#OTalk Extra Special Volunteer Crew and a look forward to 2016

Did you know that #OTalk is heading towards its 4th birthday?

Yes, you heard right, on the 25th October we will be 4. We’ve made it through the sleepless nights and the terrible twos and threes (not that anything about this fab community is terrible really – it’s just a metaphor that #OTalk is our little baby).

The original #OTalk crew is unsurprisingly a bit frazzled so, we have called in some favours from our wonderful community and have a few extra special volunteers who have agreed to do some chat hosting for the rest of the year.

What this means for the community is that the weekly chats will continue as scheduled (there will be no chats on 22nd or 29th December for our annual Christmas break).

Most of them though will be hosted or supported by one of these four lovely people who are all experienced chatters and hosts.

Rachel Booth @OT_rach
David Davies @Dai2584
Nichola Duffy @Nnikki_Duffy
Deborah Harrison @DebbiiHarrison

The team may pop into the chats but we also might not. If we do, we’ll be there to take part – we might even lurk.

Instead we will be using the time to finish writing up our research article and other publications, do some behind the scenes scheming about the future running of the chats (and finally get the website pages up together) and just have a few weeks off too for some rest and relaxation.

We are all hoping to join in with the Welcome to OT chat on 20th October and we would love for as many of our community to be there to welcome new OTs to the profession. Do spread the word, especially to universities.

The 2016 chats will kick off on 5th January 2016 with us sharing our hopes and aspirations for the year. Keep an eye out on the blog for details of how you can get involved in hosting chats in 2016.

Kirsty, Gillian, Helen and Clarissa and of course Kelly would like to extend a huge thanks to our new crew members for their support and to the community who we know will keep up the good chatting.


#OTalk 29th September 2015 – Language and Culture

This week #OTalk will be discussing the impact of language and culture has on our role as occupational therapy practitioners. It’s a massive topic which we could never cover in one #OTalk so we are just dipping our toes in this week hosted by @otonthetracks

culture copy

Culture impacts on every aspect of our lives – who we are and what we do, what we value and believe how we make judgements and decisions and our behaviour (Hopton & Stoneley, 2006; Henley & Scohott, 1999). It is both visible to our in the actions we undertake and traditional symbolic activities we may undertake and celebrate, and also invisible to others in our thought process and decision making and even in our motivations (Hopton & Stoneley, 2006) and their own perceptions to health and wellbeing (Whiteford & Wilcock, 2000).

HCPC Standards of proficiency: Occupational Therapist (2013) highlights the need for OTs to be aware of impact of culture and diversity on practice, and be able to adapt practice to meet the needs of our service users.

As we deliver occupational therapy interventions we aim to make our therapy relevant to the clients lifestyle and values (Chiang & Carlson, 2003), but how does this look in our everyday practice? Are we able to do this in our work environments?

lanuage copy

HCPC (2003) also states that as OTs we need to be able to effectively communicate (verbally or non verbally) with our service users in a way they can understand such as through using an appropriate interpreter.

But how does this impact on our practice in the environment we work? Are we able to communicate appropriately with our service users within appropriate timescales and cost limitations within services?

During the chat we will focus on the following questions:


  • How have you adapted your practice to take into account a service users different culture?
  • Does this create challenges or opportunities for us as OTs?


  • Have you worked with individuals, where spoken English is not their method of communication? How did you deal with this?
  • What were the challenges for you as the practitioner?
  • What were the challenges for the service user?


Chiang, M. & Carlson, G. (2003) ‘Occupational therapy in multicultural contexts: Issues and strategies’, The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66 (12), pp.559-567.

Health and Care Professions Council (2013) Standards of proficiency: occupational therapists. Available at: http://www.hpc-uk.org/assets/documents/10000512Standards_of_Proficiency_Occupational_Therapists.pdf  [Accessed 11.09.15]

Henley, A. & Schott, J. (1999) Culture, religion and patient care in a multi-ethnic society: a handbook for professionals. Age concern books London.

Hopton, K. & Stoneley, H. (2006) ‘Cultural awareness in occupational therapy: the Chinese example’, The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69 (8), pp.386-389.


