Occupational therapy is a growing profession across the world. According to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) website, right now there are 73 full country members, 21 associate country members, and 7 regional members. And those numbers are continuing to grow.
Being globally connected is something that I find extremely valuable within our profession and also something that I actively work on on a daily basis.
I love connecting with occupational therapy practitioners across the globe, whether it be through social media, attending conferences, or through traveling and volunteering.
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the WFOT conference in South Africa in 2018 which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. While there, I reconnected with one of my OT friends from Iceland that I had met when I traveled there back in 2016. I have also volunteered as an OT in many places including Cambodia, Honduras, Ecuador, and Peru.
And one of my absolute favorite things to do when traveling is reach out to local OTs in the places that I visit. Last fall, I had the opportunity to meet up with OTs and students at Tallinn Health Care College in Tallinn, Estonia, as well as at the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria in Portugal (Picture Above). All of these experiences have greatly impacted me as a practitioner and have influenced me to continue to advocate for our profession globally.
I think that it is very easy for practitioners to get complacent and only be familiar with occupational therapy within their immediate location. But I strongly urge OT students and practitioners to continue to connect and promote the profession outside of your city, state, or country.
How do you contribute to making occupational therapy more globally connected?
But crawling isn’t just for little kids and it isn’t just for kids that aren’t walking yet, I make even my older kiddos get into crawling positions to complete activities because of the immense benefits.