Friday, June 11, 2010

OT is evidence-based and we musn't forget it!

So, the other day I was reading my OT blogger idol's blog (another thing I don't have as much time to do anymore--read my idol's blog! Btw, Karen, how the heck did you do it in school????? Keep up with school, social life, read other people's blog AND write in your own blog???!!!! This is why you're my idol, you're amazing :-)

Ok, so I totally killed that sentence by digressing! Haha! So, I'll start over....

So, the other day I was reading my OT blogger idol's blog, Karen Dobyns, and, long story short, she wrote a post about "trying" an acupunture intervention on a patient. A commenter, Anita, commented that as OTs we don't just 'try' interventions on patients. Interventions should be well thought out and evidence based as patients are not are guinea pigs.

Anita commented that Karen's actions are a little scary. She also said, in a round about way, that as an occupational therapist blogger our responsibility while blogging is to present that we have "clear evidence for your practice decisions, and at worst it sounds like you could be 'simply giving things a shot' to see if they might work."

At first, I was terribly offended, because I love Karen so much and it's because of her that I made the final decision to jump in and go to OT school and because her thinking and blogging is often random like mine (in a good way!). Then I realized I was being biased and I would probably take Karen's side for most things, even if she stole something or didn't help a little old lady cross the street. So I had to step back a minute and reflect on what Anita was really saying.

When I really thought about it I understood and in some ways agreed with what Anita was saying (but I still get where Karen was coming from because our thinking patterns are very similar). AOTA's Centennial Vision emphasizes the importance of occupational therapy being an 'evidence-based' profession and as a result it's even more important for us as practitioners (and students!) to have clear rationale and reasoning for the interventions we choose, whether that rationale is based on written research or personal experience.

It's something for me to keep in mind as I transition from beginner OT student, to experienced OT student to practitioner. I think her comment will help make me a better OT. Also, blogging is hard work! Thinking of topics to discuss is certainly NOT difficult because in OT there is ALWAYS something to talk about, but accurately presenting the information and making it interesting can be a challenge. And when you're like me (and Karen), sometimes you post random things or type 'out loud', because that's just how you think. It doesn't mean what you type is always a reflection of how you feel, maybe you were just sorting things out at the time. But as a blogger I have to be careful of that, because although I know what my intentions are, someone else may interpret them differently. And God forbid that happens. I would be doing the public as huge disservice. Plus, I would just feel bad.

Karen wrote a blog post as a reflection/response to Anita's comment that I thought was and honest. It only made me respect Karen even more as a blogger, student mentor and new practitioner. She could have easily responded defensively and started an all out blog words war. But she chose to address that she received the comment, and then, in her usual Karen way, she added some humor. I love Karen!

Later, Karen updated her blog with this SUPER LONG response to Anita's comment. I have never seen Karen write so much! But it was very well thought out and I thought it addressed the situation appropriately. Anita commented on that thread as well (just click on comments at the bottom of that thread).

So, anyway, this just only confirms that Karen is every bit as awesome as I originally thought.

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