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Student Occupational Therapy Association 

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Make SOTA an incredible experience for you!



Make SOTA an incredible experience: Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Hospice Alliance


  • Idaho Special Olympics







Make SOTA an incredible experience: Promote Occupational Therapy

 Promoting OT to the Community

  • Find opportunities to tell others about OT: your neighbor's dad just broke his hip; your hairdresser is complaining about numbness and tingling in her hands; your husband's co-worker was just diagnosed with MS.
  • Do your friends and neighbors know what OT is?
  • Wear an "Ask me about OT" button.
  • Rehearse your "OT is…" statement so you are prepared when asked.
  • Get a credit card that has AOTA on it.
  • Get a personalized license plate with your initials followed by OTR or an OT license plate frame or bumper sticker.
  • Volunteer to speak on various health related topics or specifically about OT at Senior citizen centers, disability support groups, church groups, schools, political groups, service groups (Kiwanis, Rotary Club, Lions Club, Elks), local business groups, social groups (Welcome Wagon, Garden Club).
  • Participate in community health fairs and/or have OT brochures available.
  • Participate in open house at facility/agency.
  • Send human interest stories to local newspaper & women's magazines.
  • Write editorials

Promoting OT to the Patient

  • Review new admissions that don't have an OT referral. If a patient appears to have an OT need, review the chart, talk to their nurse or PT and meet the patient.
  • Participate in patient care/team conferences/meetings. Speak up, show your knowledge and the unique skills you can offer a patient.
  • Send a follow-up card or phone call to patients after discharge.
  • Patient handouts should be neat and clear. Always include the therapist's name, title, facility/agency name and phone number.
  • Place a simple chart in patient's room or home chart to recognize progress made in OT.
  • Place "OT" stickers on patient issued ADL equipment and splints.
  • Give patients pencil grips that have the OT logo on them.
  • Appeal all Medicare denials.
  • If an HMO or private insurance denies OT coverage, follow up with another request either verbally or in writing detailing your assessment and how the patient will benefit from OT.

Promoting OT to the Family

  • Inform the family of the referral to OT, invite them to participation in the treatment plan and goals, and answer any questions.
  • Involve the family in treatment sessions, from the start of therapy not just at discharge.
  • Leave a "What is OT" brochure in the patient's room or home chart.
  • Attend family conferences.
  • Participate in "family night" events.

Promoting OT to the Staff

  • Provide education to the staff through inservice training, new employee training, & Nursing Assistant training.
  • Provide staff with printed educational materials during inservices.
  • Make regular contributions to hospital newsletters.
  • Give away OT buttons pens or stickers to staff.
  • Observe National PT, ST and Nursing Months.
  • Participate on facility/agency committees.
  • Decorate bulletin boards in the hallways, staff lounges, near the time clock. Include general information on OT & wellness tips for staff.
  • Eat lunch in break areas to build rapport with nursing staff.
  • Introduce new OT staff members to entire facility.

Promoting OT to Physicians

  • Make rehab rounds with physician.
  • Send letter of introduction for each new OT staff.
  • Become familiar with physician's treatment approach (ie orthopedic protocols).
  • Notify new programs or program changes, such as adding outpatient services or a newly developed protocol for COPD.
  • Obtain evaluation, treatment and discharge orders either by phone or in person.
  • Send a "Thank you for your referral" card to doctors that don't regularly refer patients.
  • Notify successful rehabilitation graduates with a note and photograph.
  • Be visible when the physician is in the hospital/facility.
  • Share relevant clinical information regarding new techniques, approaches, or products. Send highlights of a new treatment techniques or copy of journal article.
  • Meet new physicians and orient them to the role of occupational therapy.
  • Send the physician a written update when the patient has a follow-up visit.

Promoting OT to Your Referral Sources

  • Who are they? Other staff members (nursing, PT), acute care or rehab therapists, social work/discharge planners.
  • Introduce new members of the OT department in person or with a short note.
  • Notify your referral sources about new or changes in OT treatment programs.
  • Send a short note to other staff on how a referred patient progressed in OT.
  • Establish rapport with acute/rehab OT and call them for continuity of care information.
  • Invite your referral sources to tour the OT department.

Promoting OT to Other Health Professionals

  • If you read/hear/see information that you felt excluded or misrepresented OT, write a letter to the author/editor/producer explaining your position. Ex: A website about MS did not mention OT. A letter was written which was very specific about OT's role.
  • Learn and use standardized tests.
  • Develop OT treatment protocols, involve other discipline and assist them in developing their treatment protocols.
  • Communicate your treatment plan to all involved team members, establish your scope of OT practice.
  • Refer patient to other diciplines.
  • Join and get involved in AOTA, state OT association, AOTF, and legislative efforts.
  • Volunteer for professional organization committees such as the local chapter of Arthritis Foundation or National Alliance for Mental Illness.
  • Write articles for non-OT professional newsletters/journals/magazines.
  • Guest lecture at local university or technical school.
  • Submit papers and proposals for workshops at local, state, and national conferences.
  • Respect and show interest in other staff's unique skills.
  • Co-treat. (PT ambulates the patient upstairs so OT can work on shower transfers)

Promoting OT - Look at Your Environment

  • Display framed licenses in the rehabilitation department.
  • Organize and store files to eliminate clutter.
  • Have OT department included on facility tours.
  • Display photos of OT treatment in progress.

Need some resources?

  • OT Month Ideas Webpage
  • AOTA has a OT Month Resource Packet with a lot of items for only $5.00 including:
    Fact sheets to consumers, t-shirts, tote bags, buttons, pen grips, posters, stickers etc.