OT4OT party time :)
It's fitting that a recent OT Practice magazine was all about international work. I've observed OT in Colombia (for several months) and also in Norway. I've been in a lot of touch with the OTs in New Zealand, Canada, and the UK over the years. I get e-mails all the time from blog readers in foreign countries who want to touch base. In some countries OT is more understood – like in Norway, where everyone I knew made comments like “Ooh, this would be good to use in OT”….I was shocked so many people knew what it was and what we do. It was lovely. And it was great to see OTs working in Colombia who had limited resources as part of being in a 3rd world country, but still did a fabulous job of providing high quality care.
One of my long-term goals will be to go do OT in a Spanish-speaking country for a while, to get immersed and learn Spanish better (don't worry, School Steps – not planning for a long time ;)). And I know there are many therapists who do missions in other countries. I feel like OT most definitely has a global identity and it's fascinating to learn about how it works in other countries, from insurance to relationships to resource access. For example, in the USA we learn how to out-source, for example for custom burn garments. Because we can. But in countries like South Africa, the OTs learn to sew custom garments themselves, because they don't have outsourcing possibilities. That's amazing to me!
I don't have any major enlightening thoughts on this subject besides I am so glad that there is an OT4OT helping to further the profession of OT in a very Centennial Vision kind of way. 🙂 Hopefully I can attend some of the sessions being held tomorrow!