To continue highlighting occupational therapists (OT) at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), this week we are featuring Caleigh Goulding, an OT at the BC Psychosis Program (BCPP) located at UBC Hospital.
“I absolutely love working in a tertiary program because it affords the time to build meaningful rapport and I really get to know each client and their unique strengths over time," she says. “It's so rewarding to see each individual's trajectory and triumphs over the few months they are with us!"
Being on the beautiful campus of UBC Hospital, Caleigh is thrilled by the location of the program and the therapeutic benefits it offers to the population.
“I am able to conduct a lot of my clinical work outdoors, which really lends itself to establishing therapeutic rapport with my clients as well as our daily dose of fresh air and exercise."
The BC Psychosis Program has long been on Caleigh's radar as a fantastic resource and she says “it truly is a dream of mine to work here." Prior to this role, she was working largely in an acute context, which although enjoyable, felt far away from her intention and passion to work as a Mental Health OT.
“My five-year professional plan happened sooner than expected, and I am so grateful for that!" she says. From the interview through to the first few weeks of orientation, it was clear that the team at BCPP was one she would be proud to be a part of.
“The work that this program does in connecting clients on a provincial level to the absolute best supports and services available to them is unparalleled, and I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful team."
Caleigh is encouraged by the steadfastness of the calm and supportive atmosphere within her team. “That's not to say that each day doesn't have many expected curveballs, because they absolutely do," she says. “But there hasn't been a day where l haven't witnessed a quiet or selfless above and beyond moment from one of our staff or our clients here, and that makes each moment inspirational in its own way."
“I have felt supported in my role at VCH since day one," says Caleigh. As a new member of the VCH family, she was provided with a fulsome orientation to the organization's values and mission, as well as a detailed orientation to the BCPP unit.
“The team at BCPP has really fostered a culture of respecting the uniquely individual contributions of each member. I see this weekly in our neuro-diagnostic rounds and the culmination of each individual's expertise in collaboratively developing a robust care plan for our clients."
Caleigh tells us she also feels warmly supported by the practice lead, clinical resource therapist, and regional educators as she grows in her personal practice as an OT.
“Regardless of the hurdles I come up against, I know that there is always a kind and well-informed individual to reach out to."
Caleigh says there is a tangible culture of trauma-informed care at BCPP.
“This is very important to me and something that I am committed to being mindful of in each of my interactions with our clients," she explains. “I strive to develop an understanding of the unique and deeply personal experiences that each individual I work with has lived through, to work with them to understand how best to approach our work together, and to ensure that they are afforded choice and autonomy wherever possible." Caleigh and her team also values the importance of clients leaving each interaction feeling heard, respected, and safe.
“I dearly love to learn, and am fortunate enough to be afforded opportunities to engage in learning both on a daily and more structured basis at VCH," she says. “I have gleaned so much by interacting with each of our specialists here, developing an understanding of their role, and considering how we can work collaboratively together in order to provide the best possible patient care. I've learned a lot about myself in the process."
In addition, Caleigh recognizes she has been afforded opportunities to engage in further education that are invaluable to my practice. “Most recently, I have enrolled in educational training for Action-Based Cognitive Remediation Training, which will strengthen my capacity to act as co-facilitator of this group on our unit."
“A fun fact about our unit is that we have recently opened a small store in order to mitigate the loss of shopping in community for our clients as a result of COVID-19 restrictions," she tells us. “It has grown into such an amazing opportunity for our clients to exercise choice, engage in a functional activity via budgeting, and to commune with their peers over some nostalgic treats. We are hopeful to develop some opportunities for our clients to be more involved in running the store in coming months and are excited to see the project evolve over time."