Are you in you an occupational therapist in your first year of practice? Are you prepared to share your experiences, time and enthusiasm for occupational therapy? Then we’d love you to join us and be part of project Year 1: Thriving not Surviving. The project is funded by the Elizabeth Casson Trust and led by a rather amazing team of OTs in their first year of practice.

What is the project about?

The first year of work is a pivotal time for every OT. It’s exciting! It’s exhilarating but it can also be an anxious time. We are immediately confronted by a myriad of idiosyncratic challenges that no learning can pre-empt. Our professional skills and confidence are tested. Our primary goal, to improve patient care, can suddenly feel very complex. We are the newest member of the team feeling a little bit at sea. No longer wearing the badge of student but still feeling like we have so much to learn.

We know that the first year of practice can be associated with stress, trying to square the theory we learnt at Uni with the reality of day to day clinical practice. We may be uncertain about where we fit in and still getting used to the idea of being a fully fledge professional.

It is this knowledge that inspired us to develop the project. The aim is to develop an online self-coaching resource which will support the wellbeing of first year practitioners. When it’s completed the resource will be freely available to download from the Elizabeth Casson website.

Why Should I Get Involved?

  • It will be fun
  • To help others learn from your experience
  • To be part of a new innovative project
  • You will be making a contribution to your profession
  • These secret stories need to be told
  • Because you voice is valid and needs to be heard

How can I get involved?

  1. Follow us on social media (see the links below) where we will be posing all kinds of questions for you to respond to over the coming weeks:
  •             Twitter @1otYear
  •             Facebook Thriving Not Surviving Year One OT
  •             Instagram year1ot
  1. Join in the OTalk Twitter Chat 8-9pm on Tuesday 19th May
  2. Help us spread the news amongst your friends and colleagues who are also OTs in their first year of practice.

As a first year OT, you are in a unique position to help those who will follow in your footsteps. By sharing what works and what could be improved, you will elevate their learning experience above and beyond basic training. The fact that we can do this in a fun and friendly way will benefit us all.

As occupational therapists we are well versed in assessing patients holistically, so it makes sense to view our own craft with the same three-dimensional viewpoint.

The advice we give to others informs us of our shortcomings and how we triumphed over them. Those are stories we should share. This is an important and emotional project with one simple goal: to reveal ‘areas for improvement’ so that we, as a group, can create a resource to improve them.

The journey begins and we hope you will be part of it …..…