Thoughtful Thursday: It Really Is the Little Things That Count the Most

I had a rough day yesterday. If you read yesterday's post, you probably noticed that my day started off rough - I really didn't want to go to work, much less try to be therapeutic. I just wanted to sleep all day. I didn't, however, and I am glad that I didn't.

So, my Wednesday's are usually pretty good, but yesterday was an exception. The first two groups went pretty well - we have lots of new staff members who don't always grasp the purpose of music therapy, and I have to do lots of training which is easiest when I am working with only the new staff rather than with the seasoned staff who think they know everything and feel that I am ineffective (which I am not, but for some reason, those particular folks seem to think that the only way to get kids to do something is to yell at them - I don't yell, but I get results when allowed to do what I need to do - anyway, that's a rant that I don't need to start now...). Kids struggled in the two middle groups. The last group went well, and then I trudged up the hill in the heat and humidity for the clinical team meeting.

Most of the time, these meetings are not particularly helpful for me, but I go because it is the only place where I hear about admissions and discharges and about other things happening in the facility. My direct supervisors are not great at disseminating information, so attendance at this meeting fills some of that void. For the last several weeks, we have been focusing on learning about our new electronic data system, and most of that discussion has not been relevant to me or my role as a therapist.

Yesterday, though, I caught a glimpse of something that made me feel pretty happy.

We were discussing group treatment notes. Now, the social workers and counselors are able to do one group note that transforms into individual entries for each client who is present. They get to write the list of interventions one time per group, and then they can write individual comments for each client present as well as track their individual goals. One screen, umpteen notes completed.

This is a dream come true for me.

The Art Therapist and I currently do something around the number of 200 individual treatment notes per week. Other folks have, at the most, 80 to do per week. Most of the creative art therapy sessions are large group sessions, and this documentation takes up lots of our time. We currently document all contact with all students, but no one really looks at our documentation. We've been struggling for years to educate our co-workers about this fact.

I found the demonstration of the group note function to be very exciting, but the thing that really made me happy was to see that the clinical director had already included music therapy and art therapy in the list of treatment groups.

Just a little thing really, but something so very considerate.

Now, we are not able to use this function yet, because when things were being put together, the person in charge had no idea how we could fit within the current format. By including us in the list of group treatment options, she demonstrated to me that we have not been forgotten and will be included at some point. 

I thanked her for including us on that list. I am looking forward to telling the Art Therapist this particular fact this morning.

Some of you may be thinking, "Really? THAT is what made you feel happy?" Others of you completely get it! It is wonderful to hear that advocacy for a service and profession that you love is recognized by others. For me, it serves as a reminder that I am not invisible, and that music therapy is something that is part of the overall treatment plan at my facility. Someone outside my music therapy room recognizes this fact.

Now, all I'm waiting for is my nameplate outside the door - just like every other person in the entire facility but myself and the Art Therapist (sensing a theme here?).

For now, I am happy that I know my services will be included in our new format. I wonder when we will get to start...


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