Top 4 Online Resources to Motivate Occupational Therapists
Whether you’re a burgeoning student in the occupational therapy field or a seasoned professional, the digital age provides many significant and free resources to boost your career and practice—including motivation for occupational therapists.
From entrepreneurs to employees, from beginning of life to end of life care, there’s an online resource and community for you! And with just the click of a mouse, you can even build a site of your own.
“I definitely think starting a blog, or at least proactively participating in social media, is an essential part of the modern occupational therapy experience,” says Sharon Sharpe, an occupational therapist with over 20 years of practice across nearly every discipline and in multiple states. “It’s the perfect way to express, teach, learn and connect. And it’s also an easy and obvious way to market yourself. It shows your communication skills to potential employers and client, while giving you an outlet for your passion.”
“It’s also another way to provide care for your patients. We are typically great motivators in challenging situations, so writing can be another way to coach people,” Sharpe says. “And the great thing about writing online is that your words keep speaking, even when you’re not physically present.”
In agreement with this sentiment, here are some of the most helpful and interesting occupational therapy websites available to inspire, encourage and even challenge the status quo.
1. The Elephant in the Digital Room
The American Occupational Therapy Association Inc. website isn’t flashy or warm-and-fuzzy, but it is highly comprehensive and acts as a digital encyclopedia of occupational therapist expertise, giving the field and its professionals ample access the what matters most in the world of occupational therapy. Everything from legislative updates, promotional ideas, how to start your own business, academic resources and much more are at your fingertips. Full access is achieved through organization membership, which many occupational therapists will say is pretty much a must for your career.
In terms of inspiration, AOTA is a essential for any occupational therapists who wants to create his/her own content. It’s fantastic for research and runs as deep as it does wide. While we think it could use some love in the design department, it’s second-to-none for comprehensive content and factual expertise.
2. Simple, Sweet and Wholistic
OT Potential was created by Sarah Lyon, an occupational therapist, wife and mother who has “a passion for producing content to help occupational therapists provide the best care possible.”
She started her occupational therapist journey full-time in 2011 and describes how she was creating all the forms and communication materials for her employer when she decided to dig into the digital sphere and start seeking out a community for support and helpful solutions. She didn’t just want to know what worked, but also what didn’t work, so she and others could learn and feel better about their patient care.
Since 2015, she’s written over 70+ articles, including articles for Saebo, WebPT, and MedBridge, in addition to serving as the Occupational Therapy Expert at Verywell.com. Her website includes interesting and diverse interviews of occupational therapist specialists and tons of career advice.
She gets extra points for her magazine-feel, because the design and layout are clean, crisp and inviting. And her content is well-informed and sincere.
3. Fun and For the Young: A Pediatric Treasure Chest
Geared specifically towards the subfield of pediatric occupational therapy, The OT Toolbox is packed with upbeat, colorful, imaginative and helpful articles for occupational therapists, parents and teachers.
The content is created by a variety of practitioners who have carved out their niches in pediatric care. The articles are typically short, to-the-point and extremely pragmatic for day-to-day practice. If you’re looking for ideas personally, or know colleagues in the field, this is the place to go.
The OT Toolbox gets extra points for adorable pictures and fun graphics.
4. Continued Learning, Continued Relevance
The final site being showcased is dedicated to continuing education for occupational therapists, but is part of a wider education umbrella that includes speech pathologists, audiologists, physical therapy and continuing education specialists. OccupationalTherapy.com provides an annual, fee-based subscription for CEUs across a spectrum of practices, and made the list because it maximizes digital technologies, education and a smart design through a robust platform centered around the culture of community.
The husband and wife team “envisioned the future of continuing education, challenged the outdated classroom model, and pioneered an unprecedented online platform for working professionals.” We think this site serves as a great CEU resource and as an example of how hard-working, visionary people can disrupt the status quo and provide better solutions to common needs and problems.
The Bottom Line
There are many, many resources available for occupational therapists, and these are just some of the thought-leaders who deserve credit where it’s due. Whether you need their particular resources or not, they can serve as inspiration for your future online.