Occupational Therapy Week 2016


We celebrated occupational therapy week 2016 by being loud and proud about our profession. We showcased a range of posters, leaflets and baked goods whilst chatting to passers-by about the value of the profession. In line with this year’s theme of ‘occupational therapy as a career’ we asked occupational therapy students:

“Why did you choose occupational therapy as a career?”


“What is the highlight of your training so far?”

otweek2  otweek3

Key themes from students’ answers included the desire to promote engagement in meaningful activities, empower individuals, and the sheer variety that a career in occupational therapy offers.

Unanimously, students’ highlight of training so far was their placement experiences, which was a joy for the placement facilitators and educators to read!

Thanks to everyone that came by and bought a cake or bun – all proceeds to our chosen charity York People First – more info at: www.yorkpeoplefirst.co.uk

The stand was well received by staff and students, and we very much enjoyed promoting our profession and reflecting for occupational therapy week 2016.


By Emma Robinson @EmmaOT2B


Wearing our different hats

Wednesday 19th October was the first OT Society social. The theme of the event was ‘HATS’ and true to form a variety of headwear appeared: Santa hats Policeman, Berets, Baseball caps, woolly ones and even some furry sheep’s ears

The evening kicked off in the temporary SU bar where we created our own atmosphere with a few OT/HAT themed ice breaker games, before moving into town where people danced away in Yates or enjoyed the vibe in The Hop and Golden Fleece. The night ended late in Fibbers.

Thank you to all who came and helped make the night good fun. The next social will be 16th November which shall commence in the brand new SU bar on campus.


Love, Emma and Gillian (Social Secretaries)

Journal Club

Our first Journal club meeting was on Wednesday 12th October. This was preceded by a group chat around placement specifically for first years to come and (hopefully) allay their fears. The placement chat seemed to be well received by those first years in attendance and some good interaction between the year groups was seen.

The journal club began by having a round table discussion about how to do a critical analysis of a journal article. Based upon feedback from the group present this seems to be something of a quagmire for students. Some tools were suggested which may help including the CASP tools and the McMasters.

Those present decided that for the next journal club meeting (9th November) the journal article for analysis is going to be:

Herbert, K. (2016) The Association between Sensory Processing Styles and Mindfulness. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79 (9), pp. 557-564.


This is from the September issue of BJOT, which all students should now have access to, so no excuses! See you on 9th November

Soul Surfer, our first ever Occupational Film Night

Monday night saw the Occupational Therapy Society’s first ever (as far as I know) Occupational Film Night. There was the film, free drinks of various kinds, popcorn as well as the all important, great company, but maybe I am jumping ahead of myself?

Films, as we know are a great way of showcasing ideas, sharing thoughts and feelings and communicating with an audience. They can act as a platform for sharing information, which may not be adequately communicated in any other way. What’s the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, well then how much more can a film be worth?

Please bear with me as I try to describe and reflect on the film without giving the plot away for those of you that may want to watch it for yourselves if you weren’t able to attend and haven’t already seen it.

The film chosen for the Society film night is one that may not at first sound like it has any relevance to occupational therapy, but here is where I tell you that everything is relevant to occupational therapy, especially this film. Why (I can hear you asking)? Because soul surfer is based on a true story. In this story the main protagonist overcomes adversity, in the form of a life changing physical disability. The reason this is relevant to occupational therapy, is that she uses various occupations and skills to do it. Soul surfer is also a great example of how illness or injury can impact on an individual AND their friends and family. It shows the protagonist wanting to be independent and the polarisation of support that can be offered by family and friends, everyone wanting to help but not knowing the best way to do it, ignore the issue, coddle the individual or try to go back to the way things were? None of these are possible, you have to move forward in a new way. A good thing for occupational therapists to understand, whatever field they work in.

After the film, and I will admit there weren’t many dry eyes in the house by the end (you have been warned), the students in attendance discussed, critically analysed if you will, the film and its relevance to occupational therapy, some of which I have presented here, some of which it may be best for you to watch and see for yourself, feel free to comment below and add your thoughts about Soul Surfer.

