Occupational Therapist Career Moments – with Hailey Albright
One quote stood out to me during my time as an occupational therapist.
“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.”
The quote is from American preacher Edwin Louis Cole, but Dr. Elisabeth Saxton, Clinical Psychologist, shared it with me. Her application of the quote to occupational therapy came during a psychological trauma and resiliency training course.
During the course, we spoke at length about how clients often get “stuck” in the water. The role of an occupational therapist is to assist clients to move out of the “puddles” of their lives.
Application as an Occupational Therapist
I have since used this quote with several patients who I have worked with post-trauma or post-injury. It resonates with them. Patients own the power within to move forward in their recovery.
A patient often can’t control the circumstances leading to treatment, but they can control what to do moving forward. Control is such an incredibly important part of the recovery process for clients.
I find this quote highlights that patients own their recovery, and we are simply a tool along the way. We cannot work harder than them in the treatment process. It is often a hard thing to reflect on as a clinician but is important to do.
Too many Canadians feel like they are just another file in a broken health care system. Every patient deserves to be listened to. Every patient should feel equipped and empowered to take responsibility for their own health. That’s why it’s important for us to hear our patients and create individualized treatment plans.