Mentors – why I love them and why they are essential!

Many times we encounter therapists that inspire us, some one we look up to, aspire to be like, someone that helps you take your practice to the next level, to help you plot out your next step…

I have been very fortunate in my career to have worked with so many wonderful therapists, who I quote in everyday practice and with my own students (many years down the track), and I want to pay tribute to them here, and the key lessons I learnt from them!

Coral – my first supervisor, was a wonderful experienced therapist, she explained to me how the hospital worked, how we were all equals and part of the overall machine, she said – learn everyone’s names from the cleaners to the doctors and nurses, no one is more important than the other, say hello to everyone, the system would fall apart if one of the parts was missing! Great advice by the way!

Marlies – an amazing supervisor I had when on placement as a student in a residential care facility. she had amazing empathy, a calm manner and warmth and respect for the residents. And a highly skilled and experienced therapist.  She fired in me my love of working with older adults and particularly in residential care. She showed me how great it could be, how OT was essential in care homes and the valuable contribution we could have. She introduced me to mindfulness and explained how important it is and how it can be a useful tool in practice. I have strived to emulate her manner and her skills in the years I have been working with older adults.

Sandy – a gifted OT who has had a huge influence on my practice (and continues to do so today).  I had the honour of working with her in the Acute hospital setting during my second year of practice.  She truly introduced me to occupation centred assessment and understanding the impact of cognition on occupational performance.  Fired my interest in posture management and promoting occupational performance through building a stable posture to work from. She continues to blow my mind – most recently when she taught on a post-grad paper i was enrolled in. I quote her almost daily! She remains my go-to person 8 years on when it comes to OT!

Clare – opened my eyes to what was possible to achieve within a hospital setting, demonstrated how to develop professionally within the system, how to grow my ideas, encouraged my passion for OT, showed me how to set up projects and to dream big!

Ros – a wonderful Physiotherapist I work and share an office with, challenged me one day early this year to look outside the hospital I work in, even outside the country I live in, to share my passion and knowledge in OT, and to listen and learn from people around the world. She said the world is a large place – be a small fish in a big pond! From this discussion I created this site!

We are lucky as therapists to come into contact with a variety of people who can inspire us.  I don’t think they have to be OT’s either, it can be someone who has skills that you would like, whether it is just that you like their bedside manner or seen how they negotiate the hurdles in daily practice… I believe that we should tell these people, these positive influences, how important they are.

 

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