Today’s post is a little bit different from my normal posts. A
I normally don’t like to blog about ‘topical’ issues, mainly because I am too slow at writing posts. I’m also generally a day or two behind with what is going on in the world. I also don’t normally write about my working life outside of my blog. One because it is so different from what I blog about and two because I like to keep it separate. For today only I am making an exception though, and discussing everything Occupational Therapy related.
What is Occupational Therapy?
In my working life and away from this blog I am an Occupational Therapist, also known as OT. Many people often ask what is Occupational Therapy? Well, it is an allied health profession which works with people of all ages. To quote the Royal College of Occupational Therapists:
Occupational therapy (OT) is a science degree-based, health and social care profession, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council. Occupational therapy takes a “whole-person approach” to both mental and physical health and wellbeing and enables individuals to achieve their full potential.Royal College of Occupational Therapists
The fundamental principle to Occupational Therapy is in the name itself; occupation. This has a slightly different meaning to what you may perceive the word occupation to be. In Occupational Therapy, occupation is any activity that you engage in within your day to day life. This could be as part of; self-care such as washing and dressing, work (productivity), or leisure ‘activities’. These occupations are meaningful and purposeful to you.
To spot an OT, look out for bottle green trousers and a white tunic with bottle green piping. Green is the profession’s colour!
How does Occupational Therapy Work?
Taking the above statement into account; imagine if something happened to you, either physically or mentally. This event then had an impact on how you managed in your day to day life. Well, Occupational Therapists would be there to aid you in either getting back to doing what you were/wanted to be doing, or adapting a way for you to do so. This could be through assessments and goal setting, physical adaptations, or group / 1:1 work. Occupational Therapists work in a varied range of areas and all aim to improve health and well-being.
These videos below help to describe Occupational Therapy and how it helps people:
Obviously Occupational Therapy will have its limits; as does every profession. There are lots of budget cuts happening that are having an impact on occupational therapy services within the NHS. I currently work within the NHS, so know what it is like first hand with the budget cuts. I also know that Occupational Therapists are usually a less well-known professionals. That is why I felt it was important to write this blog post today; to spread awareness and highlight this wonderful profession.
Which leads me onto …
Occupational Therapy (OT) Week 2018
Every year there is a week in the UK that celebrates and raises awareness for the profession. This year it is from 5th November – 11th November. Organised by The Royal College of Occupational Therapists, with a different theme each year.
This year’s theme is about Securing the future of the profession. To do this they are asking occupational therapists to pledge their support in doing so. Here is my pledge:
In order to complete my pledge, I am organising an information board at work to promote what occupational therapy is, and what we do. I have also baked a few buns for my work colleagues (there’s nothing better than a sweet treat to get a message across is there?) I guess this post is also a way of working on my pledge. If I have helped at least one person gain an understanding of Occupational Therapy, then I securing the future of the profession!
So, there is a brief overview of Occupational Therapy! To become an Occupational Therapist you have to undertake a Bachelor of Health Science (BHSc) in Occupational Therapy. You also conduct practice placements. This includes spending time out in practice with OTs as your educators. If I have pricked your interest in this profession, and you would like to know more about how to become an occupational therapist, check out RCOTs page for more information.
Have you heard of Occupational Therapy before? Let me know in the comments below!
Look out on twitter for the following hashtags: #OTPledge #ValueOfOT and #OTWeek2018.