2 Ways OT’s Are Productive


Are you being as productive as you possibly could?

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For the record, I had this brilliant idea on writing about things occupational therapists can do to be productive. Then I met the Anonymous OT and my eyes were opened up to a whole new way of thinking about productivity and occupational therapy. Instead of going on and on listing things you can do to be productive, I’d like the Anonymous OT to take over.

Simply put, when I asked him or her “What are some things really productive OT’s do?” I was not expecting the answer I received. He/she says, “I think you can look at this question in more than one way.” Right then I knew I was in for a treat.

The Anonymous OT goes on to explain, “In the therapy world, when you hear the word productive, you think of productivity expectations. (i.e., ‘How many patients can you see in a day?’) From a business owner’s perspective, this is the bread and butter of all therapy. You are only bringing in money for the company when you are providing a billable service. All that paperwork that is required? Do it quickly, but make no mistakes. Planning treatment sessions? Do that on your own time, but make it amazing. Yes, it can be overwhelming.”

“So in order to spend your day productively and see whom you need to see, you have to be organized. Productive OTs have some sort of system that works for them. Whether that means coming in early to organize your treatment sessions or staying late to write up your notes and do paperwork. Maybe you use a binder with color-coded folders, create to-do lists for the week, or just write stuff on the palm of your hand. You have to find what works for you. People who have no system and no way to organize themselves are the ones I see complaining more than anyone else. While it is true that there is never enough time to get it all done, having an organized system is the key to squeezing the most out of every spare moment you have.”

“Another way to look at this question is, ‘How productive are you as a clinician?’ Meaning, how efficient and effective are you with your clients? Do you create a solid treatment plan and stick to it? Or do you wing it? Do you try to learn more about areas that you aren’t as comfortable with? Do you go the extra mile to do some studying outside of work? To be honest, this is the biggest question OTs should be asking themselves. I think many of us get complacent in our positions and don’t continue to challenge ourselves  not only to learn more, but to confidently use new skills in practice. A productive OT is constantly learning, adapting, and trying new things for their clients.”

And there you have it. Two ways OT’s can be productive for themselves and their clients. If you’d like to learn more about the Anonymous OT you can do so here. He or she has an amazing blog that addresses several topics within the pediatric OT community that could be beneficial to you now or in the future.