Best of Occupational Therapy (02/17/2020)

This week: being globally minded, homelessness, the lived experience of arthritis, coffee for a cause, population health, and meeting a mentor.

Curious What “The BOOT” is?

Here’s the Deal: This is where I bring you the best of the best from the field of OT.

Throughout the week, I’ll consume all sorts of wonderful occupational therapy related material, from podcast episodes, to blog posts, YouTube videos, journal articles, social media posts, you name it.  Then I’ll pick a few of my favorites and feature them here for you to enjoy.

Want to get all of this amazing OT content sent right to your inbox? Make sure you sign up!

Let’s find out who gets “The BOOT” this week…


Then stop what you are doing and go listen to The Occupation Station Podcast with guest Dr. Karen Aranha, OTR. It not only details what it is, but it also lays out how students and OT practitioners can have a more global mindset.

Homelessness & the Role of Occupational Therapy

Want to know more about how OT practitioners can address homelessness? Then don’t miss this week’s #OTalk on twitter because they will be discussing this very topic.

Arthritis: An OT’s Lived Experience

Cheryl Crow recently released a 2-part video series detailing her lived experience with rheumatoid arthritis, gastroparesis, and anxiety. Part 1 shares her honest account in getting a diagnosis and Part 2 dives into her experience navigating the health system.

Coffee for a Cause

Bitty’s & Beau’s, a coffee shop with an important mission, just opened up a new location in Annapolis, MD. I know where I will be getting my coffee now when I go visit my in-laws.

Think Occupational Therapy Practitioners Don’t Play a Role in Population Health?

Think again.

Dr. Wendy C. Hildenbrand, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, presented last week at the University of Findlay about how we can be drivers of change within population health.


Meeting a Mentor

This past week I attended a conference all about one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, podcasting. While there, I attended a talk by one of my favorite podcasters, Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting.

Although his podcast is all about podcasting, this episode struck a chord with me when his guest, Dr. Richard Shuster, discusses his personal tie to therapy and how that influenced him to start a charity.

Not only did I get the chance to meet Dave after his talk, but he even asked to take a picture with me. What a highlight!

The Legend Himself, Dave Jackson

5 weeks and counting! AOTA 2020 here we come.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars and catch me, Occupied, Seniors Flourish, I Love OT Podcast, and OT After Dark at Tech Lab 303A- OT Podcasts: A Modern Medium Connecting & Educating Individuals Around the Globe on Saturday March 28, 2020 from 1:30-3:00pm.

We might even be hosting a special meet-up at the conference so make sure to follow us to get all the details. ;o)

Cheers- Sarah

Diverse OT: Leadership and Advocacy for Minorities in Healthcare with Michelle DeJesus

Episode Summary

According to statistics, minorities are underrepresented within healthcare professions. Having grown up with immigrant parents and having to translate for them during medical appointments, Michelle DeJesus, MS, OTR/L has seen first hand the impact this lack of diversity in medicine has on minorities. As a student, she noticed a lack of representation and numerous health disparities impacting both practitioners and clients alike. Now as an OT practitioner, she now uses her experience to promote leadership and advocacy for minorities in all aspects of the healthcare system.

Show Notes

Michelle and Sarah discuss:

Contact Michelle:

Instagram: instagram.com/michelled_ot

Website: michelledot.com

Best of Occupational Therapy (02/10/2020)

This week: the Coronavirus OT Toolkit, OT and Spirituality, offsetting sports medicine, the most important developmental milestone, imposter syndrome, and #DiverseOT.

Curious What “The BOOT” is?

Here’s the Deal: This is where I bring you the best of the best from the field of OT.

Throughout the week, I’ll consume all sorts of wonderful occupational therapy related material, from podcast episodes, to blog posts, YouTube videos, journal articles, social media posts, you name it.  Then I’ll pick a few of my favorites and feature them here for you to enjoy.

Want to get all of this amazing OT content sent right to your inbox? Make sure you sign up!

Let’s find out who gets “The BOOT” this week…


Implications of the Coronavirus on OT

The Coronavirus has been the talk of the town over the past few weeks, but you might be wondering its impact on OT. Luckily, OT Dude compiled a list of precautions and things to know to keep you safe as an OT practitioner in his Coronavirus OT Toolkit.

What Does Spirituality Have To Do With Occupational Therapy?

Probably a whole lot more than you think. Lauren Burns, OTR/L reveals how in her latest blog post on OT and Church.

Offsetting Medicine One Day at a Time

A previous student and past podcast guest of mine, Taejun Lee got a huge feature in a local Los Angeles magazine this week. Find out more about him and how he is changing the face of sports medicine for urban athletes.

Crawling: The Misunderstood Milestone

Often overlooked, crawling might just be the most important milestone for children to foster. Meghan Fox from Woo Therapy details why she continues to implement it into her therapy sessions even after a child has learned to walk.

