Sunday, 20 October 2013

An unexpected journey, conflicts of interests in the workplace and what a moment of realisation!

Hey everybody! It's been a funny old weekend, with a collection of lots of different activities with lots of different people. I've even managed to complete my 'extreme ironing' tonight in time to sit and wrote this blog, (and maybe catch the episode of 'Miranda' on TV shortly.

The pictures from this post are all from last weekend's Auckland Adventure ( a trip to see the the theatre production of 'Wicked' - which was indeed a wicked show! 
At 'Wicked' Auckland
The adventure though began after the afternoon show, as we missed our flight (from Auckland to Wellington), which left us with the choice of a very expensive flight, an excruciating 11 hour bus journey, or a 10 hour car drive split between two of us! Of course there was only one real option - a one day, ten hour drive from top to bottom of the North Island. Stops included the magnificent Lake Taupo, the coastal town of Napier, and the black hole of the Wairarapa, (Masterton).  My Auckland adventure was shared with my good friend and fellow OT Soo-Yin, and her sister  
Pre show excitement!
The journey started out about 08:30, and took in some great sights, and we came across a few unexpected sights along the way, including these 'Superloos' in Cambridge. Now as our traveling party included 2 OT's and a Physiotherapist, we just couldn't resist the photo opportunity!
NZ has 'superloos'
There are some pretty unique small towns along the way, but the winner had to be this place, which had a serious fetish for corrugated iron structures. Even the local church got in on the act with a shepherd!
Corrugated iron town!
 Visiting NAPIER was a new experience for me, and even though we stopped for all of 1 hour, the place had a lovely vibe to it, tempting me to head back there for a weekend some time in the future. It's only about 5 hours drive from Wellington.
Napier gardens
Napier Gardens
Excited Dan at Napier beach
Chilling in the Napier tree...
Napier Flowers...

I've had a few quite significant events / experiences with clients over the past few weeks, which have certainly tested a number of my organisational, conflict resolution, and time management skills, along with needing to use my physical health experience in this mental health role. I certainly feel confident and competent in the few occasions where some of my mental health clients have become physically unwell. I think having a generic view (and experience) allows me to support clients in their dealings with the physical health system, and what can be quite a traumatic experience. I think at time I may have supported my clients in areas of their lives which may be perceived to be outside of my 'current job scope', and thinking about this led me to start thinking about how my role as both a Case Manager and an Occupational Therapist may conflict with each other. 
An event this week really had me questioning a conflict between my roles. As OT's we often talk about being client-centred, advocating for clients, and facilitating opportunities to empower and engage in meaningful occupations. As a Case Manager, I found myself being asked (within a legal framework) to write a report from my perspective about the use of the mental health act for my client. My client's wish's were quite different from the ideas put forward by myself, and having to then justify these ideas not only in front of my client, but in front of a judge in the mental health court was not a pleasant experience. Discussing differences of opinion with clients is something I'm quite used to doing, and it's so important to be honest and transparent, however advocating for something that goes directly against my client's wishes, is something quite new to me. How will this event effect the therapeutic relationship and trust? Time will tell. These kind of situations raise some good ethical, moral and professional questions about the effectiveness and 'rightness' of OT's working in generic role. Is it a good or bad thing to work within two roles in the same job? That I hope to figure out!

Regards from New Zealand,