A value-based vision for OT

Yes, I know it’s misspelled and you’ll learn why shortly...

Welcome to the frustration of my current occupational therapy experience... and please, dear reader, bring your own inspiration to fuel the change.

Where do I work? In a skilled nursing care center.

Why the frustration?  Because I feel like occupational therapy is so often lost to the storm of productivity, swept under the umbrella of physical therapy or nursing, and can fall into a background of camouflage instead of into unforgettable memories of value, inspiration, and true care.

I entered this profession with a you-had-me-at-hello type of surrender after reading that occupational therapy was “... both an art and a science.”

Well, where is this dynamic marriage, especially in skilled nursing?  And more importantly, what can I do to bring about the change I want to see?

Below are the best ideas that have surfaced as a result of accepting and disclosing this lingering frustration.  You are welcome to join me in extending the list... and more importantly, to take simple action toward your own value-based vision of occupational therapy.  (Because oddly enough, by finally accepting and admitting my frustration, I feel more compelled to action.)

Ideas to Expand a Value-Based Vision for OT in SNF:

  1. Get clear about my personal and professional goals
  2. Ask for time with my manager to discuss possibilities, support, and next steps.
  3. Grow and meet regularly with an OT support group (A co-worker and I now have a group of 5+ OT/As who are interested in debriefing and expanding their practice and vision of OT in the community)
  4. Bring ONE new approach or strategy to my practice per week (even if it’s just trying a new game)
  5. Take care of myself first. (Am I doing MY “home exercise program”?)

Hey, it’s a start.  Frustration is real... and so are the possibilities born from authentic acceptance. Perhaps we will call this new action... frustraction.  Will you join me in embracing a more value-based vision for OT in our world?


Monika Lukasiewicz, OTR/L 


Monika is a guest blogger hailing from Oregon.  Her and Sarah met at a summer camp where they lead team building activities. They quickly bonded over their love of debriefing.