Photo: Pixabay: Hobim

Today is the last day I am officially employed by the NHS. I will be shedding some of my self-identity, maybe a large part. But first, let me recall something that happened a week or two ago. I needed access to my work laptop but because I have been on leave since December I had to phone the I.T. department. So I spoke to some three very pleasant guys on the helpdesk. I also drove twice to NHS sites ten miles away to try and get reconnectted. But after about four hours of trying to get back online no luck! I’ve worked out other ways of getting the information that I need.

The incident was a revelation. If I go back to working in the NHS even on an irregular part-time basis I would inevitably have this type of hoop to jump through on a regular basis. What appears to be a simple task often becomes very complicated due to processes and procedures. This increases the daily stressors experienced by staff. I don’t need that anymore.

And so, last week I met my lovely manager. Not only did I hand back my laptop but my I.D. badges and all the other paraphernalia associated with work. I’m going to resign my membership of the Royal College or Occupational Therapists and remove myself from the register of the Health and Social Care Professions Council. I’m done. So, I’m walking off into the sunset into a completely new chapter of my life. It feels like a leap of faith but, rather than being scared, I’m excited.

It feels strange to shed part of my self-identity, my professional image. I worked hard to achieve and maintain my status as an occupational therapist. Yet I’m absolutely certain it’s the right thing to do. It gives me freedom to pursue different avenues. I’m not required to maintain my learning and development or pay expensive fees. And in some ways I might be able to put my old profession’s philosophy to better use in my own life outside of it. Maybe meaning through occupation will be easier to achieve standing on my own two feet without the constraints of rules and regulations. Yes, I need an income on top of my pension but don’t worry. I’ve got lots of ideas up my sleeve!

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