This weeks #OTalk is a little bit different to our usual chats. This week we want to welcome the new batch of OT students to our profession. If you haven’t already done so please check out the video as some lovely OT students, new grads and a few of the #OTalk team have shared why they use #OTalk:
For regular #OTalkers: It would be brilliant to have you around to share your expertise with the new intake of students, you will remember the experience of studying and what it is like to go out on placement as well as all the emotions that go with the process.
If you are normally a ‘lurker’ during #OTalk, tonight would be a fab chance to contribute and share you experiences within the occupational therapy profession.
If you are a new student this weeks chat will give you an opportunity to ask OTs in practice, as well as other OT Students any questions that spring to mind about studying towards becoming an OT. Pierce (2014) sums up being a student nicely,
As I always tell entry-level students, you are like beautiful new sports cars. You are the newest, most up-to-date occupational therapists off the lot. But be humble: most therapist you meet were trained differently than you were, and they certainly have much to teach you.
The #OTalk community can be a great place to learn from each other as practitioners, so why not give it a go!
Normally we have questions to guide the chat but this week we are have a more general topic theme. If your question doesn’t fit into one of these do feel free to ask it at any point.
The themes for this weeks chat are:
Why not say hi and meet some of the #OTalk community, students, clinicians and the #OTalk team.
- #OTalk – what’s all the fuss about?
Why not share your tips on using #OTalk and twitter in general to help others make the most of the space. If you are new to twitter and have any questions feel free to ask away and we will try our best to help.
- Occupational Therapy in the classroom
The first few weeks on a course can be exciting but also information overload, why not use this time to ask any questions you have about studying occupational therapy and the #OTalk community will try and help answer them.
- Out on placement… what do I need to know
How are you feeling about going out on placement? Why not chat about placement with the community – there will be a mix of students, new grads and educators so lots of knowledge to share!
- What do I do when it gets stressful?
Everyone knows studying can be stressful, especially in the run up to assignment deadlines and exams. Why not share tips on how to keep the balance when you have so much to do.
- What else is it worth checking out?
What other things is there to get involved in whilst you are a student OT.
Some Useful Tips:
What do I need to do to join in? – Remember the hashtag #OTalk
To join in the chat you will need access to Twitter. #OTalk takes place on a Tuesday evening between 8pm-9pm (UK Time), so it is helpful to be around then if you plan to join in. You can however catch up with the tweets if you can make it on the night by checking the post chat transcript )which is normally posted on the blog 48 hours after the chat.
It is worth checking out: Tweetchatting – Guide for Participants, this gives you some practical advice on joining in with the chat. It is also really important that you remaining professional whilst online and are aware of your code of ethics and professional standards when tweeting – Check out COT’s Social media briefing and their Introduction to Social Media document.
Why is it worth me joining in?
The #OTalk community are brilliant at supporting each other within their practice and love to have input from students within the weekly #OTalk chats.
It’s a great opportunity to expand your learning, and develop further what you have learnt in class and on placement. It can also give you a chance to develop professional networks with OTs in practice and learn from their practical experience of working within a range of settings. Another bonus is that it can count as an counting professional development activity, there is even a template to help you record your learning.
Here’s what Amy Spalding from COT has to say:
Still got questions about joining in?
College of Occupational Therapists. (2015) Introduction to Social Media. London: COT.
College of Occupational Therapists. (2015) Social media: safe and appropriate use. London: COT.
Pierce, D (2014) Occupational Science: A powerful Disciplinary Knowledge Base for Occupational Therapy. In Pierce, D (2014) Occupational Science for Occupational Therapy, p. 1-10.
Welcome to Occupational Therapy #OTalk Post Chat Summary
So the numbers are in… and we had a whopping 1,121 tweets (approximately), by 136 participants, during (or just after) the Welcome to OT #OTalk hour on Tuesday!
It was a massively busy chat; which was brilliant to be able to facilitate. It was great to see students from at least 13 of the UK universities (only including students that shared their university during the chat, so could indeed be more) participating in #OTalk. A full list of the tweets shared during the chat can be found on healthcare hashtags and a selection of the chats tweets were included in the Storify of the chat.
So how easy is it to summarise 1,121 tweets; turns out not very easy…
But here goes:
If you watched the intro video for the chat, you will have seen a number of the team, a good few students and a couple of graduates share why they take part in #OTalk. So we though it only right to ask rest of the community to share why they choose to join in with #OTalk on a Tuesday night…
It seems there are a number of reasons the community of OT practitioners and students turn up between 8-9pm on a Tuesday; professional development appeared to be a key reason, along with networking and keeping up to date with current issues relevant to practice. For students it was highlighted the community helped them to link theory they learn in university to practice and also allowed them to learn from occupational therapists already working in practice.
Throughout the chat the #OTalk community shared advice and tips on studying at university and how to approach practice placements. Time management was highlighted by a number of individuals as the key to managing studies and maintaining occupational balance. People also shared the importance to engaging in activities that are meaningful to you and not to let these slip when university and placement gets busy, as this helps to keep the occupational balance and in turn our wellbeing. We all know this as we are learning to be (or are) Occupational Therapists; but aren’t we terrible at following our own advice?
There was lots of chat around placement and how to manage the challenges that come with learning about a new area of practice in a short space of time. The consensus is, to be as prepared as you can, Utilise your educators knowledge and YOUR supervision time; As well as embracing the placement you have been allocated, with more than one individual sharing that going on placement to a setting they hadn’t desired had actually turned out to be one of their favourites and even changed their path in ways they could never have imagined. It was also highlighted that when things don’t go well to speak to your educator and remember your university is also there to support you if need be (Letting things dwell can only make things worse). So use your challenges and learn from them. You are on placement to learn and grow as a practitioner after all.
On a similar topic we asked the community what to do when it all gets stressful? Similar to earlier conversations, the importance of engaging in meaningful occupations was highlighted as key to keeping the occupational balance; remembering to eat and if you are struggling speak to your personal tutor at university as they will be able to signpost you onto services to help. And most of all as @CeeCeeGeeOT shared: “Be positive! You got accepted on to the programme, you have what it takes to succeed.”
To finish the chat we asked for ideas on additional things to get involved in as a student; here are the suggestions that were shared during the chat (If you think of anymore, do let us know and we’ll add to the list):
- Get involved in your university’s OT Society
- Get involved with BAOT and become an active member
- Utilise social media to develop your knowledge through tweetchats (#OTalk, #WeAHP etc), Facebook groups (4OT groups), and #OT24Vx15 (OT Virtual 24 Exchange Conference.
- Join in with events OT Week events to help promote the Occupational Therapy profession.
As this summary comes to a close I really just want to thank all the brilliant people that helped us make this chat happen, from video contributions, retweets/FB shares and good old fashioned word of mouth, students, educators and occupational therapy practitioners, you all played a part in helping a bunch of students starting out in their occupational therapy career journey, have an opportunity to ask questions and get involved in #OTalk to see what we as a profession can do to support them, to help them to develop, and also what they can share with the rest of the profession as the newest and most up to date versions of occupational therapists they are in the process of becoming!