Ending the week on a positive note…

What will be your impact on the occupational therapy profession? There are three main areas on which we can focus: clinical skills, research, and advocacy. To be honest, my preferences are clinical skills and research. However, in writing this post for today, I had this lightbulb moment that one clinician cannot do it all! However, together, we can accomplish so much in our preferred areas by staying informed and supporting those that have an interest different than ours.

I had this epiphany, when I realized that advocacy is one part of the profession that is much needed, but really does not fit well with my introverted personality. Advocating takes work! I decided to defer to occupational therapy  advocates extraordinaire.

The first line of advocacy are your national and state associations. AOTA has an entire division that advocates for the profession from clinical practice to insurance and more. Consider your role with advocating. Not everyone can provide financial support and/or time. However, support can look like one or the other or both. So, if you are able to donate, by all means do so. If you are unable, write a letter, or spread the word to your colleagues.  

Being from NY, I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful legislative chair that heads our NYSOTA Legislative Center that keeps clinicians in our state informed on all legislation that impacts the profession. I am sure your state’s occupational therapy association also has a division that advocates for the profession.

Lastly, there are private occupational therapy practitioners such as Clarice Grote, MS, OTR/L that have an entire website dedicated to advocacy: Amplify OT!

Here are the stories that made my week end on a positive note:

Occupational Therapy

COVID-19 State Updates: Summary of Telehealth, Insurance, and Licensure Developments; and Comprehensive State-By-State Chart – AOTA Speaking of advocacy, as states return to normal and lift the COVID emergency order, recognize the impact on occupational therapy services such as telehealth! There are many provisions that are in place due to the COVID emergency order of that state and removing the emergency order, theoretically reverts the services back to the pre-pandemic state. Thankfully, AOTA is looking at the impact on each state and brining this information to the profession.

Mental Health Practice. With the re-introduction of a bill recognizing occupational therapy practitioners as Mental Health Professionals in June 2021 to Congress, it is more important than ever to call upon our mental health roots in all occupational therapy settings. Steve Nawotniak, an occupational therapist in a psychiatric hospital, provides strategies to meet the mental health  needs of our clients in a variety of occupational therapy settings in this article: Addressing Mental Health Needs of Clients in Community and Medical Settings – New York State Occupational Therapy Association (nysota.org)

Panola College’s SOTA Club donates $20,501.15 for College View Park | News | panolawatchman.com–Panola College’s Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) Club donated $20,501.15 to the City of Carthage. The funds will be put toward College View Park, an all-inclusive park to be built in the area.

Teaching Yoga to Children with Special Needs: 5 Tips to Make it Work (missjaimeot.com) Great resources to use yoga with children with a wide range of disabilities.

Best educational toys for toddlers – New York Daily News (nydailynews.com) Article written by Dr. Aimee Ketchum, OTD, OTR/L, a pediatric occupational therapist in the NICU at UPMC hospital, the owner/operator of STEM Starts Now early child development program. This is a comprehensive list of toys that were analyzed with pros and cons of each toy!

Sensory Integration and Yoga: A Therapist’s Story (sensoryintegrationeducation.com) Many online resources can be found here integrating SI and Yoga with our pediatric population.

otcompact.org Two more states have signed the OT Licensure Compact into law! Add Missouri (6th state) and Maine (7th state) to the list of states that have signed the Law. 10 states are needed for the Compact to go into effect…3 more states to go!

AOTA INSPIRE 2022 – AOTA Deadline to submit a proposal for AOTA Inspire 2022 is June 28! This year the conference will be held in San Antonio, TX from March 31-April 3, 2022.

Research

Open access at no cost? ‹ The Research Whisperer ‹  Great read to learn more about Plan S. Plan S is an effort that is being organized by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funding and performing organizations. Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. This is a push for more open access research articles. However, the path to open access for all is not a straight one and this article provides more information. You can read more about Plan S here: ‘Plan S’ and ‘cOAlition S’ – Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications (coalition-s.org)

American Journal of Occupational Therapy (aota.org) Special Issue on Occupational Therapy and Disabilities Studies.

On my TBR pile:

Archives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation | Vol 3, Issue 2, June 2021 | ScienceDirect.com by Elsevier The June issue of the Archives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) is now available. This is an open access journal with well-designed research studies.

On my TBR pile:

Alzheimer’s Association: ‘We are getting closer to our goals’ (healio.com) Summary of recent developments in addressing Alzheimer’s Disease from new biomarkers to looking for risk of dementia in the pediatric population.

Tai chi may reduce depression, anxiety in stroke survivors (healio.com)  The results of an 8-week intervention study impacted depression and sleep quality in participants. This is an interesting study because the intervention was actually decreased from 12-weeks due to COVID, yet still had positive outcomes for the participants.

Family support important in intervention programs for Black adults with type 2 diabetes (healio.com)Family support buffers diabetes stress and influences diabetes self-management, food choices, and physical activity,” Jie Hu, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. Many clients who receive occupational therapy have diabetes. While we focus on teaching our clients the best way to deal with their condition, research shows that we also need to include the family in our training because family support has an impact on the effectiveness of diabetes intervention programs.

Potpourri

ACR RA guidelines: ‘Maximize’ methotrexate use prior to DMARDs, avoid glucocorticoids (healio.com) New pharmaceutical information released by American College of Rheumatology (ACR) for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) interventions. While we do not dispense medication, having an understanding of new pharmaceutical requirements of our clients will help with health management of clients with this condition.

9-8-8: The mental health and substance use alternative to 9-1-1 is 9-8-8. This recently passed federal program, converts the National Suicide Hotline to 9-8-8 to ensure that all states have a statewide 9-8-8 infrastructure by July 2022. This measure hopes to reduce the burden on law enforcement and more quickly connect people to mental health and substance use services. A May 2021 Congressional Briefing on 9-8-8 identified multiple locations that are providing telehealth care, including crisis care, for children and youth. This includes texting for youth who may not be able to verbalize their needs at home or school.

How to Beat Burnout — Without Quitting Your Job – The New York Times (nytimes.com) While many, if not all, are burned out at this point post-pandemic, leaving a job is not a possibility for all. This article provides realistic options to address burnout, short of leaving your job.

9 New Books We Recommend This Week – The New York Times (nytimes.com) I have not met a booklist I have not liked!

Some great resources from the National Council of Mental Wellbeing:

Pride in Our Identities with Hope for the Future – BH365 (thenationalcouncil.org)

Addressing Health Equity and Racial Justice – National Council (thenationalcouncil.org)

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