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Interested in Private Practice

Considering private work? Some food for thought…

Have you been tempted to undertake work as an independent OT but feeling unsure? In this short article we share some guidance for anyone considering the step and outline how we can support your journey.

There can often be a feeling of security and comfort while working in statutory services and the thought of leaving can bring feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty. Of course, you will never know until you try.

Now more than ever, OTs are considering a change and making the leap into private practice where there is a growing demand. This could be attributed to increasing pressures within the NHS and other statutory services where lengthy waiting lists and low morale in the workplace is common. For OTs especially, the creativity is often restricted to a standardised pathway reducing the ability to address individual needs.

Every OT’s journey into private practice is an individual one. Some decide to step away from public sector work altogether and embrace private practice, whilst others choose to transition over time which allows them to blend their NHS or Social Services careers and find their feet with private practice. When considering the options available it is important to think about the balance you are looking for between private practice, your other work commitments and lifestyle choices. OTs who transition into working solely in private practice from the start are often looking for a fresh start and the elusive ‘work life balance’ that is achievable from the flexibility of being fully self-employed.

A dilemma we often hear from OTs considering private practice is that on the one hand they are feeling burnt out and frustrated in their current roles, but on the other they have a strong sense of commitment and obligation to their public sector role and work colleagues. In these circumstances we would recommend a blend of 1 or 2 days a week in private practice that can introduce an element of control and a ‘change of scene’ to your working life.

With effective organisation and time management, private practice can offer an alternative style of working that allows a more creative clinical approach with less constraints, ultimately delivering greater job satisfaction and exciting career development.

We often get calls from OTs interested in having an honest conversation about private practice. We can provide an insight into what The OT Practice can offer an aspiring independent OT; including resources, a supportive office team and management from expert clinicians.

As someone starting out in private practice you need to be clear about what your core skills are but also what makes you unique, whether that be a qualification you have in a specialist area or experience working with a specific condition or injury. We consider every OT’s individual strengths and offer them cases within their comfort zone. When ready, we encourage our OTs to develop new skills and gain experience in new areas, with the support of our in-house expert clinicians.

Many of our new starters are confident in their clinical skills but require that additional support with organisation and business skills. Some key qualities of an independent OT include excellent time management, sound assessment skills, report writing and communication. Where necessary, we provide that extra level of support with the planning and management of each case so your transition to private practice can feel far less daunting. This allows you to develop those key skills of managing a case load and organising your time.

Here are some additional insights directly from a few of our OTs who have made the jump into private practice:

‘A lot of my colleagues had already tried it, so I thought: “Well, it can’t be that scary!”. One colleague had left the NHS to work as a case manager, and explained to me how convenient private work could be, especially with regards to fitting it around family responsibilities. Then, I met The OT Practice at a conference and decided to apply to work with them.’
Read Laura’s full story

‘I was quite scared about going independent, so I was reassured by support networks and resources The OT Practice provide. When I spoke to them the team were so helpful, supportive and approachable, I was glad I found them.’
Read Jen’s full story

‘I found the idea of going independent on my own overwhelming. The OT Practice gives me peace of mind because the office staff double-check things, so I know that they’ve reviewed my reports and double-checked my figures. They provide supervision, support and an accessible case management system so that I can keep track of all my cases.’
Read Ganga’s full story

For those who are tentative, we would recommend considering a phased transition into private practice to get a taste of the work, to see what it’s like alongside your present job and gain valuable experience. Doing private work through The OT Practice can be part of your portfolio of roles as all we request is a minimum of 1 day a week to dedicate to private practice. If you have the time to commit to this then why not try it?

If you are interested in finding out more about working for The OT Practice or private practice more generally, please get in touch. Our OT Network Manager, Emma who is an OT herself, is in charge of finding talented OTs to join The OT Practice and supporting them throughout their career with us.

Contact emma@theotpractice.co.uk or call us on 0330 024 9910.

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