The door is open, are you going to walk through it?

#OTalk has given me countless opportunities over my 6 years with the Team. Opportunities to develop my professional identity & to learn from creative & innovative practitioners. I’ve been challenged to examine my values & assumptions & I’ve supported others to do the same.  I have grown as an Occupational Therapist & so has my view of our profession & what we can achieve together.  I have facilitated discussions with leaders, encouraged students to value their contributions & supported clinicians to share their knowledge & skills.

Through this journey I have met many incredible people & consider myself extremely lucky to count some of them as friends & mentors. The #OTalk Team & our community have supported me through times of doubt, helped me to turn some crazy ideas into a reality, pushed me to do more & have always been there with a perfectly timed kind or wise word. The community has also turned a blind eye as I ran through corridoors in search of computer techs, gate crashed more than one RCOT party & hid under conference tables eating cookies. I cannot thank you all enough for that.

Despite all these wonderful experiences there is a saying that has been hauting me of late. “You can do anything but not everything”. With that in mind it is time for me to step back, reflect & plan ahead. While my time with the #OTalk Team has come to an end, yours could just be beginning. 

As #OTalkTurnsTen, the Team are seeking new members to join the Crew, people to bring a fresh energy, new ideas & different perspectives. If you think that person is you, great & if you don’t, then you’re wrong. Get in touch, have a discussion, I promise you won’t regret it.

I will forever be your weird Twitter friend, on hand for a chat, a sarcastic comment and/or a nerdy gif.

K, @Kirstie_OT


#OTalk 25th January 2022 – Improving our data literacy skills

This week Suzy England @RCOT_Suzy from The Royal College of Occupational Therapy is hosting a chat on Digital Literacy and here is what she had to say……

Occupational Therapists practise in an age of ‘information abundance’, and over recent years a growing number of different tools and communication channels have been adopted in practice to record, use, and share information or data. It is not uncommon for occupational therapists to report that “information sits in different places and in different formats” all of which contributes to problems with working efficiently as well as difficulties in sharing information and capturing impact. 

In December 2021, RCOT published The RCOT Data and Innovation Strategy (2021-2023) with a vision that:

 Every occupational therapist is confident in engaging in a range of activities that use, collect and share data for the purposes of improving health outcomes at the individual, service and population level.

Data intelligence or data literacy is about making sense of different forms of data, so that we can gain meaningful insights and make better decisions in the future. 

Little is known about how confident occupational therapists feel working with data at different points in their career and in different roles and contexts. For this reason, this #OTalk chat is one of 6 engagement activities that seeks to better understand the quick wins and larger projects that members identify as being relevant to advances in the professions data literacy skills. 

Questions to consider:

What CPD or workplace activities have you engaged in which has improved your data literacy? 

What area of data literacy do you most feel you could benefit from learning more about? 

Do you think there are benefits to using a smaller subset of uniformed terminology and outcome measures to better evidence our impact? 

What activities or projects do you think RCOT should lead on or facilitate to increase the data literacy skills across the profession? 


Host:  Suzy England @RCOT_Suzy from The Royal College of Occupational Therapy

Support on OTalk Account: @kirstie_OT (her last)

Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt.  So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?

HCPC Standards for CPD.

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  • Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD.

#OTalk 9thJuly – Age Appropriate Occupations

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Age Appropriate Occupations” and will be hosted by Kirstie Hughes (@Kirstie_OT).

Over the years when I have told people I enjoy building Lego I am met with responses such as “but its for Kids” or “Really, why?” and my answer is always why not?!

At this years Royal College of Occupational Therapist Annual Conference I presented an occupation station to share my love of Lego. I was hugely overwhelmed by demand for my session and the positive feedback with one attendee commenting on how he felt calm and relaxed engaging in occupational flow amongst the busy few days of conference

The queries have often left me thinking about age appropriate occupations in Occupational Therapy and the wider Health and Social Care context. Activities such as Easter bonnet making in residential homes, nursery rhymes in Learning Disabilities and Coloring in mental health services were often looked upon as “not appropriate”. As research in these areas have progressed we have an evidence base for their benefits to health and well being and they are now seen as mainstream activities, but why were they ever seen as inappropriate in the first place?

This chat aims to encourage discussion around age appropriate occupations, what impacts on them and why we stop engaging within adulthood.

