An Occupational Therapist by any other name...?


Ok, I have changed the classic Shakespeare quote, ' a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet...'.

How is this applied to Occupational Therapy?

If you are a qualified Occupational Therapist working by any other name take a moment to read this.

Are you working in line with your job description or are you going above and beyond?

Most people are carrying out the job of a band 5 Occupational Therapist or even in some cases a band 6 Occupational Therapist?

In my capacity as Consultant Occupational Therapist I am often invited in to organisations by Occupational Therapists to carry out services such as professional supervision, audits and service reviews etc only to find out that the person Occupational Therapist is referred to as a support worker, health advisor, project worker, in fact any other title than Occupational Therapist.

Occupational Therapy is a protected title and only those who have completed an accredited course can apply to be on the HCPC register. If you are paying for your B.A.O.T membership, H.C.P.C registration and are using all your occupational therapy skills don't you think you are entitled to be using your professional title?

Organisations need to recognise your value and pay you accordingly. Unfortunately, because Occupational Therapists tend to not to market themselves well, they sometimes settle for less than they should until others argue their case. Indeed every person I have worked with has got a pay rise within the first year once the company realises the fantastic and invaluable contribution Occupational Therapy can make to any organisation

Occupational Therapy brings so much to an organisation and can demonstrate its commitment to the improvement in quality of life for clients. Employing qualified occupational therapists should be something that organisations strive for, celebrate and market as part of of a quality service.

What can you do?

  • Make a case to demonstrate what and how you are adding to your job description, if you haven't got one its definitely time for identifying that during supervision
  • Arrange a meeting with your manager. Explore the mission statement of the organisation you work for and explain how you are enabling the organisation to meet this.
  • Discuss what further things you could add and the benefits for the organisation, clients and careers if you were to have your title Occupational Therapist H.C.P.C registered after your name.
  • Talk about audits, service reviews or whatever has been identified as the gap for that organisation, and how you could with professional supervision make service improvements that can be measured.

I feel passionately about my profession, after working as an Occupational Therapist for over thirty years you would hope so.

I want everyone to know what Occupational Therapy is. Everyone thinks that they can 'do' Occupational Therapy, claiming that it's just 'common sense.'

They can't and it isn't.

Let's stop being called by any other name and be out, loud and proud about your hard earned title Occupational Therapist.

Margaret Spencer LinkedIn Profile

To see how Margaret can offer support to you visit her website or email


What now?

Check out our latest Locum OT jobs or our latest Permanent OT jobs.

Read more: Occupational Therapy Articles         


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