• Joanna Caton

CONNECT TO GROW- More to being a paediatric OT than a few tools in your therapy kit.

Updated: Feb 5

CONNECT TO GROW is a framework which supports effective, confident and sustainable paediatric OT careers. The words in the framework refer to the importance of connecting with a mentor in order to grow professionally. The letters themselves are also an acronym representing a series of professional foundation skills and supports.


CON-NECT TO GROW:


  • CON: professional CONFIDENCE. Clarity and confidence regarding our professional role as an Occupational Therapist generally and within the context of our work place is important for being effective. A CONFIDENT OT knows their role, they can explain it simply to others and then use this knowledge to guide their interventions. A CONFIDENT OT knows what things to say "NO" to and what things are within OT scope. They spend time on interventions that matter and are impactful.

  • ConNECTion: Alongside confidence, CONNECTION with clients is considered a primary foundation skill. When we can connect, we have the ability to listen to our clients and understand strengths, challenges and priorities. Good connection leads to trust, commitment and communication. Connection paves the way for appropriate boundaries. Connection is critical for helpful interventions and meaningful outcomes.

  • T: Therapy tool-kit. This is our OT specific library of assessment processes and interventions. Things in our tool-kit are relevant and are related to what we know from our professional confidence and connection with clients.

  • O: Occupation-based. Need I say more? Occupation is where we shine and can be both an intervention and a goal.

  • G: Get organised! Effective organisation is critical in paediatric OT work. Managing paperwork, resources, diaries, appointments and the like is a critical aspect of our work expectations. We can learn to implement strategies to maximise efficiency.

  • R: Resilience. The capacity to recover from challenge is important when working as a health practitioner. Resilience can be encouraged through supports within our work environment, team and organisation combined with a range of practises that can be learnt by us.

  • O: Opportunities. Opportunities to try new things, follow our interests and develop our career are important.

  • W: Well-being. Our own well-being counts when working as a paediatric OT! We take active steps to support our mental and physical well-being so that we can thrive in our careers and support our clients.


The framework helps us to stay on track when the going gets tough with a case or within our work or career. Additionally, by doing an "audit" of where we are up to in any of the foundation areas, we can help get "unstuck" and come up with a solution or strategy when things in our work do not seem clear.

In my clinical supervision and mentoring sessions, aspects of CONNECT TO GROW can be found in our case conversations, our problem solving and in our strategies.

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