Member Profile:

Annie

Diversional Therapist From Queensland, Australia


8 Comments

Annie 6th Sep 2013 Diversional Therapist

Forum

Wendy I couldn't agree with you more. I worked as Diploma qualified DT for 4 years in aged care and would have loved to stay and go further with qualifications. The only option was Associate Degree of Health Science (DT) or Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. But I quickly realized that no matter how much more education or further training I did, I would not be rewarded monetarily at work. I took a lot of extra courses; went to Seminars and researched heaps of USA and UK sites for free courses and ideas/resources - always above and beyond, but still remained on $19.01 an hour no matter how much more I brought to the job with that experience. It was never truly appreciated and I could never please everyone enough because there was just one DT (me) and 47 residents: and of course only 27.5 hours a week work. I also never joined the DT Association because I quickly saw there was absolutely no benefit to me at all! And why should I study a degree when it is absolutely not necessary in aged care and is not reflected in my wages? After 4 years, frustration took over and I studied nursing instead. At least it has an organized union and a public presence. I'm now working as an EEN in aged care and paid so much more than as DT it's ridiculous. Still rewarding but in a different way. I always praise our DTs at work for the great job they are doing knowing how difficult it is: and praise you all too. All the DTs certainly need a voice - good luck.
Annie 3rd Sep 2011 Diversional Therapist

Forum

Jenny, this is a hard one. Professionally, residents have the right to privacy: to keep information about themselves from being disclosed: only they can decide who, when and where to share their health information with. Confidentiality is how health care staff treats private information once it has been disclosed to us or others. It is an ethical dilemma which puts the staff member in a tenuous position when a resident sincerely would like to know how their friend is. Unofficially of course, there is always non-verbal communication. Personally, I think all private health information is on a ‘need to know’ basis only: ask yourself if the resident really ‘wants’ to know; ‘needs’ to know or ‘has a right’ to know. It also depends on the length of stay in hospital as residents usually work things out themselves. There may be a legal informed consent form to allow the release of information to other parties, but I’m sure that’s for the benefit of third parties only involved in the health care of the resident. Any other comments?
Annie 1st Jul 2011 Diversional Therapist

Forum

Hi everyone. For those of you who don't mind, I was wondering what pay rates other Diversional Therapists have & whether they increase with experience. Myself: nearly 3 years experience; Diploma qualified as DT; work for a 'for profit' organisation in residential aged care facility; have full DT responsibility for 42 bed facility and earn $19.02/hr. No pay rise in past or for the future. NB: this is NOT a criticism/complaint - just curiosity! I would appreciate your reply. Thank you everyone.
Annie 14th May 2011 Diversional Therapist

Forum

Teamwork seems to be a common problem at a lot of facilities. My suggestion is to befriend the staff (AINs, Kitchen, Cleaners etc), spend time with them and listen to their advice/suggestions. People are loyal to people, not companies or departments. Always ensure you thank staff for helping out when they can: I sing their praises over the pager and at every resident meeting. Any leftover or extra ‘treats’ (sweets, nice coffee, chocolates etc) I leave in the staff room for them to enjoy and let them know it’s from the DT department. Help out the AINs when you can eg mealtimes or supplements. Get the residents to make special ‘staff appreciation’ cards or do a small poster with top 10 reasons we love our AINs. Nurse’s Day has just been and gone – an ideal opportunity to show some appreciation for nursing staff. I have found nursing staff have far more consistent, long-standing and personal, therapeutic relationships with residents than I could ever find time to have with each & every one. Supporting nurses in turn supports that relationship and residents are enriched. 'It takes a village to raise a child' etc. I find that building and maintaining supportive relationships with other staff members brings far more reward, co-operation and understanding than new policies, in-services or orders from management. Good luck!
Annie 10th Jan 2011 Diversional Therapist

Forum

Hi Kelly - I shop on E-Bay a lot for work resources; just search for "wooden jigsaw puzzles" and see what's on offer. There are nice wooden puzzles at shops called "Riverview Gifts Galore" and "Active Brains Busy Hands" which would be suitable for adults with dementia. Good luck. Annie
Annie 10th Nov 2010 Diversional Therapist

Forum

To Maryann - I work as DT in a 42 bed mixed needs residential facility and have 31 hours allocated Monday to Friday for DT duties + admin duties + shopping etc - it\'s very hard. No weekend work allowed by management (no time left over anyway!). As far as I know, DTs do not attend to ADL duties unless you are rostered on duty as an AIN and have Cert. III Aged Care. It\'s ok to help out occasionally when needed but not as a rule as it takes away from DT time. Solange would be great to have section for DTs to upload their calendars or any paperwork so we get an idea of what is offered and how. I read of so many wonderful ideas but have no practical time to implement much unless I do more work from home so just keep to the bare minimum. Nice to read everyone\'s comments and feel part of a DT community. Annie
Annie 29th Sep 2010 Diversional Therapist

Forum

http://yooyahcloud.com/VOLUNTEERSA/eISoYb/Books__merchandising_old_logo__for_web.pdf - This is a link to Volunteering SA where they have great volunteering badges $3.20 each you could give out to your wonderful volunteers. I also make a heart shaped card with 'Volunteering is a work of heart' on it and give with heart shaped chocolates in a bag. You can give petrol vouchers or hold a special lunch at a fixed price venue (some Bowls clubs have $5 lunches!). Good volunteers are such an asset. As for getting men to an activity: gardening is especially effective and having male guests to help out at activities encourages the men to come out more - I know it is so hard! Such a female dominated environment. Good luck! Annie
Annie 28th Sep 2010 Diversional Therapist

Forum

Hi Wendy - 20 volunteers is a wonderful asset to you! Ideas for presents: the usual wine/chocolates, petrol vouchers, small plants or cater a special lunch just for them. Also hand out certificates of appreciation and attached is a website that has wonderful volunteer badges to give - only $3.20 each to show your appreciation. http://yooyahcloud.com/VOLUNTEERSA/eISoYb/Books__merchandising_old_logo__for_web.pdf
I give out little cards too saying: 'Volunteering is a work of heart' with heart chocolates. Good volunteers are really a treasure. Annie
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