Above photo: VCH occupational therapist Tammam.
Congratulations to Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Occupational Therapist (OT) Tammam for being nominated for the Chris Courtney award. The Chris Courtney award, originating with the British Columbia Society of Occupational Therapists and maintained by UBC, recognizes the commitment of fieldwork educators across British Columbia.
Tammam was nominated for this prestigious award for his commitment to teaching and mentoring students. We asked him a few questions about his health care journey, as well as his recent achievement.
I have been working for VCH for the past two years as a member of the Community Rehab and Resource team which is part of Complex Rehab Supports. Being part of this team allows me to work with highly experienced, fun, and dedicated colleagues, where our diverse skills complement one another. I have been practicing occupational therapy for 18 years. Previously, I worked in the U.S. and Quebec. In Montreal, I was a faculty lecturer for the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University where I started taking students while working at the Jewish General Hospital.
I started taking students because I enjoy teaching and mentoring. Taking students allows me to share my vision about the untapped potential of occupational therapy. It allows me to play a small role in shaping and promoting our profession. In addition, I wanted to support the UBC Occupational Therapy program. I think it's important that we share our knowledge and expertise with other students and colleagues.
I find taking students to be beneficial to my practice. Having students encourages me to be more explicit about my clinical reasoning and practice in general. Such process helps my professional self-reflection, especially around how much my daily practice reflects the theories and principles of occupational therapy. Taking students has been helpful in challenging me to demonstrate knowledge translation in a clinical setting and staying current on new literature and evidence-based practice.
Towards the end of one practicum, my student and I were discussing her work on a case. She voiced her critical analysis of an assessment that was completed by another occupational therapist and her phone interaction with that therapist. The student was able to provide her critical opinion of why she disagreed with some of the other occupational therapist's analysis and interventions, and provided a sound evidence-based argument to support her judgment. I think that moment was memorable and beautiful because it demonstrated the importance of teaching students how to think for themselves. This moment was a reminder of my responsibility to help students develop critical thinking skills that are rooted in sound theory and scientific process, and the impact this can have on their future professional development.
In recognition of OT month we are acknowledging our OT award nominees and winners. We would like to congratulate Tammam for being nominated for the Chris Courtney Award, and for his dedication to teaching and mentoring OT students. Keep up the great work!
Chris Courtney was an Occupational Therapist who was passionate about continuing education and giving back to the profession. She was a champion of student education and was described by Occupational Therapy students as an excellent fieldwork educator. The Chris Courtney Award for Excellence in Fieldwork Supervision recognizes at least one Occupational Therapist per year who demonstrates excellence in, and commitment to, the clinical education of Occupational Therapy students.