We dedicate the month of April to thanking all occupational therapy personnel who are committed to bettering the lives of their patients. Those in the medical field understand that students and practitioners provide invaluable aid to people of all ages who have suffered from an illness or injury. The work that they do helps their patients to pursue activities that are important to them, which would be difficult to accomplish otherwise. National Occupational Therapy Month is the perfect way to justify spending a little extra time and money recognizing your hard-working OT’s, and celebrating their unrelenting “yes I can” attitude!
Ways to Celebrate National Occupational Therapy Month
- Throw a party – Promote comradery throughout the department by hosting a little shindig for your OTs to hang out, socialize, and unwind. You can choose to keep the guest list to employees-only, extend the invite to family and friends, or even include patients and their families in on the fun. A social event is a great way to boost morale organization-wide, and is a cost-effective way to show staff that their work is valuable and appreciated.
- Have a dinner party – If your rehabilitation center employs a smaller department of OTs, you may want to treat your staff to a more intimate night out. Employees can let their hair down and relive shareable stories while connecting over a nice meal (on the company’s dime, of course).
- Immerse them in the industry – Each year during National Occupational Therapy Month, The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) hosts an annual conference and expo. Offer your qualified staff travel and hotel stay to learn from discussions and presentations, participate in networking opportunities, and socialize with professionals from around the US. They’ll get the gift of a few days off from work, and you’ll get a group of more empowered and highly educated OTs!
- Host a picnic or themed lunch – April is a great time of year for celebrations, as the weather becomes reliably warm. Use this to your advantage when planning something special for your OTs. After all, everybody loves a good company picnic! If a full day of fun and games is too much to organize, a nice alternative is a department-wide potluck lunch. Opt for a theme, like Taco Tuesdays, Brunch, or Finger Foods. The best part? You have all of April to host one or multiple lunch parties!
- Volunteer in the community – A creative way to socialize and deepen work relationships, use this month to plan and participate in a volunteer event. Giving back to the community is a great way for your staff to bond, and your OTs have plenty of unique skills they can bring to the table!
- Educate the public – There is much ambiguity around the occupational therapy field that few people understand what it is OTs really do! Your staff has a lot of pride and knowledge to share. Put something in the books for April that allows them to speak in front of an audience; whether it’s an open house at your place of work, or an assembly at a local school. Ask your OTs to talk about how they spend their days, stages and transitions in their careers, the challenges they face, and the rewarding aspects of their jobs.
Gifts Designed to Make Your OTs’ Lives Easier
If you have a whole staff of occupational therapists to buy gifts for, you can understand the challenge in choosing a present that is thoughtful, practical, and that will be universally appreciated. Here we’ll share a few suggestions for items that OTs are sure to love and use!
For tech-savvy OTs:
For OTs who are always on the go:
For the well-organized OT: