Position Open – #OTalk Student Digital Leader Intern

#OTalk Student Digital Leader Intern (17/18) Position Open


#OTalk is a community that welcomes students alongside practitioners and academics, recognising the vital role students can play in bringing fresh knowledge, innovation and enthusiasm to the community.  

To foster this collaboration, in 2015 #OTalk introduced the position of Student Digital Leader.  This Intern role offers a student the opportunity to become involved in the running of #OTalk for 6-12 months whilst receiving mentoring in digital leadership from the team.

Being part of the #OTalk team allows you to be creative, innovate and work as part of team. As a Student Digital Leader Intern these are some of the activities you could be involved in and be responsible for during your internship:

OTalk Project.

As part of your internship we hope you would be able to contribute in an innovative way to the #OTalk community by undertaking some form of project. This will be agreed between yourself and the rest of the OTalk team after you join the team.

OTalk Blog – Transcript posting.

To support the team in posting blog transcripts on the blog posts within 48 hours of a chat and sharing this with the #OTalk community on the social media platforms.

OTalk Facebook.

To monitor the facebook page, replying to comments and ensuring blogs have been shared within other relevant pages and groups (e.g. 4OT groups and Student Occupational Therapy groups/pages)

OTalk Twitter – Promoting.

To regularly tweet from OTalk and personal accounts to promote the chats and other related activities.

OTalk Twitter – Follows.

To review follows on the OTalk Twitter account, block spam accounts and to follow back/create lists for the OTalk account.

OTalk Twitter – Hosting.

To host a minimum of one chat during the internship and to support an additional two chats with guest hosts (Training will be provided – more can be hosted as desired).

Promoting OTalk.

To take and create opportunities to promote #OTalk and the benefits of professional social media use within university populations and regional/geographical networks.

OTalk Experience Summary.

Along with the OTalk crew,  write up an account of the experience of interning for publication.  This can be done in a range of ways and we are open to finding new and creative ways to share this experience Our first intern Kelly did this by displaying a poster at #COT2016 and our second Kirstie wrote a piece with Kelly for OTNews.

OTalk Development.

Engagement in online team meetings to review chat effectiveness, suggest future development and feedback on the relevance of OTalk for students.

Interns ideally need to be:

  • Excellent communicators
  • Familiar with the use of twitter
  • Familiar with the use of gmail, google calendars and google drive
  • Familiar with the use of skype
  • Familiar with wordpress blog editing dashboard
  • Able to create PDFs of transcripts and certificates
  • Available on Tuesday nights between 8pm – 9pm at least once a month
  • Available for 30 minutes on Thursday or Fridays to post chat transcript
  • Able to access the Internet and have a laptop/smartphone that will enable blog editing and twitter/Facebook access.
  • Passionate about the occupational therapy profession
  • Promoters of the positive application of social networking for professional development
  • Responsible and professional in their use of social media (social media accounts of applicants will be reviewed as part of the application process)
  • Engaging with CPD on a regular basis

Training to use the relevant software will be provided so please still apply if you meet most of the outline above.

If you are interested in this position please send the following information to otalk.occhat@gmail.com:

  • A personal statement of no more than 500 words demonstrating your suitability for the internship.
  • A Biography of between 100-200 words (that includes your name and university, and a link to your LinkedIn profile) [Write this as if you are introducing yourself to the OTalk Community on the blog].
  • Your skype username.
  • The name and e-mail of a referee who can be contacted if you are invited to interview.

Please direct any queries to the our email or DM us on Twitter at @OTalk_

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 28th November at 23:59.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a skype interview in December and will be in post by January 2018.





#OTalk 24th October – Welcome to the wonderful world of occupational therapy!

This weeks #Otalk will welcome the newest intake of occupational therapy students and will be hosted by OTalks Kirstie (@Kirstie_OT).

 It’s is that time of year again, the start of the traditional academic cycle. So that means we get to welcome another batch of lovely students into the wonderful world of occupational therapy… and OTalk! Our community if full to the brim of students, clinicians, practitioners, policy makers, researchers and more, so who better to welcome the new intake?

This chat is an opportunity for new students to ask questions and get acquainted with our online community of practice. For clinicians and current students it’s a chance to share words of wisdom, resources and any hints and tips they’ve picked up along the way. It is also an opportunity to think about the future of OT education, what it might look like and how we can best prepare students and ourselves for these potential changes.

Some questions to consider:

1:         Why did you choose to study OT? What appeals most to you about the profession? Maybe you considered another healthcare profession first?

2:         What are you most looking forward to about your OT training? Clinicians, what did you most enjoy?

3:         Students, if you could ask a current student or OT any question, what would it be?

4:         What would you like to change about OT education? Would you add something? Take something out?

5:         Do you think the NHS bursary changes and Health/Social Care difficulties will have an impact of the delivery of OT training? How can we prepare for this?

