Nov 30 / Kimberly Breeden, MS, OTR/L

Information Can Help Promote Occupational Therapy

I had a great experience at my home health job the other day that I wanted to share. I was in the  home with a nurse who also works for my agency. We completed the visit and walked out together saying the usual good-byes. As we started toward our separate cars she told me, “by the way, I was reading one of your notes the other day. I had no idea that OT worked on the psychological issues so much. I can really see how OT could help with those patients that struggle with following our recommendations”. Wow! That made my day. One small win for occupational therapy advocacy! Some days for me it feels like OT visits are more and more limited, and I see other disciplines addressing areas that traditionally were always referred to OT. I have been trying to find opportunities to relay to my colleagues how OT is unique in that we can address psychosocial needs as well as the physical needs of our clients.  
And for a moment, I took credit for this little win. Yes, I did take the time to document specifically the psychosocial interventions such as coaching and motivational interviewing that I utilized. Yes, I did document how these interventions were addressing the client’s behaviors toward self-management of their diabetes and congestive heart failure. Yes, I did put in the effort to learn about these strategies and implement them. But, I was able to do this because of the advocacy that my state association had carried out to ensure that OT practitioners are recognized as mental health practitioners. I was able to do this because of the years and years of research and literature that exists on the benefits of these interventions. I was able to do this because of innovative OTs and OTAs who developed models and frameworks for using these strategies in occupational therapy.  
My take away from this was that I was able to advocate for the value of occupational therapy in my home health setting because I had information. And then I realized, this is why I helped create Aspire OT. We work at Aspire OT to create occupational therapy continuing education that provides occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants the information they need to provide excellent care as well as advocate to the effectiveness and value of their services in their own practice settings. Information is power; we are powerful if we use the information available to us to demonstrate how beneficial our services are. I hope you have your own small occupational therapy win this week! 

Written by Kimberly Breeden, MS, OTR/L
Founding Partner, Aspire OT
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The OTPF, 4th Edition, Understanding and Apply the Revised Document

The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework 4th edition is a critical document to support and advance practice, education, research, and advocacy. The Commission on Practice will discuss the latest revision to help OT and OTAs to understand the revised and expanded content in order to apply to practice.
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Aspire OT was created to provide exceptional evidence-based CEs at reasonable prices designed to meet the needs of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in everyday practice.

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