OT24Vx – Presentions and Links


#OTalk 29th October 2013 – Preparing for OT Interviews (includes Transcript)

Vicki @OTtwehy, a final year OT Student will be hosting the #otalk on 29th October 2013 on preparing for OT interviews. She will be sharing some hints and tips she has learnt and hoping you share yours too.

She has written this blog post on An Occupational Therapy Student’s Perspective to introduce the topic.

So if you are a student preparing for interview, a graduate who has recently been interviewed, a practitioner who remembers their interview or an interviewer please do come along and chat with us.

Updated to Include Transcript

This was a busy chat so instead of copying the tweets below you can find them all uploaded onto this handy PDF.

Thanks also to @emilybodez who has completed a storify of her summary of the chat which you can find here.

A few useful resources highlighted during the chat were:

A blog post by @BoothRach

A slide share by @VirtualOT

A blog post by our very own @clissa89


Do feel free to share links to any further reflections below.

Thanks Vicki for a busy and engaging chat.

Taking #OTalk Forward – OTNews Article October 2013.

Thought we would share the submission article which was published in OTNews October 2013.

Thank you to the wonderful OTalk Community. You are fab, looking forward to another great year.

Taking #OTalk Forward

Since November 2012, when OTNews first reported on the #OTalk community (OTN 2012), our online community of practice has gone from strength to strength. For example the last ten months have seen the #OTalk hashtag generating 14,575,845 impressions and 10,515 tweets from 718 participants.  

The benefits of engaging and developing a community of practice have been highlighted across a range of publications and events, including Patients First and Foremost (DOH 2013) which cited #OTalk alongside #WeNurses as Actions for Cultural Change. The BAOT Eastern Regional Group invited the #OTalk team to present about professionalism online and to run a social media surgery at their study day in May 2013. May also saw Elaine Hunter guest host an #OTalk in preparation for her Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture (Hunter 2013a).

We were delighted to have our poster exploring the development of online communities of practice (OTalk 2013a) accepted for the 2013 COT conference. This was only overshadowed by being cited by Elaine Hunter during the Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture (Hunter 2013b) in which Elaine discusses transformational leadership and refers to her experience of #OTalk as a real world practice example.

The #OTalk team always strive to remain responsive to the community’s wishes, which we believe will ensure that #OTalk is constantly developing and moving forward. This has resulted in recent changes with the hashtags previously used, #OTalk and #Occhat, now being combined and #OTalk used every week. This was implemented to simplify things for new members, however there is still a commitment to continuing discussions focused on aspects of occupational science (which were previously held using #occhat).

Another exciting development has been the introduction of a Journal (Media) Club, the format of which has been decided based upon a survey of the #OTalk community. The launch event on 3rd September 2013 received an enthusiastic response from the community (OTalk 2013b). The Journal (Media) Club will provide a mixture of topics, selected and hosted by the community. We are astounded to report we already have hosts confirmed until August 2014! A twitter chat will be held the first Tuesday of each month using the #OTalk hashtag from 8-9pm. However, a new development is for the discussion to have started via the blog comments feature for the preceding month. Thus providing the opportunity to engage at any time and not being limited to 140 characters, or familiarity with twitter. The tweet chat will be used to sum up discussions and introduce the next topic.

As usual, the #OTalk team are happy to support existing or new members of the community with all aspects of engagement. Please tweet us @OTalk_Occhat, or individually if you prefer: @Helen_OTUK, @GillyGorry, @kirstyes, @Clissa89 or @Claireot.


DOH (2013) Patients First and Foremost: The Initial Government Response to the Report of The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, Department of Health, London.

Hunter EP (2013a) Making the invisible visible (blog). Available at www.elaineahpmh.wordpress.com. Accessed 08.09.2013.

Hunter EP (2013b) The Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture 2013: Transformational leadership in occupational therapy – delivering change through conversations. British Journal of Occupational Therapy 76(8), 346-354.

OTalk (2013a) Levelling the Playing Field: Developing Online Communities of Practice (blog). http://otalkocchats.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/cot-poster-2013-otalkontour/ OTalk. Accessed 08.09.2013.

OTalk (2013b) Journal (Media) Club Launch (blog). http://otalkocchats.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/otalk-3rd-september-2013-journal-media-club-launch/ OTalk. Accessed 08.09.2013.

OTNews (2012) Talking the #OTalk. OTNews, 20(11), 42.

#OTalk 22nd October – Occupational Therapy and Work Retention

Lisa Greer @lisaahpvr and Jean McQueen @jeanahpm will be leading next week’s #OTalk on Work Retention

Please find below their introduction to the topic and questions they’d like to pose during the talk.


It is a recognised fact that the longer a person is detached from the workplace the less chance they have of returning to work. After only 4 weeks of sick leave your likelihood of returning to work starts decreasing.

Each year 330,000 people move from being at work to claiming Employment and Support Allowance. What is most remarkable is that 140,000 of those individuals don’t take any sick leave before leaving work to claim ESA. Yesterday they were at the office, factory, call centre, depot; today they are claiming benefits!