6:         If you could pass on one bit of wisdom to the next generation, what would it be?



#OTalk 17th October – CPD and service quality

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “The impact of CPD on enhancing service quality” and will be hosted by Adam Ferry and the OT Show (@AdamFerry3 and @TheOTShow).

Here is what Adam has to say…

Each year when I start formulating ideas for The OT Show CPD programme I consider what Occupational Therapists (myself included) want to take away from their experience.  Are delegates wanting certificates to demonstrate that they have simply attended; sessions that reinforce that what they are doing clinically is ‘right’; or dynamic new ideas for them to reflect on and implement within their own services?  

I always hope the latter but also accept that depending on which sector the OT is working in their motivations and professional needs may greatly differ.  My experiences within statutory services suggest that CPD becomes about meeting professional standards to support registration but in the independent sector is much more about increasing knowledge base and expertise to aid high quality intervention.  That experience will certainly not be the same for everyone and indeed if it were there would unlikely be strong specialist sections or media such as #OTalk.

This #OTalk asks us to consider what our motivations are and reflect on how effective our CPD choices have been in supporting both our personal development and that of the services we work in.

  1. CPD – Obligation or professional passion?
  2. What do therapists consider to be ‘high quality’ cpd?
  3. Does CPD directly impact positively on service delivery often enough?
  4. How do we ‘sell’ the need to be released for high quality CPD to budget holders/managers? 




#OTalk 10th October – Using social, print or broadcast media to promote the profession.


This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “promoting the profession” and will be hosted by Mark Whiteman (@mrkwhtmnOT).

 Here is what Mark had to say…

 To set the scene, we have seen how media outlets such as the Guardian newspaper, YouTube videos and TED talks, can be used to promote and educate the wider public, and Occupational Therapists too, about Occupational Therapy. You may also recall that, at this year’s conference, the #COT2017 Blog Squad summarised a Media Relations session too (contributed by @AylaOT). In that blog entry, the Guardian Public Services editor was reported as noting that print still seems to be held in higher esteem amongst the wider public but that the alternatives, blogging and vlogging, were beginning to usurp traditional media outlets.

So how can we share our collective thoughts on how we can harness media to, for example, share our success stories, demystify our profession or to help cultivate a research culture (amongst Occupational Therapists). Media can be anything in the broadest sense; social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, but also newspapers, magazines, and billboards, or even broadcast media such as radio, television or online… anything goes!

One of the questions below focuses on promoting an increase in ‘research capacity’ amongst Occupational Therapists; the idea for this question stemmed from Diane Cox’s Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture calling for Occupational Therapists to undertake research and to ‘Publish! Publish! Publish!’.

Some questions for consideration:

Where else could we promote #OccupationalTherapy on social, print or broadcast media? How or what could we contribute?

To whom do we need to communicate messages about our profession to? What kind of messages?

Anything goes for this question! What would your ultimate media promotion campaign look like?

What do we need to see on media platforms, such as social media, to foster a ‘research culture’ amongst registered & pre-reg OTs?

Relevant Links

#OTalk Blog Squad: Media Relations for Occupational Therapists

#OTalk Blog Squad The Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture: Life as an occupational being.



The Numbers

1.288M Impressions
471 Tweets
56 Participants
377 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

 sorry this was all the the weds showed even tho there was 56 people tweeting.


Guardian Guide to Occupational Therapy

List of Occupational Therapy TED Talks on OT Potential Blog (Ed. @otpotential)

#OTalk Research – Tuesday 3rd October – Writing a great abstract for a research project

October’s #OTalk Research is exploring Writing a great abstract for a research project and is being hosted by Dr Lynne Goodacre (@LynneGoodacre) and supported by Nikki Daniels (@NikkiDanielsOT).


Intro Blog Post:


Whether you’re coming to the end of your pre-registration dissertation, summarising your doctoral thesis or preparing to submit a manuscript to a journal writing a great abstract is a key skill for researchers to develop. With the deadline for abstract submissions for RCOT 2018 approaching this months #OTalk Research is going to focus specifically on writing an abstract for a research project.


It is easy to think that, because it is such a small word count, it won’t take long to write and it is often left until the deadline is looming. However, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Condensing a significant piece of work into just two hundred and fifty words is a real challenge. There is so much that could be said but what to put in and even more challenging what to leave out?


Writing a good abstract requires you to be crystal clear about the message you want to communicate. Whilst the abstract guidance gives you the headings to structure your writing what do you need to include under each heading to ensure that reviewers view your work favourably?


