If it's October, it's time for a Clinical Corner article that celebrates another anniversary with Sunrise Medical Canada. This month marks 7 years that I have been with Sunrise Medical. Time flies! Allow me to share some reflections of the past year with you.
It has been well over a year since my Clinical Corner blog moved from Word Press, a blogging micro-site, to the Sunrise Medical website. With the move of the blog to our website, therapists are discovering that they can request a live webinar or a Lunch and Learn if they work in or near the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). A minimum of 5 participants is required in order to schedule a webinar or a Lunch and Learn. If you are a therapist in Canada, feel free to reach out to me to schedule a webinar for you and your colleagues. A list of topics can be found at Webinar and Seminar Requests (now defunct).
Therapists, therapist assistants, student therapists, funders and vendors in Canada continue to discover my Cyber Series, which is a calendar of monthly webinars focusing on a different topic related to seating and mobility each month. I have heard that many people are finding my Cyber Series through word of mouth, which is a very nice compliment. Thank you! We are now entering our fifth year of hosting the Cyber Series. The live webinars are offered at four different times each month to try to be as convenient as possible for therapists across Canada. Some therapists tell me that they eat their lunches while attending the webinars. Other therapists view the webinars as part of organized groups at facilities at different times during the day.
Many therapists have been attending the Cyber Series since it was introduced in 2013. Some of you will notice that over the past 5 years, webinar topics have been repeated. There is a reason for this. There will always be people who are new to our Cyber Series or new to the world of seating and mobility. For therapists who have been attending the webinars regularly for some time, repeating a topic allows for a refresher on the topic, particularly if it has been some time since the webinar was first presented. Any updates to the evidence on the webinar topic since it was first presented will always be incorporated in the newest webinar content. I may have mentioned in the past that I have a Master of Health Management degree, for which I took courses that included evidence-based practice and knowledge translation. In terms of knowledge translation, it is important to have information repeated. Intuitively, we know this. Sometimes hearing information that we may already know reminds us of that knowledge and makes us conscious of it in our practices.
Speaking of knowledge translation, I had the opportunity to present on knowledge translation at two conferences this past year. I spoke on Leading Evidence-based Practice Change at the Canadian Seating and Mobility Conference in Toronto in May and at the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Conference in Charlottetown, PEI in June. I believe it is an important topic as research shows that high-quality evidence is not applied in practice consistently. It is vital to think about how we implement knowledge into practice – not only professionally and amongst our peers, but also how we impart information to clients, caregivers and staff. Often more than one method of communication is required. It may not be sufficient to state a message once and expect a change to occur. The change may not "stick", particularly if there are additional barriers to prevent a change in action. Principles of knowledge translation and adult learning theory can be used effectively to lead evidence-based practice change in any clinical setting.
Were you unable to attend either of those conference presentations but interested in the topic? Plan to attend the May 2018 Cyber Series webinar on Leading Evidence-Based Practice Change.
Another topic that I had the opportunity to present on in the past year was Expanding Roles of Therapist Assistants and Wheelchair Provision. I spoke on this at the International Seating Symposium in Nashville in March. It was very interesting to speak to a primarily American audience, particularly with the ensuing discussion, which highlighted some of the differences between the Canadian and American health care systems and the educational requirements for becoming a therapist assistant. Expanding Roles of Therapist Assistants and Wheelchair Provision will be presented as a webinar in June 2018 of the Cyber Series.
If you are a regular reader of the Clinical Corner blog, you may recall that I wrote a two-part article on The Role of the OTA/PTA in Wheelchair Provision in 2016, based on the suggestion of a therapist. I would like to take this opportunity to remind Clinical Corner readers and Cyber Series webinar attendees that I am open to suggestions for future topics! Please email me at Sheilagh.Sherman@sunmed.com with your suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you for sharing this past year with me.