Feeling Like an Imposter?

I think most of us OTs, as well as PTs, SLPs, and other healthcare professionals can relate to this at some point in our clinical career. Find out ways to shake these feelings and overcome imposter syndrome in a brilliant episode with Dr. Shante Cofield and Emma Jack. on Maestro on the Mic.

Diversity in OT

According to statistics, only 4.2% of employed occupational therapists in the US are of Latino decent. Marilyn Rodriguez, a student from the University of Southern California, can’t wait to join the 4.2% when she becomes an OT practitioner.


Speaking of Diverse OT…

I’ve got a brand new episode of the OT 4 Lyfe podcast out that addresses this very topic. My guest, Michelle DeJesus, MS, OTR/L, shares her passion for all things diversity, leadership, and advocacy for minorities in healthcare.

Over the weekend, I celebrated another round of students completing their fieldwork rotation at my private practice. We had a little get-together with the most recent students, as well as previous students that have done their fieldwork with me in the past. It is something that I always look forward to and as always we had an absolute blast.

We’re also getting closer and closer to the AOTA 2020 conference (now only 6 weeks away). I’ll be presenting with a few other OT Podcasters from Occupied, Seniors Flourish, I Love OT Podcast, and OT After Dark.

Come check us out at Tech Lab 303A- OT Podcasts: A Modern Medium Connecting & Educating Individuals Around the Globe on Saturday March 28, 2020 from 1:30-3:00pm. Who knows we might even be recording a live podcast then too!

Who’s ready for an awesome week?

Cheers- Sarah

Best of Occupational Therapy (02/03/2020)

This week: occupational therapy’s role in primary care, how a team of therapists saved a wedding, when less is more in therapy sessions, brewing up abilities and beer, and an OT video from Tallinn, Estonia.

Curious What “The BOOT” is?

Here’s the Deal: This is where I bring you the best of the best from the field of OT.

Throughout the week, I’ll consume all sorts of wonderful occupational therapy related material, from podcast episodes, to blog posts, YouTube videos, journal articles, social media posts, you name it.  Then I’ll pick a few of my favorites and feature them here for you to enjoy.

Want to get all of this amazing OT content sent right to your inbox? Make sure you sign up!

Let’s find out who gets “The BOOT” this week…


OT in Primary Care

Matt Brandenburg, the host of the The How To OT podcast, interviews Dr. Sherry Muir and explores the important and pivotal role that OT has in primary care.

Not Letting Cancer Get in the Way of a Wedding

A hugely uplifting story of how a team of therapists helped a father walk his daughter down the aisle. Trust me, you might want to grab a kleenex before reading this article.

Therapy is Not Always Linear

This past week, Michelle DeJesus (@Michelled_ot) went ahead and broke the internet with her Instagram post about this very topic. Chime in on the conversation.

Beer for a Cause

Brewability, a brewery in Englewood, CO, is making a point to provide gainful employment to folks with varying abilities. I can’t wait to toast a pint with these guys!

A Fun Video from Estonia

During my most recent trip, I had the honor to meet and talk with several students and faculty at Tallinn Health Care College. As a relatively new profession in Estonia, occupational therapists and students are working hard to make a difference in their country and put together a great video promoting occupational therapy’s role. Great job and keep up the good work Estonian OTs!!


Football and an OT Podcaster Friend

On Saturday, I had an absolute blast hanging out with Miranda from the OT Uncorked podcast. We spent the morning hiking along the cliffs to a lighthouse and the afternoon enjoying a beer at a new brewery in town.

Then yesterday, the San Fransisco Forty Niners battled the Kanas City Chiefs in the biggest football game of the year. While I am ecstatic that my boys from the bay made it to the Super Bowl, the result of game did not work out in my favor. But there is always next year!

Looking ahead, the AOTA 2020 conference is only 7 weeks away. I’ll be there, will you?

I hope you have an amazing week!

Cheers- Sarah

Thinking and Learning Through an Occupational Lens with Brock Cook

Episode Summary

Within the profession of occupational therapy, being a lifelong learner tends to be one of the phrases that comes up time and time again. And it is super important as OT practitioners that we uphold this mindset to continue learning and building our knowledge throughout our career. On today’s episode, Brock Cook and I dive deep into aspects of thinking and learning. We chat about how people learn, building self-awareness, the fear of failure, and how to empower OT practitioners and students to think for themselves. Brock shares how his OT journey has influenced his own learning and how his podcast Occupied continues to spread learning and knowledge for the occupational therapy profession.