If you are submitting an abstract to present at a conference, given that reviewers are often reviewing a large quantity of abstracts, what do you need to do to stand a chance of your abstract being accepted?  Over the course of the talk we will explore some of the following questions:


  • Your previous experience of submitting research abstracts
  • What are your top tips for writing a successful abstract
  • What factors influence your decision on the presentation format (e.g poster, paper, seminar, workshop)
  • What do you think reviewers are looking for?
  • What are you tips for coming up with a great title?
  • How do you decide which names to include and what order they appear in?
  • How do you approach an abstract if your work is ‘in progress’ when the call comes out?

Post Chat

Online transcript

The Numbers

1.301M Impressions
449 Tweets
42 Participants
359 Avg Tweets/Hour
11 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk 26th September 2017 – Recognition and OT.

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “Recognition and OT” and will be hosted by Jen Gash (@OTcoachUK) as part of the OT Show Team.

Here is what Jen had to say…

2017 has been a great year for occupational therapy in the UK: we have had the professions centenary celebrations ; the second part of the “Value of OT” project has been launched; there has been increased media coverage with OT’s getting on national TV, radio and other media too; and we have seen continued growth of OT’s working in diverse and emergent roles. Occupational therapy continues to be reported as one of the top careers with great job satisfaction, so we have much to celebrate.

In its third year, the OT Show Awards seek to celebrate and showcase grassroots occupational therapy practice in the UK. To me, these awards are about:

  • shining a light on practice that doesn’t often get seen, such as OTs who beaver away with little recognition or reward
  • showcasing OT staff who work may not be recognized by other organisations or structures e.g. early stage innovations, informal ‘research’ and perhaps emergent and quirky things too!
  • showing value beyond traditional measures of value such as saving money etc. Whose says what is of value anyway?
  • acknowledging how much we value service user contributions and of course OTTI’s/OTA’s as part of our OT team

This year the nomination process has been simplified and the award categories are:

  • Outstanding OTTI/OTA/Service User Contribution Award
  • Outstanding Occupational Therapist Award
  • Outstanding Occupational Therapy Leadership and Innovation Award

When I speak with OTs, they often find it difficult to see how amazing their work is. They find it much harder to shout about it and celebrate their practice. Other professions, other work sectors, don’t seem to feel this way. Hopefully this chat will be a good way to encourage more OTs to apply for an award or nominate someone they know.

The questions for discussion tonight are maybe a little contentious.

  1. I often feel OTs hid their light under a bushel e.g. they work away and don’t show how amazing they are. Do you agree?

2. As a caring profession, do we find “showing off” somehow distasteful or is a confidence thing or is there something else going on?

3. What makes OT practice outstanding?

4. What do you think the future of OT will see us doing, say in 30 years time?

5, If you had the resources, backing and time, what OT project or innovation would you set up?

Post Chat

Online transcript

The Numbers

1.680 M Impressions
449 Tweets
47 Participants
359 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants






#OTalk 19th September – Digital Occupations and Smartphone Apps

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of digital occupations and smartphone apps within occupational therapy will be hosted by Rebecca Crouch (@RebeccaCrouch).

 Here is what Rebecca had to say…

 The past decade has experienced a rapid development and adoption of digital technologies, which have changed the way people live and carry out their daily activities (Gretton and Honeyman, 2016). Figures show that 66 per cent of British adults own a smartphone and, with it, opportunities to participate and engage in meaningful digital occupations (Verdonck and Ryan, 2008; Ofcom, 2015).

Occupational therapists work with people to improve their health, wellbeing and ability to participate in meaningful and purposeful activities of daily living (Hills et al., 2016). As smartphones are increasingly used by the public, service user participation in meaningful and purposeful occupations could include the use of inbuilt features or downloadable smartphone apps. Diamantis (2013) suggests that digital occupations are being overlooked by occupational therapists as they are not considered as traditional occupations. Diamantis (2013) believes them to be an essential part of everyday life that should not be dismissed. This sentiment is echoed by opinion pieces published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, which call for all occupational therapists to take advantage of the opportunities offered by mainstream technology (Verdonck and Ryan, 2008), and more specifically, of smartphones apps (Stow and England, 2016).

 From personal experiences, I have found smartphone apps helpful in managing my physical and emotional wellbeing. As these apps enable a variety of meaningful digital occupations for myself, I would like to explore your perception of digital occupations, along with your experiences of smartphone app use in your personal life, at your place of work, and their potential use in a therapeutic context with service users.

Questions to consider:

  1. What is your understanding of digital occupations?
  2. Do you think digital occupations can be used to support both your health and wellbeing, and that of your service users?
  3. In your personal life, do you use any smartphone apps to support your health, wellbeing or ability to participate in meaningful and purposeful occupations?
  4. What are the benefits and barriers of using these smartphone apps?
  5. At your place of work, do you use any smartphone apps to support your ability to participate in work-based occupations?
  6. What are the benefits and barriers of using these smartphone apps?
  7. At your place of work, do you consider the digital occupations of your service users?
  8. Are there any smartphone apps available which could support the strengths and needs of your service users?
  9. What do you consider to be the benefits and barriers of using smartphone apps with service users?
  10. What support would you need if you were considering smartphone app use with service users?


