So, the dilemma becomes, "Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?" An organization can not have an OT department without OT's, but how do international OT's develop OT departments within Egypt? Is it expected that OT's simply re-locate to Egypt in the hope of developing services within organizations (i.e. hospitals, schools, clinics, community based programs etc.) or do these organizations need to request the services of OT's?
Hence, my writing this entry.
Now that there is a developing awareness from international OT's regarding the need for their services within Egypt, we need more Egyptian organizations willing to hire these therapists to develop programs.
Who would I like to hear from?
- Egyptian organizations who have an understanding of how their organization can benefit from OT services and want to hire OT's to develop OT programs.
- Egyptian organizations that would like to know more about what OT is and how their specific population in need may benefit from hiring OT's to develop OT programs.
There is now a small, but growing number, of therapists working and living in Cairo that can provide organizations with further information about OT.
What are some examples of specific organizations in Egypt that may benefit from OT programs?
- Occupational Therapists are part of the rehabilitation team, so every hospital within Egypt that already has a physiotherapy department should also have an occupational therapy department....and if there are no rehabilitation services offered within the hospital, then perhaps there should be. OT's have great organizational skills and can also initiate the development of a rehabilitation unit within hospitals.
- Occupational Therapists are part of the mental health team, so every psychiatric hospital and/or clinic within Egypt can benefit from the services of an OT. They work alongside psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, recreational, music and art therapists. OT's have a tremendous understanding of the psychological benefits of performing meaningful activities.
- Occupational Therapists are part of the educational team, so every school within Egypt should have the services of an OT. There are plenty of children with special needs who attend mainstream schools and who are struggling without support. Why should they struggle within a mainstream school if they can be provided support within school to be successful and stay in that school? It is foolish to believe that children with special needs only go to "special schools." Perhaps it is true that there are only a few schools in Egypt who specialize in treating these children, but that does not mean that children with special needs do not exist in mainstream schools.
- Occupational Therapists are part of the community team. OT's specialize in assessing and adapting a person's environment in order to facilitate participation in functional every day tasks. OT's can assess a person's home, work environment, and community for safety and make recommendations for modifications and equipment needed for person's with special needs.
I would be thrilled to hear from some organizations and would like to be able to provide the link between the organization and international OT's.