What is Occupational Therapy? Spreading the word on role-emerging placement.

It’s OT week!

For those considering a career in OT, be prepared to spend your career explaining what you do to service users, other agencies and your mum.  It’s always good to have a stock answer that you can reel off.

The way I like to describe what we do is: OT’s believe what you do affects how you feel. We help you do the things you want or need to do to make you feel good about yourself.

OT week is about promoting our profession and telling as many people as possible how amazing OT is. Hopefully if we promote ourselves effectively, we can stop having to explain what we do.

Not only is it OT week, it’s also week one of my role-emerging placement in a residential unit  for adults with brain injuries. I need to promote OT to residents and staff. For those not in the know, a role emerging placement (or sometimes called non-traditional placement) is where they drop terrified third year OT students into a service that does not have any occupational therapy input. It’s then up to the students to make an OT service from scratch. This type of placement hopefully demonstrates that OT belongs everywhere (did I mention how amazing we are?) and hopefully, enables the terrified OT student blossom into a proper OT.

To promote our service, my placement buddy and I have decided to do an informal presentation for staff and service users. We are going to introduce ourselves and explain what OT is. We spent quite a while thinking of the best and most succinct way of putting this across. This involved a lot of thought (and greatly facilitated by some cups of tea and biscuits).

We thought these resources fit the bill for us:

Because of OT

This is a great little video, if you’ve not seen it yet I would really recommend watching it.

The #WhatisOT poster was devised on Twitter from OT’s tweets on how they explain occupational therapy. What I like is that there is something for everybody on this poster. If you don’t understand one definition, you may find another that clicks with you. Thanks to fellow OT students Sam and Lou for recommending this (Lou has her own blog).

what is ot

We’ve also sent off for our OT week pack which is full of helpful leaflets, pens and balloons which we are going to have dotted around for people to take. Hey, who doesn’t like a free pen?

Slide1I think that we’ve chosen the right resources for us but there will be some clients with cognitive impairments and learning difficulties so I have adapted the what is OT poster into something simpler. Please feel free to use it if you find it useful.

So it’s into the unknown I go! It will be interesting to see whether we have pitched it right and whether we explain OT well enough for people to get on board. I feel a reflection is imminent…

I’ll keep you posted. As always I’d love to know your views of simple ways that you have explained and promoted OT.

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2 thoughts on “What is Occupational Therapy? Spreading the word on role-emerging placement.

  1. Hi! I’m a senior at a college in the United States currently in the process of applying to graduate programs in occupational therapy. I’m always looking for new OT blogs to read (there aren’t as many as I would like out there), and I’m happy I found yours! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, and I hope to see more from you!

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