Reflective Questions for December/January

Vivien De Greef's picture

Following on from Ben Whittakers post, it is great news that the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) have included the WFOT 5 Guiding Principles for Sustainable Occupational Therapy Practice in their Learning and development standards for pre-registration education! Congratulations! 

With the next group of Occupational Therapists learning about sustainability in their education programs, we as working Occupational Therapists need to stay up to date and learn how to incorporate sustainability into our practice. 

We have been putting together a Resource map filled with articles, international association papers, presentations etc., so interested clinicians can learn more about sustainable practice. 

One particular paper that I want to draw attention to, is the WFOT (2018) Sustainability matters: Guiding Principles for Sustainability in Occupational Therapy Practice, Education and Scholarship

If you haven’t yet read it, please do, it goes into detail how to incorporate sustainability in daily occupational therapy practice, including ways to work with interested service users, how to implement it into education and more. 

Each guiding principle has it’s own reflective questions attached for practitioners, educators and scholars so you can find out what your learning needs are (or your students/colleagues) for each principle. 

  • Principle 1: Understanding sustainability - An occupational therapy perspective
  • Principle 2: The role of occupational therapy in Contributing towards mitigation of environmental damage due to unsustainable lifestyles  
  • Principle 3: Helping occupational therapy service users adapt to the consequences of environmental damage due to unsustainability
  • Principle 4: Community unsustainability in the face of environmental catastrophes
  • Principle 5: Developing professional competence for administration of occupation-based interventions to address sustainability issues

With the New Year almost here, I would like to propose a sustainable OT Goal, to read this paper and each month go through the reflective questions, finding relevant resources to help us improve our understanding, and ability to implement sustainable practice in our workplaces. 

For December/January (joining the two as its the busy holiday season!), let’s take a look at Principle 1: Understanding sustainability - An occupational therapy perspective. “Occupational therapy practitioners shall be encouraged to educate themselves about issues of ecosystem sustainability as it impacts ability to pursue chosen meaningful occupations and subsequently human health and well-being.”

Reflective questions for Principle 1

For Occupational Therapy Practitioners: 

  • On a scale from 1 to 10, with 1=“no knowledge” and 10= “fully knowledgeable”, how would you rate your current knowledge of: the meaning of sustainability as it applies to the ecological systems; it’s relationship to human occupational performance; and it’s relationship to human health and well-being? 
  • What is your perception of how occupational lifestyle affects environmental sustainability? 
  • How do cultural and social contexts affect peoples ability to perform meaningful occupations sustainably? 
  • On a scale from 1 to 10, with 1=“no skills” and 10= “highly skilled”, how would you rate your skills in working with individuals and communities to help them choose healthy, sustainable occupational lifestyles? 
  • What skills do you need to learn at this point to help you work more successfully with individuals and communities to help them reflect about sustainability of their actions as they choose and participate in meaningful occupations? 
  • What skills do you need to learn that would help you work successfully with individuals and communities to help them adapt to the negative consequences of climate change using occupation-based strategies? 

For Occupational Therapy Educators: 

  • On a scale from 1 to 10, with 1=“no knowledge” and 10= “fully knowledgeable”, how would you rate your current knowledge of the topic of:
    • ​Sustainability
    • The relationships among sustainability, meaningful occupational performance, and health
    • The relationships among sustainability, health, and well-being
  • What could you do to improve your knowledge of the sustainability subject and it’s relationship to meaningful occupational performance, health, and well-being? 
  • What strategies could you use to help your students develop knowledge about sustainability and it’s relationship to meaningful occupational performance, health and well-being, and use that knowledge to develop skills necessary to work with people individually and in small communities to help them:  
  1. think about sustainability of their actions as they choose and participate in occupations; and 
  2. Adapt to negative consequences of climate change and ecosystem damage? 

For Occupational Therapy Scholars: 

  • To what extent have you considered including questions about sustainability as it relates to occupational performance, health, and well-being in your scholarly agenda? 
  • If you were to include sustainability in your scholarly agenda, how would you go about doing it? 

For WFOT and national associations: 

  • What do you think may be the associations role in facilitating integration of the topic of sustainability as it relates to occupational performance, human health, and well-being in the occupational therapy profession (please, think of the specific strategies that you would use to achieve this goal)?

Now there is a lot to unpack here, do you have a CPD group in your workplace? Any other passionate OT’s that want to learn more on sustainability? Maybe you can join together with your colleagues and start working through this document and going through these reflective questions?

Or, does anyone here want to share their thoughts on the reflective questions? 

 

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