Reflecting on Care, Trust, Respect and Integrity in Daily OT Work

I would have to admit that I reflect on what I do every day as I drive home. I have about 45 minutes of driving after work and this gives me time to decompress. I work in multiple schools in various classrooms, so sometimes it is overwhelming to be reflecting on so much stimuli.

I always catch myself thinking, “is what I did today the best I could have done?”

The OCT outlines ethical standards of Care, Trust, Respect and Integrity. As a daily OT, I am constantly reflecting on if I have upheld these standards in my professional practice.

I think about if I have kept good care of the mental and physical safety of the students. Did I protect the vulnerable from people once I became aware if an oppressive dynamic? Did I provide them with some strategies for future self-advocacy? Did I explain to the oppressors why what they are doing is oppressive, and get them to reflect on their behavior? Did I keep them safe in on the property by promoting safe movement and making them aware of hazards ? Did I fill out the proper paperwork and consult the appropriate staff in the event of an unsafe action or potentially unsafe situation?

I look back and wonder if I have developed trust with students and colleagues. Did I communicate honestly with them? Did I explain my intentions? Did I treat people fairly and equitably? As I begin to get to know the people I work with more, I find that trust deepens. However, I must keep in mind that some people take a long time to trust others. I have to be patient.

Respect and boundaries are always being tested. I ask myself if I am too indulgent or  too dictatorial. What style of classroom management is respectful for the particular group I am with? I know that being strict may be seen as ridiculous for some groups, yet expected with others. Constantly trying to adapt to norms of different schools while maintaining a personal level of self-respect is difficult.

When people know that you care, that they can trust you and that mutual respect has been developed, they can expect you to deliver on commitments. This is where a sense of integrity is important. I constantly challenge myself to maintain my commitments to students and other staff, to communicate about things that don’t get done or mistakes that are made, etc. Standing up for students and other staff, acting as an ally and offering a helping hand when the going gets tough are things I like to do to maintain a sense of personal integrity.

How do you reflect on your daily practice? Please feel free to comment.



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