Why is this the case? Are 140,000 paid workers experiencing sudden acute onset of a health condition which is so catastrophic that they need to leave a job that they could do yesterday? Perhaps they have health conditions which they have been trying to manage without letting it impact on their work until one day they simply can’t go on? Or perhaps they are somewhere in between these two groups but have inadequate terms and conditions, are unsure of their rights or do not know how to negotiate changes to their role with their employer?

Carol Black’s Sickness Absence Review reveals that despite the presence of occupational health services for employees of large organisations and despite the development of Fit for Work services for those working for SMEs there are still many workers who do not receive adequate help to manage their health condition at work and end up leaving their jobs.

GPs have responsibility for signing Fit Notes. They can influence an employee’s return to work by recommending that they may be fit for work if measures are taken by the employer to support the individual. However 85% of Fit Notes are signed as ‘unfit for work’. As an OT clinician working in a secondary care mental health team I have been frustrated by the kind of referrals received by the team stating that ‘I have stabilised this man but I can’t seem to get him back to work’ or ‘this lady requires psychology due to an adjustment reaction following a stroke which has resulted in her having to leave her job’. As an occupational therapist I am confident that if I had had the opportunity to assess that man or lady before they took sick leave or soon after they were signed off work I could have had a significant impact on the management of their health and functioning at work (and probably at home too!) and on their length of stay in health care services.

OTs as well as other AHPs now have the opportunity, via the AHP Advisory Fitness to Work Report, to inform our GP colleagues as they sign Fit Notes. I hope GPs realise what a valuable support this will be to them. My concern however is that they do not have access to us occupational therapists because we are mostly working in secondary care services, our referral routes are indirect and our waiting lists are long.

What I am keen to explore is

  • As occupational therapists are we making the best use of our core skills in order to reduce the negative impact of ill health and disability on people’s ability to function at work?
  • How do we upstream our services to make them accessible to primary care services and to patients who need work retention support?
  • Are there already innovative examples of good practice out there?


Transcript – #OTalk – 15th October 2013 – Combat Stress

What a busy and interesting chat we had yesterday evening. Thank you to Karen Williams-Miles @Richardsblister for hosting the discussion. Below is information and transcript from healthcare hashtags:






#OTalk – 15th October 2013 – Combat Stress

This week Karen Williams-Miles, @Richardsblister, will be hosting #OTalk. Karen has written the post below for you to get a flavour of the work done at Combat Stress. Karen is happy to discuss the work she does and to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to chatting with you all on Tuesday.

Occupational Therapy and veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The veterans that are referred to us are very high functioning within the context of a mental health diagnosis, some are married and holding down full time jobs so Occupational Therapy within this area is more about an understanding of their culture and the problems they experience once leaving the services.

No two days are ever the same and each veteran is very different to the other. They all have one thing in common, and that is, each and every one of them, regardless of colour, creed, religion or age put their lives in front of our own, to defend, to peace keep or to just keep a watchful eye. So that we may live our lives in freedom.

So one day, I could be going through an initial assessment with someone who has witnessed appalling atrocities in Bosnia, with Ethnic cleansing, involving women and children, rapes, brutality with eventually witnessing slaughter. You may wonder why they can’t stop all this. Well, the order was not to intervene as that would cause even more trouble. This veteran may well have a wife and children at home and he could have seen all this and felt helpless that he had been ordered just to observe. Or then you may have a really young veteran fresh back from Afghanistan (all are now non serving) who has had to live through the horror of his best mate being blown up in front of him, to hold that friends hand and tell him he will be okay, but realising that this very young life is slipping away and there is not a darn thing he can do about it.

All these sorts of traumas happen on a daily basis, some are able to process (well the amygdala and the hippocampus are able to process) but some are not and then you have Post Traumatic Stress disorder. This comes with a myriad of symptoms, hyper-vigilance, hyper-arousal, night sweats, flashbacks, depression…all having a significant impact on their lives. So our job here in Combat Stress Audley Court Occupational Therapy dept, is to restore some occupational balance. Help them learn to communicate with civilians, help them manage their anger and anxiety. grade exposure, build confidence and self esteem. Help them adapt to the civilian way of life. Alternatively, visit their workplace to educate their managers on PTSD. No job is insignificant, we do all we can to help them live their lives their way!

We hold groups on creative self awareness, which are very psycho- social, and groups on well-being and recovery, covering healthier lifestyles, sex, drugs and rock and roll, well, maybe not the rock and roll bit, that comes when they are recovering (grin). We also talk about relapse prevention and we use the WRAP (wellness recovery action plan) significantly. Combat Stress has two programmes, the Brief Intervention programme whereby the veterans stay with us for 2 weeks at a time, and the 6 week Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based programme, where the veterans are inpatients for the full 6 weeks, and it truly is intensive.

If you want to know more then please ask away.