Diamantis A (2013) Broadening the horizon of occupation in paediatric practice: A challenge. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy 76(6): 253-253.

Hills C, Ryan S, Smith DR et al. (2016) Occupational therapy students’ technology skills: Are generation Y ready for 21st century practice? Australian Journal of Occupational Therapy 63, 391-398.

Gretton C and Honeyman M (2016) The digital revolution: eight technologies that will change health and care. Available at: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/articles/eight-technologies-will-change-health-and-care (accessed on 29 May 2017).

Ofcom (2015) The UK is now a smartphone society. Available at: http://media.ofcom.org.uk/news/2015/cmr-uk-2015/ (accessed on 28 May 2017).

Stow J and England S (2016) The rise if inclusive mainstream technology: Implications for occupational therapists. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy 79(8): 457-458.

Verdonck MC and Ryan S (2008) Mainstream technology as an occupational therapy tool: Technophobe or technogeek? The British Journal of Occupational Therapy 71(6): 253-256.

Verdonck MC and Maye F (2015) Enhancing occupational performance in the virtual context using smart technology. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy 79(6): 385-390.

Post Chat

online transcript

The Numbers

2.460M Impressions
935 Tweets
152 Participants
39 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk 12th September – Practice Placement Education

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Practice Placement Education: Engaging with people, investing in relationships – a collaborative problem solving venture” and will be hosted by Maureen Shiells of the RCOT (@MMShiells).

Here’s what Maureen had to say…

I’ve been working at the Royal College now for three years as education manager responsible for pre-registration occupational therapy education.  Always a fan of education and growth at all levels, my previous post at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was in practice development for qualified occupational therapists. I’m fascinated by the learning journey and how (I hope) it never ends.

None of us are strangers to the changes in the way health, social care and education provision are being delivered right across the UK, and beyond. Education reforms, constraints on national budgets for health and social care, the increasing need to work differently and creatively to deliver robust educational experience for our student occupational therapy population is clear. We need to ensure that our newly qualified occupational workforce is competent, capable and ready to take on their new career with confidence.

With that – and you – in mind, this OTalk will focus on practice education for student occupational therapists, in particular on the placement experience and arrangements for both students and educators. Practice based education makes up a third of the occupational therapy degree programme which constitutes a significant chunk of learning. Involvement in delivering and receiving practice education is rewarding, fun, sometimes challenging, and hard work, but being involved also makes a huge contribution towards continuing professional development (Ellis & Tempest 2016).  As members and guardians of the profession, it is our duty as registered healthcare professionals to devote time and expertise in supporting our students to become occupational therapists of the future. So with over 37,000 registered occupational therapists in the UK (and approx. 5,500 students in education at any one time), why is it often difficult to secure placement opportunities?

This OTalk will build on work already underway to investigate how we at The Royal College can lead the change in the way practice education is supported and developed to meet the needs of today’s students, educators and the ever changing health and social care landscape. Of course we also embrace non-traditional placement education and are keen to address how role emerging and diverse placement opportunities can provide an excellent opportunity to grow into the role of an occupational therapist (RCOT 2017).

Using Tanmay Vora’s Social Mindset theory, our aim is to seek and engage talent in all corners of our profession in order to; reduce barriers to communication, encourage collaborative problem solving and create empowerment among our communities by engaging in virtual conversations via email and social media (Vora 2017).

Don’t be alarmed however, we also do face-to-face conversations when we can!

As a result of the feedback received so far from people who have been involved in the work, we have created an action plan which broadly covers the following points, which I hope to discuss during this Tweetchat;

  1. What are the main ingredients for a successful practice educator/student/HEI relationship?
  2. How can we improve the consistency in the quality of the student experience?
  3. What type of resources can help to support practice education?
  4. What are the enablers for practice educators to offer student placements?
  5. What are the barriers and how can we overcome these?

We look forward to welcoming a range of stakeholders to the Tweetchat, including students, practice educators, academics, service users , other healthcare professionals and any interested parties.


Ellis and Tempest (2016) Practice Placement Education: The ultimate learning opportunity? OTnews Available at https://www.joomag.com/magazine/occupational-therapy-news-october-2016/0726852001476272133?short accessed on 23/8/17

RCOT (2017) An investigation into occupational therapy practice education across the UK. Available at https://www.rcot.co.uk/practice-resources/students/practice-education accessed on 23/08/17

Vora T. (2017) Social MIndset: A key to engaging people. Available at http://qaspire.com/2017/05/08/social-mindset-a-key-to-engaging-talent/ accessed on 23/08/17


Online Transcript

The Numbers

2.456 M Impressions
1,088 Tweets
90 Participants
870 Avg Tweets/Hour
12 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants