Occupational Therapy and Twitter

Occupational Therapy and Twitter

In 2010, Cheryl @otnotes was the only OT to tweet at the National AOTA Conference. The twitterscape will look a little different this year. 

If you are looking for an easy way to energize your occupational therapy career, now is a great time to boost (or create) your Twitter account, as there will be an extra buzz of activity surrounding OT month and the upcoming conference. 

Twitter is one of my main sources of occupational therapy news. It helps me keep a pulse on what other professionals are talking about. It has afforded me the opportunity to connect with OTs from across the globe. As a blogger, I get more traffic from Facebook, but I have way more fun connecting with people through tweets. 

The occupational therapy community on Twitter is active and has a high level of camaraderie (See my previous post OTs Are Nice). There are enough people to make it fun, but not so many that it is overwhelming. 

I’ve undergone some trial and error figuring out who (and who not) to follow so that my feed populates with news that I care about and keeps me entertained. 

You will have your own trial and error, but here a few shortcuts to energizing your OT Twitter account: 

Follow OT Thought Leaders on Twitter

Do you have a OT researcher, professor, or policy leader that you admire? Follow them. Twitter is fun because you can follow celebrities. Some people follow Rob Lowe: I follow Tina Champagne, OTD. Here a some people a I am giddy to call my Twitter friends: 

I also keep up with my AOTA news, fellow OT bloggers and large OT organizations. Here are some keep players: 

The AOTA has a handy list of all their staff members who are on twitter. You can also check out this list, of the OTs who have the most followers. 

Participate in the Rehab Community

Sometime the best way to learn about OT is to keep up with discussions from our closest partners. 

Keep up on Health News

It is also important to stay up to date on big picture trends. 

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are where things get #fun! They have the potential to connect conversations or can just be for humor or emphasis... #AmIRight. Some of my proudest achievements are failed hashtag trends: #OTTheShitOutOfIt, #NoMorePolos. Here are some mainstream options: 

Join Tweetchats 

For this section, I reached out to Cheryl @otnoes who is much more savvy about participating in Tweetchats than I. Here is what I heard back from her: 

I enjoy twitter a lot and find great professional benefit. It’s a great way to share resources and meet professionals in various fields that have helpful information. Twitter really flattens the social hierarchy, so a tweetchat is an excellent way to interact with experts that you normally could not meet. There are often great side chats happening simultaneously, to discuss a point in more detail or share a resource. The best twitter chats are where the moderator and leader are not just posting questions or comments at a given time, but are actually responding to their audience, answering questions, and changing the course of the chat, just like you would in a real conversation. Twitter has helped me connect with OTs that are geographically distant and gain knowledge in other fields that I could not have imagined five years ago.

Almost every discipline and specialty has some kind of Tweetchat. Here are two OT options, to get you started: 

#OTalk: Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science Tweetchats Tues 8-9pm UK time.

#OTalk2Us: During April 2015 Tweetchats will be every Sunday from 7-8PM EST.

What am I missing? 

I know this post is just scratching the surface! If you have any recommendations for people to follow, hashtags to use, or Tweetchats to join, leave a comment below.

You can also tweet me at @otpotential