Ways to Network as a Busy Occupational Therapist

I have the pleasure of welcoming Colleen to Print Path today as an esteemed guest blogger.  I am so excited for her to share her new OT resources!   Colleen is the creator and author of www.theottoolbox.com and http://community.theottoolbox.com.  She is an occupational therapist who shares creative activities designed to promote the healthy development of kids.  Colleen is one of the therapist authors on the Functional Skills for Kids books.

As therapists, we know the advantages of collaborating with others to meet goals. When it comes to our clients, we encourage communicating with others to meet goals, address values related to function, while we network and collaborate with other members of the client’s team.

The positives of networking with others exist when it comes to advancing ourselves as clinicians as well. There are many positive benefits to networking as an occupational therapist. These include advancing personal professional development, advancing clinical expertise, and accessing resources and answers to clinical questions. But it can be difficult to network when a  therapist’s day is filled with meetings, treatment planning, and a full caseload.

Below you will find strategies to network and advance as a busy occupational therapy professional.

 

Ways to Network as a Busy Occupational Therapist

Peer development group- Setting up a small group of coworkers either in person or for regular lunch meetings is one way to discuss trends and collaborate on professional learning. For the therapist who works alone or as part of a small team, online focus groups can be beneficial for networking. Options include in professional Facebook groups or in an online community of therapists. A specific topic can be established and conversation outlined ahead of time.

Email- Sometimes therapists are the only clinician in a practice. This is especially true in the school setting. Having an email network of other therapists can be essential to share research-based intervention strategies and evidence for practice as well as a space for asking clinical questions.

On-the-job networking- Many therapists have access to a team of occupational therapy clinicians or professionals. When several therapists work within the same treatment area, it can be beneficial to chat and share strategies while addressing specific client needs. Steering conversation towards the networking and advancement of the profession can be a way to develop as a practitioner.

Connection with past classmates- Networking with past classmates can be an option for a therapist to advanced clinical expertise. Social media sites such as Facebook can allow for a therapist to connect with previous classmates and to collaborate together as professionals.

All of these strategies are ways or means of networking with other therapists as a busy occupational therapist. There are challenges with each method, however. Geographic location, time, cost, effort, and energy are just some of the issues.

That’s part of the reason why The OT Toolbox Community was developed.

Based from The OT Toolbox website, The OT Toolbox Community promotes clinicians as a valuable “tool” for clients. By connecting and collaborating with other therapists, it is possible to exponentially enhance and promote the profession.

The OT Toolbox Community can be a means of networking with other therapists while allowing clinicians to bounce ideas off of one another. In the OT Toolbox Community, therapists can communicate and network with one another while asking and answering questions.

The OT Toolbox Community is a free resource for occupational therapy practitioners who struggle to find valuable resources in a timely and efficient manner. Seeking out and have answers to clinical questions can be a huge limit when it comes to time, energy, cost, and other issues.

The OT Toolbox Community provides a resource for therapists to connect with one another and collaborate on clinical questions. OTs and OTAs have the opportunity to ask questions related to specific their needs. Therapists can draw on clinical expertise to respond and answer other clinician’s questions. Imagine if many therapists joined together in sharing years of clinical expertise and resources and put them into one tool kit. The OT Toolbox Community provides a one-stop location for navigating all of the information out there. It’s a place to access research. It’s a place to find best practice sources. It’s a place to promote collaborate, network, and mentor with one another as therapists.

The OT Toolbox Community is looking for you. Join hundreds of other occupational therapy professionals who have joined the community and are sharing questions, answers, resources, and valuable sources of clinical information.

A few facts about The OT Toolbox Community:

  • Members are able to upload links to valuable resources that they have located online. These can be shared with other members and searched for by category. Check out the Resource Center and add one of your own.
  • Members are able to ask questions and answer questions. These are sorted by category to enable search queries in order to locate best practice answers in a timely manner. Stop over to the Question Forum and see if there is one that you can answer given your clinical expertise.
  • Members can upload their own documents and files to share with other therapists. This is a huge asset for data collection screenings and other sources of information for therapists.
  • Members can list job opportunities in the Job Area. Have a position open in your facility? Reach out to our large community of occupational therapy professionals and fill your positions fast!
  • Have an activity that you love using in treatment sessions? Snap a picture with your phone and share it as a Blog Post. It doesn’t have to be a fancy blog post…just share your idea with the community members. Members can enhance the profession by sharing practice strategies that work!
  • In The OT Toolbox Community, all links, resources, questions, comments, and blog posts can be shared anonymously if you like!
  • Members can network and collaborate to enhance OT careers while building lasting relationships with colleagues.
  • There are more tools coming to The OT Toolbox Community very soon: an Evidence-Based Practice Library, mentor match-ups, member badges, notification systems, and messaging options are just a few of the tools coming to the community!

As therapists, we know the value of group interaction. Now, the ability to develop and grow in personal and clinical experience is right on your screen.

Stop by and join The OT Toolbox Community! It’s a thriving source of information for occupational therapy practitioners.

 

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