#OTalk 29th January 2019 – What drivers and barriers affect final transition point of final year student to newly qualified occupational therapists?

This week Emma (@emmaspellmanOT) wants some help with her PhD research:

I am an Occupational Therapy lecturer, PhD student and volunteer member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) North West Regional Committee.

Since my own BSc study in occupational therapy, I’ve been interested in what drivers and barriers affect that final transition point of final year student to newly qualified occupational therapists.  Subsequently I’m currently doing doctoral research into this subject which will build on current research that indicates factors of professional socialisation, knowledge/skills acquisition and teaching/learning styles/behaviours. There is a gap in the current UK literature which is the combination of voices of student, educator and lecturer.

Questions for consideration:

Question 1: What does being ‘prepared for practice’ mean to you?

Question 2: Who is involved in preparing students to be able to practice and please give an example if you can?

Question 3: How you have successfully achieved preparedness for practice as a student or how you might have helped a student achieve this?

Question 4: What key challenges or barriers do you feel there are to a final year occupational therapy student feeling prepared for practice?

Question 5: What else could be done to improve preparing students to practice?  

Participation in this OTalk chat doesn’t make you a research participant in my study. However, please would you consider my using your tweets for analysis of the OTtalk transcript?  If you do consider this, please be assured of anonymity.  Those among you familiar to OTalk will know that you can choose anonymity if you wish. You might already protect your own anonymity on your twitter accounts and you can protect your tweets from whomever you wish.   I will ensure anonymity in the write up of the pilot study. There is a possibility of participants being identifiable from any quotes used within the final write up of the research, however, care will be taken within this to remove any identifiable information, including the use of pseudonyms and omitting any organisational information that may be included.

For those that may consider allowing me to use their tweets for my doctoral study, please view the documents linked below:

If you choose to allow me to use your tweets for my pilot doctoral study and so become a research participant,  please read the participant information form above and then the consent form, if you are still happy to be a research participant please sign the consent form and send this to : emma.spellman@cumbria.ac.uk.

Thank you in anticipation, Emma

Anyone interested in being a research participant in Emma’s study and allowing her to use their anonymised tweets should contact her directly on the e-mail address provided above.

Post Chat

Host: Emma (@emmaspellmanOT)

Support on @OTalk_ Account: @colourful_ot

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript

151.489K Impressions
27 Tweets
13 Participants
25 Avg Tweets/Hour
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


#OTalk 15th January 2019 – Applying your learning in Practice

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “applying your learning” and will be hosted by Sarah Lawson (@SLawsonOT).

Here is what Sarah had to say…

Hi, I am Sarah (@SLawsonOT), I am an Occupational Therapist, MPhil/PhD student, volunteer member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) North West Regional Committee and Conference Development Team and along with @HearleD we develop TRAMmCPD.

TRAMmCPD comprises of the TRAMm (Tell, Record, Apply, Monitor and measure) Model and its tools the TRAMm Tracker and TRAMm Trail, which collectively are known as TRAMmCPD. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a personal and subjective journey, as well as our professional responsibility and a mandatory requirement of our registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). In order to be effective we need to Tell others, Record and Apply what we have learnt through our CPD activities, Monitor our progress and measure the impact (Hearle et al 2016). Information about TRAMmCPD and free downloads are available from our website (www.TRAMmCPD.com) and if you are a member of RCOT our book us available to view, free via the RCOT website.

Both Deb and I are carrying out Doctoral research into CPD and the TRAMmCPD and our findings have led to a more explicit focus within the TRAMm Model of the importance of the applicationof learning in practice. It is not enough to record that we have learnt something, and reflected but what we do next with what we have learnt is fundamental to meeting the HCPC Standards for CPD.

For the #RCOT2018 Conference with a little help from some friends and students we put together #CPDBingo with one game for before and during conference the other for after conference.

How do you Apply your learning?

The decision to attend a conference or training can involve a lot of planning. You have booked your place, negotiated time from work, arranged the funding, saved money for the trip, all your domestic arrangements are made. You attend the event, learn a lot and have a great time.

What next?

You have your certificates safely stored in the carrier bag under the bed… but will your Certificate/s of Attendance be just that or will it/they form a part of your wider engagement in your CPD?

You have engaged in a myriad of CPD activities, some formal others informal, you have a list if you need it in your diary.

You have learnt a range of new things, from talking and listening to colleagues, through social media, reading, listening to podcasts and a whole host of other every day activities.

How do these become part of your CPD?

Questions to Consider:

Q1: What types of activities have you learnt the most from this year?

Q2: If you were at #RCOT2018 in person, followed sessions on Twitter or read any of the blog squad posts what were your most significant learning points, and which have you applied in practice? If you did not attend #RCOT2018 what other events have you learnt the most from and which have changed your practice in some way?

Q3: How have you Applied what you have learnt to benefit yourself?

Q4: How have you Applied what you have learnt to benefit your service users?

Q5: How have you Applied what you have learnt to benefit your organisation?

Q6: What other types of Application of your learning have you done?

Post Chat

Host: @SLawsonOT

OTalk support: @kirstieot

Online Transcript

#otalk healthcare social media transcript january 15th 2019

he Numbers

1.656M Impressions
373 Tweets
34 Participants
298 Avg Tweets/Hour
11 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk – 8th January 2019 – ResOTlutions!

note notebook notes page

Hello and welcome to the 1st #OTalk of 2019, as requested by the community, the first chat of the year has become a regular resOTlutions chat. This not only gives us a good opportunity to have a nice relaxing chat to get us back into the swing of things after our Christmas and New Year break, but enables the community to share ideas of what they have planned for CPD in 2019 and/or ask the community for ideas if we are stuck for creative and interesting things to keep our CPD fresh.

With that in mind this weeks chat will be a informal relaxed discussion. But just to get you thinking we still have some questions to get things going…..

  1. How often do you review your CPD activities? Have you reviewed them recently?
  2. Do you have a strategic overview of your CPD activities?
  3. How do you decide you have covered a topic or need to cover a topic?
  4. What are your current CPD priorities?
  5. What CPD activities did you completed in 2018 that you really enjoyed? – This may give others some ideas of things to do.
  6. Do you have any topics that you feel you need to explore but don’t have a plan on how to do so yet? – Ask the community they may have some ideas to help you.

Please also feel free to ask questions and discuss anything you wish in relation to planning for your CPD and setting CPD goals.

Post Chat

Host and Otalk Support – @helenotuk

#otalk healthcare social media transcript january 8th 2019

Online Transcript

The Numbers

105Avg Tweets/Hour
7Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants



#OTalk 18th December 2018 – OT and Self Disclosure

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “self disclosure” and will be hosted by Solei Naisbett Jones @soleinj_.

Here is what Solei had to say…

Hi I’m Solei! I am a newly qualified occupational therapist currently working in neurology. After qualifying in 2017, I pursued postgraduate studies and completed my master’s degree in Advanced Professional Practice at the University of Plymouth. My research dissertation for my MSc explored therapist self-disclosure by occupational therapists. I am excited to host an #OTalk surrounding this topic area to share the findings of my research and hear about your experiences of self-disclosing to clients in the therapeutic relationship.

Therapist self-disclosure by occupational therapists has not yet been explored in depth within the profession. It can be defined as “non-immediate exposure of personal information regarding the therapist’s life outside the therapeutic encounter, such as emotional struggles, health status, past experiences, personal beliefs, values, or life circumstances” (Audet and Everall, 2010). It has been debated that therapist self-disclosure can impede therapy, creating role confusion, client uncertainty and therapist fear of client judgment (Moore and Jenkins, 2012). Despite this, it is also suggested that self-disclosure can bring therapeutic benefits by facilitating rapport through showing trust, genuineness and honesty on the therapist’s part (Audet and Everall, 2010).

As a person-centred profession which honours the importance of emotional sharing, rapport building, collaboration and partnership (Taylor, 2008), therapists’ interaction and communication with their clients is highly valued within occupational therapy (Boyt-Schell, Scaffa and Cohn, 2014). As occupational therapists, one of our core skills is our therapeutic use of self, a valuable tool in which we make a conscious effort to control our responses to enable client comfort and reassurance (Taylor, 2008). Arguably, therapist self-disclosure is a key component of the therapeutic use of self. As occupational therapists, we have a responsibility to maintain professional boundaries of the therapeutic relationship (Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT, 2015). However, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC, 2017) also indicate that as occupational therapists, we are required to work in partnership with clients, adopting an approach which motivates, involves and centres on the client. Ultimately, this #OTalk will explore and discuss the potential enhancing or damaging effect of self-disclosure by occupational therapists on the therapeutic relationship.


  1. What do you consider to be “self-disclosure with a patient/client”?
  2. What leads you to share personal experiences with patients/clients? Do you disclose to patients/clients often?
  3. What do you consider the main benefits and potential issues to be when disclosing information to patients/clients?
  4. What conversations/discussions have you had with colleagues about self-disclosing to a patient/client in practice?
  5. Do you think guidance surrounding therapist disclosure of personal information to patients/clients would be helpful for occupational therapists? What should the guidance address/include?


Audet, C, D. and Everall, R, D. (2010). ‘Therapist self-disclosure and the therapeutic relationship: a phenomenological study from the client perspective’. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling.38(3), pp. 327-342.

