I often wonder...
...if we learn most from our mistakes.
I am a very new OT out in the field, to be exact 496 days (aka 1 yr and 18.85 wks). I still go into treatment sessions with a mixture of nervousness and excitement. Nervous that I won't find the "just right" activity for my patient and create a session where I feel guilty as if I wasted their time and I did not benefit the patient to the best of my ability. Excited that I WILL “hit the nail of the head” and have an awesome session that continues to build a rapport with my patient. We all make mistakes, have difficult sessions, or misinterpret what we think will be best, but hopefully we learn from them and they help us grew into a better therapist. I often think about the first big whoops I made as an OT, one that happened only a few hours into my first job; in fact, one that happened with the first patient I treated on my own as an OTR/L.
My patient was someone I was covering for another OT, he had suffered a brian injury after a fall. After months of rehab on the medical acute care unit, he was learning how to mobilize the unit with a dual-rim, one-arm wheelchair. I was there to assist in helping him to learn how to navigate doorway thresholds (why these exist, I have no idea). This was a patient who, cognitively, was very declined and one who required me to manage his safety and feeding tube at the same time. Did I mention I never did this as a student?! Needless to say, we get to our 2nd threshold and he is having a difficult time managing it, I provided him with what I thought was a clear verbal cue in which I soon realized was not. I cued him to sit back, that would help him over it, so we could start fresh, but instead he put more force in at the same time I was lifting and not only did he fall face first out of his wheelchair, but he hit his head on the trashcan creating a golf-size ball swelling on his forehead. Friends, I still to this day do not know how I was even able to call a code, but I did. Then I cried!
I tell you this story because when this incident was reported to by boss she was so calm and collected (when I thought I would be fired) that all she said was "did you learn from what happened?". At the time I was just relieved that both the patient and my job were okay, but soon after I was able to reflect on how much I learned and how things should have been different. I have never made the same mistake again...
So, here I am thinking...no matter how big or small those mistakes maybe, do we learn most from our mistakes. I would love to hear your input and experiences.
12/3/2013 05:53:20 am
I have a few as I qualified2001! But battery is low! Refreshing to read your blog xx
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