VideOT: Things OTs Say

This video of USC’s occupational therapy students and faculty cracked me up when I first saw it! I have definitely heard many of my professors and classmates use at least a few of the phrases in the video, and sometimes you just have to laugh at how obnoxiously OT we all sound sometimes. The video does get a little hard to hear at some points, but it made for a great 3 minute break from all of the soul-crushing graduate school homework assignments I have this week.

I may or may not be guilty of saying some of these things myself, but I’m definitely going to plead the fifth on that one!

Favorite Quotes

1. “OT is so holistic!”

Whenever I have longer than two minutes to explain what it is that OT’s do, I have to throw in the word holistic just to make sure that my audience is even more confused.

“Occupations aren’t just jobs…”

All. The. Time. ALLLLLL the time. I’m greatly amused by the fact that OTs and OT students are so quick to say “No! It’s not helping people find jobs!” when that’s actually something OT’s can be trained to do – and something that I want to do! But it does get old having to explain to virtually every person you meet that an occupation isn’t just a person’s choice of employment. I guess this is what we get for choosing a word that has such a distinct value*…to only the people in our profession.

3. “My work life balance is so off right now!”

It’s so funny that we go to school to learn how to help people engage in activities that are meaningful to them and yet we never learn how to make time for activities that are meaningful to ourselves! Oh, the cruel irony of OT school!

4. “What a day! I so need OT myself!”

In case you didn’t know, everything that ever happens to anyone can be remedied by OT. Missed the bus? Time to work on your time management and planning skills! Got into a fight with your significant other? OT will help you self-regulate after the encounter! Doing a terrible job of balancing OT grad school with your social life?

…me too. But somehow studying OT hasn’t taught me the cure for that.

5. I just went surfing last weekend.”

“No way, that’s one of my favorite occupations!”

From here on out, everything anyone does is an occupation, not an activity or an event or a basic task. I even used the word in my status the other day and almost wanted to slap myself. It WILL happen to you, too!

6. “I’m an occupational therapist.”


“Do you know what that is?”

“It’s like a PT, right?”

*OT spouts crazy long explanation, complete with a crazy list of acronyms*

This sums up pretty much every encounter with a person who says anything about PT while you’re trying to talk about OT. It’s the standard industry response (millions of acronyms optional).

All joking aside, occupational therapy is where it’s at. But this video does an awesomely entertaining job of showcasing the most frequently used and abused phrases in the profession!

* If the next OT you talk to say doesn’t something about OT’s “distinct value,” you should probably report them to the Board for failing the profession and not doing their job.

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