COT’s Marketing Manager, Vandita Chisholm, examines the importance of language in promoting the value of what you do.
When you write your case notes or any report are you inclined to not use occupational focused language as you fear that the readers of the report may not understand what you are trying to communicate?
If you answer yes, then it looks as though you are compromising the value of your profession and undermining its unique selling point. Occupational therapy is about occupation, and occupation is what shapes and forms a person’s role and responsibilities, and what makes them what they are. Occupation gives a person a purpose and helps them to find value in their existence.
Allow me to paraphrase James A. Baldwin, an American author, who said the most dangerous creation in society is a man who has nothing to lose (or has no purpose). Occupation = purpose, and occupational therapy helps people to continue to have a purpose in their life.
No other profession does what OTs do, and by not using occupational steeped language you are devaluing what occupational therapy can achieve. Use every opportunity to celebrate your profession, so start using occupational based language in your reports, your presentations and in meetings. By doing this you are protecting the occupational therapy brand and its future.
You can find out more about ensuring the future of your profession with the COT Ambassador Programme.
You can also read more about the work that COT is doing to develop OT terms for consistent record keeping here.