Do future occupational therapists require a different skill set?

Bell, Janice ORCID logo ORCID: and Morris, Karen ORCID logo ORCID: (2016) Do future occupational therapists require a different skill set? In: College of Occupational Therapists 40th annual conference and exhibition, 28-30 June 2016, Harrogate, UK. (Unpublished)

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Introduction: The Health & Social Care Act (2012) has begun a major restructuring programme in health and social care in England. To maintain a place in this rapidly changing environment, occupational therapy (OT) graduates will need to be fully prepared with an appropriate range and level of skills at university (Department of Health 2012). Future proofing the profession was a recurring theme at the College of Occupational Therapists (COT) Conference in 2015. Key skills which were identified include leadership, management, articulating the value of OT, marketing, business, and networking (Jackson 2015, Rastrick 2015, Nwosu 2015). This raises the question of whether we are providing the most appropriate educational experience at university to prepare graduates for practice and what additional skills and knowledge are required.

Methods: A small qualitative study was conducted with occupational therapists, service managers, and experts in the field to explore the challenges faced by the profession, what additional skills may be required, and what strategies could be employed at university and in practice to support our graduates. The key issues for discussion were: What challenges face occupational therapists in practice? What strategies and skills do occupational therapists need to develop to future proof the profession? What can universities do to prepare their graduates for practice?

Conclusion: Occupational therapy graduates will require additional skills to prepare them for their future role in health and social care. These include business and management skills, leadership, communication and interpersonal skills, assertiveness, and research skills. Universities need to adopt a teaching and learning strategy which will not only prepare the students for practice, but also for business. This should be supported on practice placements.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2017 16:33
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 15:47


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