Show Notes

Sarah and Brock discuss:

  • His favorite things about OT
  • How his podcast Occupied has impacted his own learning: http://www.brockcook.com/category/podcast/
  • Hero vs Anti-hero theory
  • Importance of understanding complex theories and how they apply to understand people better
  • Self-awareness as a therapist
  • The great coriander debate
  • “Pot Stir Thursday” on MH4OT: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MH4OT/
  • How he came to think about things differently
  • Empowering his students to think for themselves
  • The fear of failure
  • Taking a step back to realize where you are
  • Episode with Sarah’s first supervisor- Inspiration, Sensory Integration and Zen with Roxie Fernandez: https://ot4lyfe.com/1/
  • How being in academia has impacted his own view on learning
  • Where he wants to see the profession of occupational therapy go in the future
  • Brock’s episode with Professor Gail Whiteford: http://www.brockcook.com/024/
  • What Brock has learned from podcasting
  • The episode Brock talks about that pushed him way outside his comfort zone: http://www.brockcook.com/063/
  • List of Occupational Therapy Podcasts: http://www.otpodcasts.com/
  • #OTTalk on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottalk

Contact Brock:

Website: http://www.occupiedpodcast.com

Email: brock.cook@me.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/brockcookOT

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/occupiedpodcast

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/occupiedpodcast

Best of Occupational Therapy (1/27/2020)

This week: OT degrees, time and money management, making a difference with early intervention, advocacy, and inclusion.

Curious What “The BOOT” is?

Here’s the Deal: This is where I bring you the best of the best from the field of OT.

Throughout the week, I’ll consume all sorts of wonderful occupational therapy related material, from podcast episodes, to blog posts, YouTube videos, journal articles, social media posts, you name it.  Then I’ll pick a few of my favorites and feature them here for you to enjoy.

Want to get all of this amazing OT content sent right to your inbox? Make sure you sign up!

Let’s find out who gets “The BOOT” this week…


Are We Defined By Our Degrees?

These days there seems to be tension within our profession with people feeling inferior or superior based on their chosen degree. Taylor Blaine, OTD, OTR/L from @becomingot confronted this issue head on here: Join the discussion.

Do You Wish You Had More Time? Money?

Having a healthy mindset around time and money is helpful for all therapists, not just entrepreneurs. The latest episode of the Mind Your OT Business with Melissa LaPointe discusses this and more here: Episode 18: Melissa LaPointe on Embracing Life as a Digital CEO

OT in Early Intervention Makes a Difference

The New York Times highlights the astounding impact early intervention made in the life of one family. Go EI therapists!

Think Advocacy Doesn’t Matter?

AOTA has made some important changes because people spoke up. Well done AOTA!

What Does LGBTQIA+ Even Mean?

Good thing Devlynn Neu aka The Rainbow OT spelled it out for us. Check out the first post of his series here: What Do the Letters Mean.

A New Week, A New Podcast Episode

It was back to real life this past week with a few evals, tackling my unread emails, and lacing up my workout shoes. It also meant I finally got around to putting out episode 53, make sure to check it out.

Guess what’s 8 weeks away? That’s right, the AOTA 2020 conference. I signed up, have you? Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Thanks to everyone that signed up and made the first BOOT post a huge success!

Best of Occupational Therapy (1/20/2020)

Welcome to the first ever edition of the Best of Occupational Therapy aka “The BOOT”.

I am so excited to share this new project with you and having been working diligently for the past few months in order to get this rolling.

Here’s the deal:

Throughout the week, I’ll consume all sorts of wonderful occupational therapy related material, from podcast episodes, to blog posts, YouTube videos, journal articles, social media posts, you name it. Then I’ll pick a few of my favorites and feature them here for you to enjoy.

That way you get a taste of all the amazing OT content that is out there sent right to your inbox, and you don’t have to do any of the digging. Unless that is, you are a pediatric therapist who works with clients in a sand box. In that case, sorry, you will always be digging.

So without further ado, let’s see who gets BOOTed this week:


Hot OT Topics

What better way to kick things off then with a blog post highlighting some hot topics in occupational therapy as told by the research. Sarah Lyon, OTR/L from OT Potential has been tirelessly scanning through the research to find the most influential OT related journal articles.

But in this post, she takes it one step further and summarizes some of the major themes that she has been seeing and the best part is they are all backed by evidence.

Check out her article: Hot Topics in OT (2020)

Getting on the OTD Soapbox

Speaking of hot topics in occupational therapy (in the United States), the OTD mandate is definitely one of them. It’s been on and off the ballot a few times recently and I believe it is back on the ballot as of the time of this posting.

Dr. Michael Roberts, the host of the I Love OT Podcast, put together a fantastic episode detailing his concerns about going to the single point of entry for entry-level OT programs at this time.

Whether you agree or disagree with the mandate, take a listen here: The OTD Soapbox Episode

Mindfulness in Motherhood

Danielle Delorenzo, OTR/L who blogs over at Mornings With an OT Mom whose professional life (working in pediatrics/ early intervention) and personal life (having a 2 year old son) collided when she noticed some developmental delays in her son.

