One thing I quickly learnt working as an Occupational Therapist at Royal Trinity Hospice is that every day is different. Plans can change on an hourly basis as we respond to our patient’s needs. Here's what a typical day looks like: 


My day starts with a quick check of my emails before I head down to the Inpatient Unit for any overnight updates on my patients. Then I go back to the Therapies office and plan my day with the other Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and the Complementary Therapist, allocating any new patients between us.



This morning I’m heading out to visit a patient living in the community and her son. Her mobility has deteriorated so I advise her son on the safest way to assist her. I also assess if any equipment would help her with moving around. We also talk about her interests, the things that are most important to her now, and any other worries she has. We cover a big catchment area at Trinity so it’s easy to be out of the hospice for two to three hours.



I get back to the hospice in time to grab lunch, and then I have an out-patient coming in as part of my Fatigue Management Programme. This programme helps patients who are living at home and are still quite active but are struggling with fatigue (a big problem for many patients with advanced illnesses). I meet patients individually to talk through how fatigue affects them and to work out strategies for completing the activities most important to them. Everyone is different – in today’s meeting we talk about how my patient could clean her bathroom without getting too exhausted. 


This afternoon I go down to the Inpatient Unit to talk through the outcome of a home assessment I conducted yesterday. The patient’s mobility has deteriorated and I needed to assess if there is room for a hospital bed which will help him move home. I met his wife there too, as meeting family members in their own environment often gives them the opportunity to talk through any of their concerns.

I always like to talk through home assessments with patients and their families to provide suggestions of things which might help them to function and to give them choices of possible solutions. Often patients don’t feel ready to accept changes, equipment or carers in their home as it can feel like a big step to accepting that they are struggling. We are always happy to give our contact details so that they can come back to us when they feel ready.



I liaise with the Patient & Family Support Team as the wife of my patient on the Inpatient Unit feels she would benefit from some counselling. We have to consider the impact of any changes we suggest on the wider family and ensure they are happy with our suggestions too.



I’m back in the office writing up all my notes, including a full Home Visit report and placing orders for any equipment my patients need.