May 12 / Kimberly Breeden, Occupational Therapist, Coach, Continuing Education Instructor

We Are Better Together

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Since the inception of Aspire OT in 2019, we have often stated in our blogs, posts and conversations with other OTs, OTAs and students that "we are better together". We have frequently stated this, but I don't think we have ever really explained what this means. I would like to share what it means to me.

In my 28 years of practice, I have worked in many different settings and my experience in corporate management allowed me to work with a lot of different teams over many different states. I had the privilege to be able to experience excellent care that was delivered in many different ways. This experience made me realize that there is more than one "right way" to do things. I also had the opportunity to observe teams that were struggling. There was not just one reason for these struggles; sometimes it was poor processes in place that did not allow the team to be successful, other times I witnessed just a lack of knowledge that was easily remedied with providing better information resources. Every team is different, just like every individual is different. 

I did however note in my experience there was one common theme in all of the successful teams I met. I do not mean to infer this as fact, this is just my conclusion based on my observations. It was clear to me that the members of the successful teams were supportive of one another. They worked not only in cooperation of one another, but for each other. I observed OTs stopping their paperwork to help an OT tech clean a hydrocollator. I witnessed OTAs offering to take another visit just so the OT would have more time to finish paperwork and not have to work late. It seemed to me that the motivation was not just to succeed as individuals, but to help each other succeed as well.  

This realization definitely influenced the rest of my career. It is in the last several years that I have grown in my perspective of team building. For some time I had seen it as an attitude, but in working with Niccole over the last 7 years, I see teams and collaboration so differently. I now see it from an occupational therapy perspective. As OT practitioners we understand the importance of socialization as a vital and meaningful occupation that improves the quality of life for individuals. For me, I have always thought of socialization as family, friends, neighbors etc. I now see how important socialization and community are in our professional lives. As I look back, the jobs I loved the most were the ones that I felt a sense of belonging and had good relationships with my co-workers. The jobs I miss the least are the ones in which I did not feel supported or valued by my co-workers. I chose to commit my professional life to my business partner, Niccole, because I love working with her. I don't ever want to not work with her. It doesn’t really matter what we do, its that we know we are working together. We all have rough days at work, mine are usually associated with some type of mishap on my part. I can handle those rough days because I have an instant support from my business partner, I don't think she has ever once said "I told you so". She truly cares about my success as much as hers.

Like many of you, Niccole and I have felt discouraged by others not fully understanding the value of occupational therapy or what we as occupational therapy practitioners are qualified to do. But we had each other and other OT practitioners to discuss our discouragement with. We were not only supported, but it gave us an opportunity to consider different perspectives that propelled us to work toward solutions for promoting the value of occupational therapy in those situations. I can truly say, I would not be doing what I am doing now if it weren't for the many, many OTs, OTAs and students who have been in my life. 

I now realize that having a professional community is not a perk. It is vital to our success and fulfillment as OT practitioners.

Aspire OT was created to empower OT practitioners. We created this company because we truly believe that in order to meet the challenges that we encounter in our practice as well as the challenges that face our profession, we need each other. We need to remind each other of the value that we bring to our clients, our teams, and organizations. We need to support and encourage one another when we are struggling. We need to recognize the value that each of us bring and create a safe space for all ideas to be expressed. We need to share our experience, information and expertise so that we all succeed, not just some of us, but all of us. This is why we feel that supporting our state associations is important, they work to provide the very community we need as practitioners. This is also why we created Just for OT coaching. 

If you don't feel you have the OT community you need, you may be able to find support through your state association or an OT coach. If these aren't good options it may be helpful to find an OT mentor or even just a group of OT practitioners who you can meet with regularly.  

At Aspire OT and Just for OT Coaching, we hope to work to continue to identify ways that we can better support OTs, OTAs and students. Hopefully from now on, when you see "WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER", you will remember how much we need one another!

Written by: Kimberly Breeden, MS, OTR, Coach, Instructor, Founding Partner

Aspire OT has a variety of continuing education courses to support your practice.  Our discussion boards allow learners to interact with the instructor.  

check out our FRee ceu course

What is OT? Nailing Your OT Elevator Speech

1.0 Contact hours, 0.10 CEU 
AOTA Approved
Self-paced
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Created by OT practitioners JUST for  OT practitioners, our occupational therapy continuing education services allow you to advance your skills and help your patients.

Choosing Aspire OT for your CE needs means you are supporting other OT and OTA instructors as well as our partner occupational therapy associations.  

Aspire OT was created to provide exceptional evidence-based CEs at reasonable prices designed to meet the needs of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in everyday practice.

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Just for OT Coaching is here to help you!  Let Kim and Niccole share their experiences to help you feel more supported and grow your practice.'

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