Her raw and honest account shows the humanistic side of our profession. It highlights the fact that when we as therapists meet our clients for the first time, they have a whole story behind them that got them to where they are right now.

Check out the 4 part series here:

Being Fast When It Comes to Strokes

Coming in from the Instagram interwebs is a post from Crystal aka The Brainy OT as she also recently had an intersection between her personal and professional life. She shares the important signs and symptoms of a stroke and how quick actions (BEFAST) can save your brain.

This post is imperative for every OT practitioner, every student, and quite honestly everyBODY to know. So read her post and then share with everyone you know.

See the post here: Stroke Alert

5 Months, 9 Countries, and 25 States

While you are reading this I am just getting back from a multi-month trip starting with a road trip from Los Angeles, CA to Annapolis, MD (where my husband is from) via the northern route of the US. My husband and I then flew to Europe for three months, galavanting around places like Portugal, Germany, The Netherlands, and Italy to name a few. After almost wearing out our travel visas, we flew back to Annapolis, MD for Christmas and then took off on our return road trip back to California via the southern route.

All in all, I added four new countries: Estonia, Finland, Canada, and Belgium. And I added fifteen new states to my travel belt and saw much of the vast diversity that the world has to offer.

During my time off, I spent many hours reflecting on OT 4 Lyfe, my role as an occupational therapy practitioner, and everything that has happened this past year.

I have a lot of big things planned for 2020, including stuff on the blog, amazing podcast guests, and some other projects that I can’t disclose of quite yet.

Cheers to the new year and the first BOOT!

Bunnies and Ducks and Llamas, Oh My! with Mona Sams

Episode Summary

Ever incorporated llamas into your occupational therapy sessions before?

Our guest today, Mona Sams, OTR/L, has llamas, as well as a host of other animals that she incorporates into her OT practice. In the interview, Mona shares how she first got interested integrating animals in her OT sessions and why llamas are so effective in therapy. She highlights how she not only has her clients work with the llamas directing them through obstacle courses, but that she also has them do crafts with their hair fibers, thus addressing so many different skills across the board.

Be prepared, Mona recounts a few stories about her clients and animals that are sure to melt your heart.

Show Notes

Sarah and Mona discuss:

  • How she incorporates llamas into her OT sessions
  • What other animals she has at her practice
  • Why llamas are effective in therapy
  • LlamaFest: http://ctcroanoke.org/news/
  • How animals facilitate verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Introducing clients to animals when they are afraid of them
  • The importance of skilled therapy when using animals
  • Link to her research article: http://ot4lyfe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/llamaOT.pdf
  • How she got interested in using llamas in therapy
  • Using llama hair for crafts
  • How she structures her sessions
  • Other considerations for using animals in therapy
  • The interconnectedness of all animals

Website: http://www.ctcroanoke.org/

Email: creativetherapycare@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CTCMonasArk/

Early Intervention with an OT Mom with Danielle Delorenzo

Episode Summary

What happens when your clinical world and your personal world collide?

Danielle Delorenzo, OTR/L joins the show today to talk about just that. Danielle is an occupational therapist with over 20 years experience working in early intervention (EI). But this time she was not the one conducting the evaluation. Rather she was the parent bringing in her 2 year old son to be evaluated due to concerns with his development.

Danielle shares her journey from navigating EI as a parent, juggling the roles of being a mom and a pediatric therapist, as well as how having a child in early intervention has impacted her as a therapist. She offers up amazing advice from her own experiences to help occupational therapists provide the best care they possibly can.

Show Notes

Sarah and Danielle discuss:

  • Navigating early intervention assessment as a parent and a therapist
  • A blessing and a curse of being an OT going through this process
  • Roles of being a mom, an OT, getting her doctorate, and now being a therapy mom
  • The importance of having a “village”
  • The defining moment that made her seek out help
  • Developmental trajectories
  • Being the first person as an EI OT to tell parents that something is wrong
  • Caregiver dyad and regulation
  • How having a child in early intervention has impacted her as a therapist
  • Parental guilt
  • Being present in the moment through mindfulness
  • Value of working with the parents and families in early intervention
  • Being an expert means being a life long learner
  • Questions she had from the mom side
  • Dealing with people staring at our kids when we are out in public
  • Using video-taping to facilitate therapy and parental education
  • One piece of advice for therapists?
  • Her blog Mornings with an OT Mom: https://morningswithanotmom.com/
  • Her episode on the OT Schoolhouse Podcast: https://www.otschoolhouse.com/episode38

Email: morningswithanotmom@gmail.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mornings.with.an.ot.mom/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/morningswithanotmom/

Website: https://morningswithanotmom.com/