Sharing a Client Across the Country – How We Made It Work for All of Us

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Image of music therapist Winifred Beevers

This presentation is relevant to music therapists whose clients travel, for whom continuity of care is important. It is relevant for music therapists who would like to collaborate with another music therapist and share the care delivery for their clients.

This presentation details the development of an intraprofessional collaboration and client sharing between two Registered Music Therapists (RMT) in different states in Australia. One is in a regional town in New South Wales (NSW RMT). The second is in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria (VIC RMT). The RMT’s were well known to each other through group teleconference supervision sessions, though are yet to meet in-person.

The client is a woman with high anxiety, who is the main carer for her physically disabled husband. The client routinely spent a week in Melbourne each month as respite from her caring duties and wanted to continue with her fortnightly music therapy sessions. The client did not want telehealth saying she preferred in-person sessions.

NSW RMT contacted VIC RMT and posed the questions – can this work, how can we make this work and what will the outcomes be? What will this day in our lives look like?

This presentation will show how we established the working and therapy relationship. It will show why we agreed that clear and open communication was necessary (Jelley et al 2013) for both feedback to the clients’ care team and to document the sessions. How we divided tasks according to skill and agreed on shared tasks (Hoeft et al 2013).

The presentation will detail how and why we agreed to using the same framework for progress notes, what forms we used and that they would be in a stored in secure cloud storage file, accessible by the two RMT’s only (Pithara et al 2020). We further agreed to share all documents in the cloud file and that each would update the notes regularly.

The presentation will include a discussion about the outcomes for the two RMT’s. In what ways the collaboration worked well (Bhat & Goldszmidt 2020), what surprises there were (West & Lyubovnikova 2013), what challenges arose and how they were managed by the RMT’s.

The presentation will close with the client’s outcomes and reflections, best summarised by her:

“It’s been really interesting for me – seeing you both. You’re both very supportive, I get to do different things with each of you. Neither of you expect perfection.”

Learner Objectives

Domain III – Treatment Implementation and Documentation
B. Documentation
2. Record client responses, progress, and outcomes in a secure manner.

Domain IV – Evaluation and Termination of Treatment
A. Evaluation
7. Communicate with client and/or client’s family, caregivers, treatment team, and personal network as appropriate.

Domain V. Professional Development and Responsibilities:
A. Professional Development
1. Assess areas for professional growth, prioritize, and establish plan of action.
4. Engage in collaborative work with colleagues.

Presenter Biographies

Winifred works with people over 55, in their home, residential facilities and in hospital. Winifred’s expertise includes all forms of dementia, neurological disorders, palliative care and mental health.

Meghan has 18 years’ experience as an RMT working with various populations such as disability, mental health, aged care, ABI, and trauma. She also loves being a wife and mum.