All in all another great event. To finish I will leave you with a final thought, a direct quote from the film which I hope to always keep at the front of my mind

“I don’t need easy, I just need possible.”

A whistle-stop tour of life as an Occupational Therapy Lecturer

Here we are again, it is Thursday, the day after another amazing Occupational Therapy Society event at York St John University, and what an event!

At 4pm, we students settled down to hear our lecturers talk. A normal afternoon for us students you say? Well, not this time. This time our lecturers were NOT sharing their extensive knowledge of Occupational Therapy theory, practice or research but were instead, sharing information about themselves.

Sharing personal and private information can be a hard task for some people, being open and honest about yourself can be a challenging and frightening experience, how much information do you share and of what type? For Occupational Therapists in practice deciding what level of personal information you share with patients and colleagues is a daily decision and one which can affect your professional relationship. This must be even more complicated if you are doing this exercise with a group of, lets be honest, relative strangers, who you are in a position of authority over. And yet, our wonderful lecturers stepped up and really, to coin a phrase, knocked it out of the park.

First up was Hannah Spring. Discussing with all present, her route into teaching and how she came to end up in such a specialist field and such a unique position as a lecturer here. From there, she shared with us her talent and true passions in the form of her extra curricular activities. I won’t spoil the surprise if you didn’t attend this event, but I will just say ATTEND THE CHRISTMAS CABARET! Definitely not to be missed.

Karen Wilson had the unenviable task of following Hannah but she captured our attention and hearts with her frank and open discourse regarding her past careers, her love of nature, animals and people and her overwhelming passion for Occupational Therapy and teaching. Reminding us all to be ourselves and carry all our experiences with us as they each have value and merit, especially in our chosen field.

Alison Laver-Fawcett came next with an all too quick ‘tour’ of her truly amazing and, all too enviable life as an Occupational Therapist. She discussed with us the opportunities she has had to live, work, present and lecture all over the world. Opportunities which have led to her meeting and working with some of the worlds most famous Occupational Therapists (I am including our own lecturers here too). Alison suggests that all students, and graduates, grasp any and all opportunities which are presented too us, however large or small, as you never know where these may lead.

After a quick break, Maria Parks had the floor and wowed us with her dedication and commitment. Maria spoke about her ‘lack of academic ability’ growing up, but how she persevered with academia only to find out when completing her Masters Degree that she is, in fact, dyslexic.  Showing that all odds can be overcome if you try, try again, play to your strengths (and have a great personal tutor).

Finally, the newest member of the YSJ staff, Alison Wadey came to speak to us. She talked about her journey as an OT through various services and specialties until she found her passion, proving that it is OK to take your time and not be 100% on what you want or where you want to be. Ally also spoke about her tremendous commitment, as for the past 6 years she has been hard at work, forgoing her own therapeutic needs, in order to gain her PhD. What an achievement. Luckily now, she can finally have a break and practice her yoga.

That’s all from me folks, the only thing left to say is what an inspiration all these ladies are. If you missed the event, I hope this can give you a little flavour of what it was about and if you want to see some pictures (including one of me, I think that was payback so thanks Kerry) then check out storify. Hopefully we will see you Monday for our first ever Occupational Film Night! Bye for now

A cup of tea (and a slice of cake)

On Wednesday 21st September, the YSJ Occupational Therapy Society ran a free to attend coffee afternoon for all students on the Occupational Therapy degree course. It was a roaring success (even if I do say so myself), with over 60 attendees. There was a selection of hot and cold beverages, to tempt even the most delicate of palates and a wide selection of cakes and biscuits mostly made by our very own committee. Who could say no??

Well apparently not our lecturers who turned out in force to support the society and the new committee in their first event of the academic year. For your viewing pleasure we have a selection of photographs from the event (for which we have gained permission to showcase). Happy viewing and I will see you next week for an update on how the ‘Meet the Lecturers Talk’ went.