Top 10 Etsy Finds for Occupational Therapists

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The holidays are fast approaching, and I’m here to make your gift-giving for fellow OTs easy! In true OT-addict fashion, even my personal gift-giving style just screams “occupational therapist!” I love giving fun, functional, and meaningful gifts to my friends and family, and shopping on Etsy makes it easy for me to find gifts that will make everyone on my list happy.

In case you haven’t shopped on Etsy before, the site is basically a huge online “maker marketplace” where crafters, artists, designers, and creators of all kinds set up virtual shops to sell their wares. It’s truly an amazing testament to the unlimited creativity that exists in the world, and you can get lost on the site for hours, sidetracked from your original mission by pages and pages of cool creations.

As an added bonus, Etsy makes it easy to shop local for the holidays. In addition to sorting items by price, relevance, and other categories, you can search for goods by geographic area to find local shops or gifts nearby. So now you can shop local from the comfort of your own couch!

Read on to find fun and functional gift ideas for every OT on your list!

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Taking OT to South Korea: My Journey to Become a 2018 Winter Olympics Volunteer

Send Lauren to South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics!

Check out my Fund My Travel page for updates, information, and to donate!

As an occupational therapist, I help individuals of all ages increase their independence, engage in meaningful activity, and achieve their personal goals. In addition to being a dedicated healthcare professional, I am an avid traveler. I’ve been to places all over the United States, Puerto Rico, and even Nicaragua! However, I’ve never had the opportunity to travel to the eastern part of the world and experience the culture, language, and opportunities that exist there. Between working, spending time with family, and volunteering in multiple organizations, it’s been difficult to find time to travel. But I’m always on the lookout for great opportunities to serve and explore the world!

Several years ago, I was watching the Olympic Games and wondering how such a large-scale, high-stakes international event was organized every couple of years. After doing a little research, I learned that Olympics volunteers were a huge part of the equation, and that thousands of people from all over the world were selected as support staff for each Olympics event!

Then my wheels began to turn…and it all made perfect sense! Healthcare professional + Avid traveler = Olympics volunteer! As soon as the 2018 Winter Olympics volunteer application opened in July 2016, I entered my information and buckled down for the long wait.

Click below to learn more about my journey to becoming a 2018 Winter Olympics volunteer, and how you can help send me to South Korea!

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By OT’s, For OT’s: A Guide to Inventions by Occupational Therapists

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Happy OT Month 2016! Four years after initially learning about OT, three years after going through the wildly difficult OT school application process, two years after starting OT school, and just FIVE MONTHS before the end of my time as an OT student, I’m still as passionate about this profession as ever!

Although of course I celebrate OT all day every day, this month is a great time to advocate for OT, educate others about the profession, and celebrate the achievements of OT students, practitioners, educators, and supporters! And since I love to celebrate, for OT Month 2016 I’ve created a guide to products, publications, and projects created by OT practitioners from around the world!

Read on to learn more about products created by and for OT and OTA students and practitioners across practice areas!

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Celebrating a Love as Big as My Hair!

Hello out there! Just a note, this post is totally unrelated to OT, except for the fact that doing my hair is one of my most and least favorite ADLs.

In case you didn’t know, I’m getting married! And because I’m a poor grad student who doesn’t have a ton of money to spare (See: All my blog posts about saving money, lol), I’m trying to win as many things as possible for our upcoming wedding! So if you’re a fan of my blog or just want to help a poor grad student out, click over to the Facebook contest I’m in, like our photo, and help me win a free bridal hairstyling appointment! 🙂

Vote for our photo here!

Many thanks, and I’ll be posting more relevant content soon!

Yay!

Free Magazines for OT Practitioners

 

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Hello again! The holiday season has come and gone, and we have officially entered that time of year when people are pinching pennies, making resolutions to save, and crossing their fingers in hopes that they’ll get a tax refund and not owe anything back!

If any of these scenarios rings true for you, you’ll be excited to learn that you can honor your resolutions and save a few bucks by spending absolutely nothing to access these free magazines with helpful articles, job postings, and information for OT students and practitioners! Below is a selection of six free publications that OT/As can read for treatment ideas, discussion of professional issues, product recommendations, and more!

P.S. (If you’re strapped for cash and looking for a good gift for an OT/A friend or coworker, a free magazine subscription will make them happy while saving you some money!)

Even if you are a dedicated reader of AOTA’s OT Practice magazine, I recommend signing up to receive digital editions of a few more magazines to help you sharpen practice skills, gain new perspectives on the profession, and improve your interactions with clients and families.

Read on to find out what’s free for those who practice OT!