Post Chat Updates

9Avg Tweets/Hour
8Avg Tweets/Participant

Online Transcript – Healthcare Hashtag

PDF Transcript #OTalk 29 Sept 2015

Planning CPD Goals & Activities. #OTalk 22 September 2015.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) define continuing professional development (CPD) as
‘a range of learning activities through which health and care professionals maintain and develop throughout their career to ensure that they retain their capacity to practice safely, effectively and legally within their evolving scope of practice’.

For many of the #OTalk community it is that time of our registration cycle that we must renew our registration with the HCPC. As of 14 September, 55 per cent of the UK’s 36,219 registered occupational therapists had renewed their registration. Have you?

For me this is a trigger to review my two year forward plan. Although this is an ever changing and developing plan, I do like to start the cycle by considering and building my two year forward plan. Am I the only one?

So I thought it would be a good idea to have an #OTalk to share methods for building our plans.

Q1. Do you have a strategic plan of your goals and activities?

Q2. What are your starting points?

Q3. Within the our CPD plans we can include activities for current and future practice, how much consideration to future roles do you allocate to your CPD plan?

One of the elements that I consider is the variety of activities that I engage in.

Q4. How do you plan for engaging in a variety of activities?

It would be great to share the different activities that we engage, this can provide feedback form others and generate ideas that we can all consider including in our forward planning.

Q5. What activities have you found most useful?

Q6. What activities have you found most interesting? (Dare I say fun?)

I look forward to chatting and sharing all things CPD planning with you.

Post Chat Updates:

The Numbers

837,496 Impressions
318 Tweets
25 Participants

#OTalk Participants

Online Transcript from Heaslthcare Hashtags

PDF of Transcript  #OTalk – 22nd Sept 2015

TV or Not Tv?… That is the question. Exploring TV Watching as an Occupation.

Tonight’s Chat will be hosted by @GillyGorry and we’ll be exploring TV watching as an occupation.

Questions –

  • Is watching TV an ‘occupation’ for you? If yes why, if no why?
  • What are the potential positives for watching TV?
  • What are the potential negatives for watching TV?
  • Could/have you use TV as an Intervention?

This topic was suggested by @otonthetracks and it got me thing about whether I considered TV watching as and occupation and what the possible positives and negatives are for me. Here’s some of my thoughts…


  • Learning – I often keep up to date on current events or watch documentaries or cooking programs, which I learn from and can often result in the baking of a cake, or further research.
  • Family time – ‘MOVIE NIGHTS’ are a big thing in our house, and it’s about much more than what we watch.
  • Developing communication skills, raising awareness or gaining understanding about others and their situations. As a child my Dad regularly put one flew over the cookoos nest on for me and my sisters (It was and still is one of my all time favourite films, which I watched again at the weekend) My Dad suffers with a mental illness and I believe this was his way of introducing us to this and having a better understanding of his world. I would highly recommend watching this to OTs, when I watched it on Saturday I thought  ‘McMurphy would have made a great OT.’.
  • It provides shared experiences that I can talk to others about.
  • It can help with establishing routine.
  • It can take us through a whole range of emotions.


  • It can be a procrastinators worst enemy
  • It can be time consuming
  • Not an active occupation ( I’m not saying I blame TV watching for my expanding waist line… but it doesn’t help)
  • It can be a lonely occupation
  • It can be a mindless activity (not sure that’s always bad)
  • It can cost a lot of money
  • It can be a barrier to communication and relationships
  • Certain programs/topics can be upsetting
  • It can affect sleep.

Personally I try to keep a good balance, and mostly feel the positive benefits of watching TV, but I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


#OTalk 8th September 2015 – Friendship Month

According to the National Awareness Days website September is Friendship Month in the UK. This is sponsored by Oddfellows who recognise that having friends around you makes you happier and healthier.

This #OTalk will allow us to explore friendship from an occupational perspective.

How big a role does being a friend play in your life?
How has this changed over your lifespan?
How do you anticipate it changing in the future?
What occupations and activities do you engage in as part of this role?
How do these make you feel?
What are the barriers and enablers to engagement in these occupations?
How has the form of these occupations changed, and why do you think this is?
What are you going to do to celebrate Friendship Month?


How do/will you support clients to engage in friendship occupations?