Tips from NBCOT/AOTA Conclave for OT students

Hodge podge of random tips or info or observations from sessions or speeches at Conclave…no easy way to make it all flow together. I won’t even try. Sorry.

“When it’s dark enough you can see the stars…” – a good quote to keep in mind for people undergoing the darkest periods of their life with you by their side.
Be proactive, be confident, show respect…all your basic professional and altruistic behaviors.
“Excellent substance, not enough marketing” in OT – a comment made by one of the lecturers. I agree. OT has so much to offer EVERYONE, yet nobody knows what an OT Fdoes. We all know speech therapists, recreational therapists, physical therapists…rocket scientists…why not OT? We need to be creative about our marketing!
Fieldwork: Stay a student, don’t just accept a job on fieldwork, even if it seems amazing. You will end up transitioning from student to entry-level practitioner WHILE on fieldwork since you are going to be an employee there, and you lose out on the student experience!
OTPF in a few sentences…
Performance skills: based on client factors, and typically involve “…ing” words.

Areas of Occupation: What people do in daily life…like work, school, etc

Performance Patterns: How people put areas of occupation together to make their routines and habits…

Context: Envelops all these things

How to stay occupation-based:
Language is critical – use words, in insurance and in talking to others, that focuses on occupation, purposeful activity, etc. Use the term occupational profile! If you mention preparatory methods like ROM, make it end up with a functional statement, ie “done to prevent contractures in his shoulder so he can raise his arms to do __________ (purposeful activity like grooming).

MAKE THE LINK for people..of how things tie back into occupation…don’t just assume the family gets what you are doing and why. Especially when you ARE doing activities like arm bike. “This arm bike helps with strength and endurance, which are really important for the client to be able to do _________”
Be creative in being occupation-based, like in a rehab hospital where it is hard. Have the client clean real windows or mirrors in the bathroom or rehab gym…water plants in their own room…organize stuff in client’s drawer with them…have client hang his/herget well cards on a bulletin board…do crossword puzzles….put clothes away..make the hospital bed…read the TV guide and plan out shows…write up a meal card…lots of options that are occupation-based even with the rigid confines of a rehab hospital.

About 99% of the 560 OT students at Conclave…were attractive little 20-somethings, mostly females. All the male hotel employees were in heaven. I pointed out to Cheryl that almost all of them were quite trim (statistically unusual in the US) and her comment was “OT students are too stressed to eat”.

We need to remember quality of life is about meaningful engagement in occupation! Occupation is NOT referring to just “work” in this case. It could ANY activity that brings you fulfillment!
NBCOT has announced they are changing the template of the licensing exam for those students graduating in May, for example, my class. They will be putting out information for the new test in Fall of 2008. They have a website…but last I checked, no news on this exam change!

Remember the Centennial Vision…we need to find ways to bring OT into the 21st century…be proactive, be creative…donate your time or energy or money or SOMETHING…keep the profession ALIVE! Be the best OT you can be! ::waves pom poms::


Nov 27, 2007 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none