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Gift Guide for OT Students

The holiday season is approaching quickly, and many OT students will have friends and family members asking what’s on their wish lists. If you are a current OT student or new grad, share this list to help make holiday shopping easier for the ones you love! You might even see some things you’d like to purchase for yourself. I’m a big fan of the reference clipboard for building confidence (and knowledge) during fieldwork, customized badge clips, and the 2016 AOTA Conference registration!

Whether you decide to purchase an object or an experience, you can’t go wrong with these great gifts!

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Click through for links to individual items.
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OT Resources for Students & Professionals: An Interactive Infographic!

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Are you an OT student or practitioner looking to improve your practice, increase your success, and give back to the profession of occupational therapy?

If so, check out my new interactive OT Resources infographic! In it, you’ll find information about:

  • OT scholarships
  • Research and grant writing
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Getting involved with policy, legislation, and advocacy
  • Improving your practice skills
  • Student leadership opportunities
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Advanced certifications
  • Understanding OT’s scope of practice

…and much, much more! So click on the image or the Resources tab above and check it out, and please share with your peers, coworkers, and friends in OT!

AOTA Conference 2015: AOTPAC Talent Show!

So in case you’ve been living under a rock (or holed up studying for finals…same thing) and haven’t heard the news, just a few weeks ago I performed at the 2015 AOTA Conference AOTPAC Talent Show — and I got third place! (Jk, it’s big news to nobody but my parents and my classmates, after one of my professors “outed” me in an email to the class…)

My trophy is at home, but the videos of my performance are now here! I had a great time performing, and it was so much fun to see the talent that all the other students and practitioners brought to the table. It was really a great night, and I truly enjoyed dancing for a cause!

At the show, the captive audience voted with their dollars, putting money in “tip jars” for each performer. The money went to AOTPAC, but all of the cheers and applause went to the performers! I was up against the likes of Bill Wong, a veteran banjo player, and a professional musician, among others — so the stakes were clearly pretty high. But the audience was awesome, and everybody was cheered on whether they were singing, dancing, or doing something else! The winners of the show were this really cool ballroom dancing couple from Texas, and they TOTALLY deserved first place — I wish I had the videos of their performance AND the encore they did after they won!

The talent show was so much fun, and I hope to be able to do it again next year. Enjoy the videos, and make sure to donate to AOTPAC if you like what you see! 🙂

A big THANK YOU goes to my videographer and friend Elizabeth Hart for filming!

“Day in the Life” Series on OT Cafe

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Happy Friday! Today is the only day of the week when I don’t have class. Which means I actually have time to write a post! (This is clearly way more important than reading, homework, or finishing any of the 12 billion projects I have due throughout this month. -__-)

In case you didn’t know, my friend Abby over at OT Café has an AMAZING new “Day in the Life” series on her blog to celebrate OT Month. She has reached out to OTs all over the place to learn more about what they do, the populations they work with, and what they love about their jobs, and if you’re interested in a career in OT, working in a specific practice area in OT, or learning more about the OT school experience, you should check it out!

All of the posts can be found HERE, and they will be updated throughout the next few weeks as she rolls all of the posts out in April. I’ve been following all of her posts in the series, and it’s great to have practitioner stories and perspectives from different practice settings in mind as I begin thinking about what I’d like to do when I leave school.

Who needs to do work/pay attention in class/be productive on a Friday when you can spend your time being immersed in the wide and wonderful world of OT? (Answer: NOBODY)

Happy reading!

Happy Birthday, Blog! :D

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Happy birthday to my blog! Today it is officially one year old! (This picture is of the delicious and awesome argyle patterned cake my boyfriend made for me a few years ago. :D)

One year ago, I decided to take a leap and begin writing as an outlet for my passion for occupational therapy, the world’s coolest profession.

Today, I realized that while I originally began writing with the intent to help others, collecting my thoughts about the OT profession here on this blog has also been very helpful and meaningful to me. Through this blog, I’ve gotten the chance to interact with some of the profession’s biggest movers and shakers, provide helpful advice to prospective students, and help advocate for the profession — all while making friends and having fun exploring the important issues facing our profession today.

I’ve also been able to document the personal and professional progress I’ve  from my first weeks in OT school to now, as my first year comes to a close in just a month. It’s been quite the ride, and I thank anyone and everyone who’s reached out to me, retweeted, posted a kind comment, or offered a different perspective in the past year.  Your support is deeply appreciated, and I hope to continue building relationships, exchanging ideas, and making a difference for a long time!

With that, here’s to another year of writing, reflecting, thinking, and growing! I can’t wait to see (and blog about) what this next year brings!