and since I often think that health care professional deserve more thanks and praise, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to the occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants who have been a part of my career and my life. Thanks to: Rheagan, Tiffany, Stephanie, Rhea, Bethany, Angie, Jessica, Alicia and Kelly.