Some questions to consider;

1: Do you engage with or participate in any occupations that may not be deemed as “age appropriate”? In addition to Lego building I also play PokemonGo.

2: What was your favourite occupation as a child? What did you gain from it? Do you still participate in it now? If not why not?

3: As OTs we know the importance of meaning in occupation, so does age really matter to us?

4: Is the need to provide a group activity impacting on the options available to us? Does catering for the many reduce meaningful options?

5: Are there any types of occupation based activities you would like to try within your service but have concerns around justifying them? Maybe you have tried some and was successful in your clinical reasoning?

6: Are the any new occupations you would like to try as an adult? Why barriers are there to your participation?

Post Chat

Host and On OTalk Account; @kirstieot

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript July 9th 2019

The Numbers

2.351M Impressions
336 Tweets
36 Participants
269 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


#otalkontour, #RCOT2019, OTalk

#OTalk 28th May 2019 – Top Tips for Attending Conference (#RCOT2019)

#OTalk 28th May 2019 – Top Tips for Attending Conference

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Top Tips for Conference” and will be hosted by our Kirstie Hughes (@Kirstie_OT).

Here is what Kirstie had to say…

Conference is a great experience for many, it offers a chance to learn, share and be inspired. However, for first time attendees, especially those attending alone, it can seem a little daunting and may not even be aware of that goes on at conference.

This chat aims to discuss the benefits of attending conference and what sessions and events people are looking forward to as well as a chance to share some top tips and answer any questions new attendees may have.

We will also have a cheeky little #OTalkonTour announcement at the end……

 Some questions to consider;

 1; Who is attending RCOT conference this year? Are you a regular or a newbie? For those of you not attending, what factors affected your decision?

2; What are you most looking forward to? Has anything from the programme jumped out at you?

3; What did you enjoy most about the last conference you attended and why? (Not just RCOT).

4; For first time attendees, is there anything that you would like to ask or know?

5; For regular conference goers, what are your top tips for first attending conference?

Any newbies might also want to check out the “Friendly Guide to Attending your first Health Professions Conference” from LG Personal Development



Host and on the OTalk account – @kirstieot

#OTalk Transcript May 28th 2019

Online Transcript

The Numbers

2.512M Impressions
360 Tweets
32 Participants
288 Avg Tweets/Hour
11 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants



#OTalk 22nd January 2019 – Being a rotational OT

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “being a rotational occupational therapist” and will be hosted by Kerri Schubert (@Kerri_schOT).

 Here is what Kerri had to say…

I love my job – I’m a rotational Occupational Therapist and since qualifying and taking on this role, I have rotated into 3 different clinical areas. I really enjoy the variety that comes with being a rotational OT and think that by rotating into different departments I get to constantly learn new skills and understand the role of OT in a range of different settings. I hope that by rotating around different specialties I will feel like a well-rounded, experienced OT, which will enable me to eventually progress into a more senior role, wherever that may be!

Polglase and Treseder (2012:153) addressed the challenge of choosing between a rotational and static job post-qualifying. They suggest that being a rotational OT allows a new therapist to build skills in several fields and can contribute to them being a holistic OT. They also highlight the benefits of being a static OT, balancing the discussion.

Personally, I applied for a rotational job over a static post when I left university as I thought it would better my career prospects in the future by allowing me to experience numerous OT roles within an acute and community setting. However, I know OT’s who took their first job as a static post and love it! I don’t think there is a right or a wrong choice – it’s purely circumstantial and based on people’s preferences… and I’d love to hear what you guys think!

Some questions to consider:

What Occupational Therapy role do you plan to take on/did you take on as your first job?

What do you think are the benefits of being a rotational Occupational Therapist?

What do you think might be a drawback to being rotational as opposed to a static Occupational Therapist?

There seems to be more rotational jobs available in my area over static jobs – is this the same for you? If so, why do you think this is?

What tips do you have for people who are looking for their first OT job and are unsure which route to go down?

If you took a rotational job, how many rotations did you complete before moving onto a static post?


Polglase, T., Treseder, R. (2012) The Occupational Therapy Handbook: Practice Education. Keswick:M&K Publishing

Post Chat

Host: Kerri Schubert (@Kerri_schOT).

Support: Kelly  @otonthetracks

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript 26th Jan 2019

The Numbers

1.298M Impressions
489 Tweets
47 Participants
391 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants