This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Bringing the OT community closer together” and will be hosted by The OT Hub and the OT Show (@theOThub and @theOTshow). This chat is the final in a series being hosted in collaboration with the OT Show.
Here is what they had to say…
The OT Hub is the worldwide community for occupational therapy. It aims to bring the OT community closer together online, through information-sharing and a free membership. Offline, The OT Show (UK) provides an annual meeting space, networking opportunities and CPD for the profession. Both serve to enhance practitioner and student support.
Communities of practice (CoPs), such as The OT Hub and OT4OT, are professional communication forums, providing opportunities free of geographical constraint. Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002 p.4; cited by Hoffmann, Desha and Verrall, 2011) illustrate these as ‘groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area…’ In this case, the topic is occupational therapy. The OT Show is visited, in person, by the same passionate demographic.
But why connect both in person and online? Professional and geographic isolation are growing issues, as clinicians and students undertake roles in new, emerging and remote settings (Ezzamel, 2013; Ramsey, 2011). Communities of practice can assist in tackling isolation and in providing networking and mentoring opportunities (Bodell and Hook, 2014; Wiid et al., 2013; Hoffmann, Desha and Verrall, 2011). Similarly, profession-oriented events provide the chance to physically (re)connect with experienced and like-minded individuals, from across the globe.
This #OTalk will explore the following themes in relation to bringing the occupational therapy community closer together:
- Creating conditions for more collaborative innovation will be key to improved patient outcomes and future transformations (Innovation into Action, NHS England, 2015).
- Professional and geographic isolation:
- The more information available to the healthcare industry, the better able clinicians are to make the best decisions when supporting service users (Sood, 2017).
- Public awareness of occupational therapy
Some questions to consider:
- How can shows and online platforms better support collaborative innovation and improved patient outcomes?
- What are your experiences of social isolation and how have you overcome them?
- Can problems arise (in study or in practice) from information overload?
- How can we work to become a profession that is better understood by the public and healthcare colleagues?
Host: @theOThub and @theOTshow
OTalk Support: @gilliancrossley