What is an OT?

by Cheryl Hall on April 16th, 2023

I love social media for its power to raise awareness. The occupational therapy online community does its part to answer the question “What is an OT?” every day. By engaging in positive conversations about OT and sharing stories of OT’s impact on patient well-being, purpose and health, they elevate the profile of OTs.

In honor of Occupation Therapy Month, I challenged myself to write my best description of OT that was short enough to easily share across my social media sites. See what you think!

“As clinical healthcare professionals, occupational therapists provide patient-centered care focused on success in daily activities and occupations across all ages, settings and diagnoses.”

While my short description of OT wasn’t bad, it did leave out some of my favorite ways to describe OT like….

Adaptive: After clinical evaluation, OT adapts the process, task, or environment to help a patient achieve their occupational goals. For me, this is the heart of OT!

Deliberate: OT evaluates the whole person and their environments in a methodical and deliberate way to lay out a step-by-step approach to each patient goal.

Empowering: From bathing to cooking and from driving to gardening, OT empowers patients gain access to and independence in key occupations.

Holistic: OT is one of the few healthcare professions whose focus is truly holistic. The patient’s health, environment, barriers and goals are evaluated in one setting and by one professional to develop a plan of action.

Synergistic: OT brings it all together. In a healthcare world that is more and more specialized, OT is focused on how the patient is impacted by their health conditions and how occupational can improve function.

If you want to see the rest of my favorite ways to describe OT, follow the #ABCsofOT challenge on Instagram – another fun way to promote OT in OT Month.

Have I left your favorite out? Drop a comment below!

  • About Me

    Cheryl Hall
    Occupational Therapist
    Maryland, United States

    Welcome to a site devoted to sharing experience, knowledge and resources to make your job of being a great therapist a lot easier.

    I have been an occupational therapist for more than 30 years. I graduated from San Jose State University with degrees in Occupational Therapy, Gerontology, and Early Child Development. My passion is working with adults and children in home health but I have also worked in rehab, sub-acute rehab, hand therapy, transitional living for TBI, and hospital-based outpatient settings.

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