Education, Students & New Grads, Professionalism

#OTalk 14th March – What does it mean to be professional?

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of professionalism and will be hosted by Sarah Lawson (@SlawsonOT).

Here is what Sarah had to say…

As I write this post in January 2017 I am beginning my Post Graduate MPhil/PhD journey researching continuing professional development and TRAMmCPD ( In September 2016 I began lecturing to occupational therapy students at Glyndwr University. My first few lectures included ‘Introduction to Professional Practice’ and ‘Social Media in a Professional Context’.

I have spent 6 years working as a community Occupational Therapist in social care alongside being a member of the TRAMmCPD team, I am also Regional Forum Lead for the North-West Region of the College of Occupational Therapist, as well as being a partner, mother, daughter … I may be a glutton for punishment!

In preparation for my lecturing and research I have been reading and reflecting on what it means to be ‘Professional’ particularly as a health and care professional. Having reviewed the Health and Care Professions (HCPC) website for ‘fitness to practice’ investigations and ‘press releases’ it appears that some health and care professionals struggle to be ‘Professional’. I am intrigued to know if students/new graduates understood/understand what being an occupational therapist meant/means in terms of professionalism before they applied to be an under graduate.

Although wary, I am keen to involve my students in conversations and debates on social media, to encourage their interactions with the #otalk community which in my experience is a great forum to showcase ‘Professionalism’ and for them to consider what it means to be ‘Professional’ across all aspects of conduct, ethics, performance and social media use.

I am hoping to encourage occupational therapy tutors and students from Glyndwr University to participate or lurk in this chat, for some it will be their first time. As part of future lectures, on Reflection, Social Media use and developing a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Portfolio I am hoping to use #otalk for examples of how to record and reflect on participation as part of CPD.

During this chat I would like to consider the following:

As a student or new graduate 

  1. How did/do you feel about the expectations placed upon you as a health and care professional? (Ethics/Conduct/Social Media etc)
  1. Were you aware of the expectations before you became an under graduate?

3.  Have/do you struggle with what is considered to be professional and/or personal?

  1. Is there anything you think may help you?

As a Practitioner/Educator/Academic

  1. Do you think the concept of being a Professional has changed or evolved? If so, how?
  1. Are there still aspects you struggle with or are unclear of?
  1. Are you aware of the following updated documents and what has now been included/changed?

post chat

online Transcript

The Numbers

872,182 Impressions
499 Tweets
59 Participants
399 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.