A Day at Headley Court

A day at Headley Court

Welcome to my working world! I invite you to read about my typical day at Headley Court.

All my patients are individually referred by the various OT’s from all the departments, such as Complex Trauma, Lower Limbs, Upper Limbs, Neuro etc. I am given details of the individual’s injuries and what the referring OT goals are for the patient. In the future when I see a returning patient on the Admissions List on the system, I will timetable sessions for that patient to continue Horticultural Therapy in their Rehab Program. The needs will vary admission to admission as the patient progresses in their rehab journey. I do have other patients calling by and I call these folk ‘Passing Trade/Traffic’. I would never turn anyone away and always engage with the patient and inform their OT of their visit.

I begin my day by making my first port of call the Ladies (chickens) making sure they have adequate food, water and then the Greenhouse calls to begin my daily crop walk. This includes checking for watering, pests and diseases, what plants need attention, what is ready for harvesting etc. Then I can begin to finalise my treatment plan for the patients I will be engaging with on that day. Note to self, we are at the mercy of the weather too!

Collecting together materials and tools for the sessions is next on the list. If my Assistant is with me, we have a brief meeting on the tasks to be carried out and the patient list for the day. We discuss the patients’ needs and how she may assist.

My office is in the Jubilee Rehabilitation Complex where Complex Trauma is based and a ten minute walk from the greenhouse. So the next port of call is the office. I check my emails, catch up with the OT’s regarding patients, meetings etc. and make a cup of tea. Then it is back to the greenhouse to be ready to greet my first patient to ensure start to build a good rapport. On the arrival of patients I explain what I would like them to take part in and check that is ok with the patient. It may be the patient is very tired, in pain, stressed, troubled or had a bad nights’ sleep. So flexibility and thinking on my feet is key. All the planning can be altered in a breath.

At the end of the morning sessions, the Assistant and I have a brief catch up on the mornings events and I return to the office to carry out various admin tasks for Headley Court and HighGround. Frequently on my travels to and fro I meet one of my patients and they like to have catch up on various matters – not always horticulture! Once in the office, often I will speak with various OT’s regarding the session with their patients and giving my feedback. Quick bite for lunch and back to the computer or attending one of the weekly meetings. It is soon time to return to the greenhouse and get ready for the afternoon patients. I have another brief catch up with the Assistant to keep her in the loop before their arrival.

When these sessions end, I carry out another crop walk and check on the hens. The greenhouse may need a tidy up or watering, outside may need watering or clearing of items used earlier. I check on the hens to make sure they are happy girlies and give them a treat.

Some planning for the next day is carried out and then a return to the office for admin and catch up with the OT’s. Not forgetting that all important cup of tea!