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Promoting OT

Protecting the occupational therapy brand is your responsibility

OT crayonsOne of the biggest challenges we all face in these uncertain times is safeguarding the future of occupational therapy as a profession.

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.


3 thoughts on “Protecting the occupational therapy brand is your responsibility

  1. Wonderful!!!! I totally agree.

    Posted by Iain Stringer | March 19, 2014, 18:39
  2. the Gillen and Greber opinion piece in Jan 2014 BJOT gives suggestions for this too.

    Posted by Ailsa Gillen | March 19, 2014, 19:16
  3. I completely disagree with this. If you don’t think readers of your report will understand the language that you use, then use plain English! Why try and bamboozle people with complex language to protect our ‘brand’, instead focus on demonstrating the efficacy of what we do and explain our outcomes clearly to others. We need to stop continually focusing on how we can ‘prove’ ourselves and have confidence in the unique contribution we bring.

    Posted by Jen | March 19, 2014, 19:42

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