Boyt-Schell, B, A., Scaffa, M, E., Gillen, G., and Cohn,, E, S. (2014). ‘Contemporary Occupational Therapy Practice’ in Boyt-Schell, B, A., Scaffa, M, E., Gillen, G., and Cohn, E, S. Willard and Spackman’s Occupational Therapy Twelfth Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, pp. 47-58.

Health and Care Professions Council (2017). Standards of conduct, performance and Ethics. London: HCPC.

Moore, J. and Jenkins, P. (2012). ”Coming out’ in therapy? Perceived risks and benefits of self-disclosure of sexual orientation by gay and lesbian therapists to straight clients’. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. 12(4), pp. 308-315.

Royal College of Occupational Therapists. (2015). Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.London: RCOT.

Post Chat

Host: @soleinj_

Support on the Otalk account: @otrach

Online Transcript #OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript December 18th 2018

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript December 18th 2018

The Numbers

1.469M Impressions
609 Tweets
51 Participants
487 Avg Tweets/Hour
12 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

Data for #OTalk can be up to 15 minutes delayed

#OTalk 4th December 2018 – Making Better Use of Systematic Reviews.

This month’s #OTalk Research topic is ‘making better use of systematic reviews’ and will be hosted by @KatrinaBannigan, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Plymouth.

Here’s what Katrina had to say:

Earlier this year I was invited by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports to write an editorial (Bannigan 2018). I chose to focus on the role of systematic reviews in developing a complex intervention. The reason for this was systematic reviews have been on the receiving end of criticism; it has been suggested that systematic reviewing has almost become a self-perpetuating industry. Systematic reviews have come to be regarded as an end in themselves which, if we do not make best use of them, they are. As with all research—and systematic reviews are research—their findings are redundant if they are not used. This is why this month’s research #OTalk Research is focussing on making better use of systematic reviews. So whether you are a student, practitioner, researcher, manager, commissioner or policy maker please join in the discussion to share your experience and/ or learn about making better use of systematic reviews.

You can read my editorial here: https://bit.ly/2LFan9s

In the #OTalk meeting we will use the following questions to structure to the discussion but please feel free to join in with other questions and perspectives:

  1. What is your experience of using systematic reviews to date?
  1. How can/should systematic reviews be used in clinical practice?
  1. How can/should systematic reviews be used in research?
  1. What are your top tips for using systematic reviews?


Bannigan K (2018) Systematic review: the first step in developing a complex intervention JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports: May 2018 – Volume 16 – Issue 5 – p 1079–1080 doi: 10.11124/JBISRIR-2017-003788

Post Chat

Host: @KatrinaBannigan

On the Otalk research support: @hooper_ek

Online transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript December 4th 2018

1.229M Impressions
371 Tweets
35 Participants
297 Avg Tweets/Hour
11 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk 27th November 2018 – Occupation Focused Goal Setting Tools for Children and Young People 

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Goal Setting Tools for Children and Young People” and will be hosted by Emma Laird (@EmmalairdOT).

Here is what Emma had to say…

Occupational therapy offers a unique perspective known as an occupation-centred approach (Fisher, 2013) to promote engagement and participation within occupations which supports health and well-being.  When identifying therapeutic goals for children and young people, this has previously been influenced by what the parents/family consider to be the main concerns and priorities (Pollock et al, 2014; Rodger and Kennedy-Behr, 2017).  However, it is recognised that children need to be active in setting goals where possible to enhance engagement and participation in interventions to improve outcomes.  For intervention to be client-centred, a collaborative goal setting approach involving the child and their family is essential to identifying what the priorities are whilst being meaningful and important to the child (Bamm and Rosenbaum, 2008).  

There has been a professional shift towards occupation-centred practice (Rodger and Keen, 2010) and the need for tools to help facilitate children to self-report their goals.  This has been area of practice whereby new tools have been published to help the therapist in empowering the child and family to identify occupation-based goals (Rodger and Kennedy-Behr, 2017) which is in line with government policies.  

Within my practice, goal setting helps inform our clinical practice by delivering effective intervention that is client-centred and evidenced based (Costa, Brauchie and Kennedy-Behr, 2017).  However, with the development of new self-reporting tools and professional changes whereby we focus on occupation this has made me ask questions and look at the evidence to support my clinical practice.


  1. What goal setting tools are being used across different specialist areas of paediatrics and why?
  2. How can we measure the impact of goal setting with children, young people and families?
  3. How can we use goal setting tools as an outcome measure?
  4. How can we support collaborative working within the goal setting process and improve functional outcomes?
  5. What are the gaps in research and how can this be addressed/
  6. What are the opportunities and challenges of introducing a new goal setting tool into the service 


Host: @EmmalairdOT

OTalk Support: @OT_rach

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript November 27th 2018

Online transcript

The Numbers

714.205K Impressions
229 Tweets
22 Participants
183 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants