What are the 10 qualities of a real OT?



What are the 10 qualities of a real OT? by Margaret Spencer

Following my previous blog in relation to my complaint about an occupational therapist, I was just idly scrolling through the latest info from the HCPC about who has been struck off.

It's worth a read if only to imagine the back story to some of them, having been involved with performance management this year I know this page is the tiny tip of the iceberg, with hours and sometimes a year of work collecting evidence to present. The code of conduct is also worth reading to remind ourselves of things that happen outside work; drink driving, convictions etc which have to be declared.

It would be interesting to carry out some research about people who get struck off. The things I would I ask the rare student who is failing on placement.

Why did you come into OT - any answer that doesn't immediately convey personal passion about people and the profession and begins with my Mum/ Dad / Aunty Noreen thought I would be good gets a big minus. Any answer that begins with 'well I realise I  really want to be a florist/doctor/physio/psychologist/ mathematician/work in a zoo', all real replies, helps me to know they don't want to fight too hard to stay on the course and are actually looking for me to be their lifeline off it.

Students who tell me they don't like to work with individuals as its a bit too intense and no, they don't like groups either as that's worse, often leave me stuck for words. Students who tell me that all these people who are ill is getting them down and could they just work with people who are well, have the same effect on my ability to speak.

Some people scrape all the way through their course  and I would like to explore if there is a strong correlation between those people who scrape through and those who get struck off. A proposal for someone there I am sure.

I wonder what honest answers the people with insight who have been struck off would say? I would like to bet it is one of the above, and that part of them is relieved as they shrug off a very heavy coat that never actually fitted them well.

Over the past twenty two years I have visited 1000's of educators and students. I have learnt a lot.

1. Real OT's like people

2. Real OT's are passionate about the people they work with

3. Real OT's are people who want to improve lives

4. Real OT's are advocates.

5. Real OT's are people who use activity in a way that is meaningful for the people they work with.

6. Real OT's people who are genuinely interested in their clients story.

7. Real OT's are people who are determined to find a beginning.

8  Real OT's work with people to identify a place to start another journey.

9. Real OT's believe what they are doing makes a difference, because it does make a difference.

10. Real OT's ( difficult as it is to define challenging as it is to articulate) love Occupational Therapy.


They never yearn to be anything else.

I know after over thirty years of being, doing and becoming an Occupational Therapist that coat which has always been a very comfortable and natural fit is now my second skin. I hope you feel the same?


Read more Top 10 Articles 


Margaret Spencer MA Consultant Occupational Therapist & Senior Lecturer LinkedIn Profile 

 This post is written by Margaret Spencer. Margarets blogs are a culmination of over thirty years experience  working in Occupational Therapy, including material from her books and conference presentations.

They answer the real queries and questions that 100's of undergraduate  and post graduate students, qualified OT's and managers, that she has had the privilege to work with and supervise continue to ask her.

To see how Margaret can offer support to your team visit her website www.OT360.co.uk or email margaret@OT360.co.uk


This is part of our OT Series




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