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  • Writer's pictureEmma

Work is a fundamental occupation!

Today I have been delivering some teaching on vocational rehabilitation to the MSc Occupational Therapy students at Sheffield Hallam University. My opening gambit when talking about vocation to occupational therapy students and indeed occupational therapists is that vocation (work, education and training) is NOT a specialist area of OT. Occupational therapists support people to overcome barriers - usually as a result of illness or injury - to do the things they want, or need to do (the things that occupy their time). The things that occupy our time (our occupations) are self care e.g. washing, dressing, feeding, leisure e.g. reading, playing a sport and productivity e.g. going to school, university or work, being a parent, being a carer. Vocation is a key occupation for most of us in our society at some point in our lives, and often for most of our lives. So whist working in a neurological setting, mental health service, or paediatrics is a specialist area of OT, aspects of occupation should not be seen as such; does anyone ever talk about self care, or leisure being a specialist area? So my plea is to have confidence in the fact that vocational rehabilitation is occupational therapy!

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