Reflections on a busy week; we can make a difference

Sunday afternoon is usually the time when Monday morning starts looming in my mind, wondering what the week will bring. To ring the changes, I’m going to look back over the past week and see what I can learn from it. Last Sunday I was anxious about starting a new Enquiry-Based Learning case for our MSc occupational therapy students and there was the social media workshop on Wednesday, a total unknown.

Actually, it was a brilliant week, one of those that remind me why I do what I do. The students returned from Easter leave having read the novel ‘Elizabeth is Missing’ by Emma Healy and ready to discuss the impact of dementia on the occupations of an 81 year old lady. On Tuesday evening an Inaugural Lecture by Professor Hornberger was live streamed from the University of East Anglia and I watched it at my desk at home. We had the opportunity to learn more about the latest research and the devastating effects of dementia that go way beyond memory loss.

Then Wednesday. What an amazing day that was. Working with my colleague Tony Jermy @ODPGuru we started the social media day with a wide range of colleagues, health practitioners and academics. A few had no Twitter account and were terrified. We had speakers travelling from afar who we had met on Twitter, but never face-to-face. It sounded like a recipe for disaster, but our enthusiasm along with the generosity and passion of our speakers meant that the day was a huge success. Everyone got engaged on Twitter and by 9.00 in the evening our Tweet Chat had involved a few more. Our hashtag #UEA4Health had over 3 million impressions!

My favourite tweet with 1,731 impressions was, ‘#UEA4Health @thebestjoan broke out of his isolation and #SoMe put the world in his hands; he connected & became himself #inspiration’. The favourite story of the day was from @JennytheM who wrote on the wall in theatres to get her #skintoskin message across. At the end of the day my ‘take home’ message was that people with courage and passion can make a difference, they can improve care. Social media connects and supports those who believe in making the world a better place.

By Friday I was tired but still buzzing. I described myself feeling like a toddler who has eaten too many Haribos. Then, as I caught up with a growing number of emails I discovered that the Canadian Occupational Therapy Association had published a blog about my work with veterans. That gave me the chance to give some great charities and brilliant people a shout out on social media. Seeing the past four years work summed up in one place gave me another pause to reflect on how privileged I am to have these opportunities.

So… what will tomorrow bring? I will stay positive, keep connecting and stay open to all possibilities.

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