Welcome to the American Occupational Therapy Association's Checking the Pulse blog. Written by Stephanie Yamkovenko, AOTA's digital editor.
Here you will find news about occupational therapy, current health news, and more. I regularly blog about apps that clinicians can use in practice, autism issues, managing chronic conditions, wounded warriors, and more.
AOTA members receive the biweekly OT Practice Pulse e-newsletter where we share resources and news from AOTA and other sources that directly affect occupational therapy practice—curated just for members! Here on the Checking the Pulse blog, I will share even more relevant and interesting news, videos, blogs, and more.
I read hundreds of articles about health, wellness, and policy every week to find the most engaging and enlightening content for you. Blog readers can stay in the know, go beyond the news, and find out how the latest health news affect occupational therapy.
Found a story worth sharing? Send it to us today! Or send me a tweet @AOTAInc.
Looking for a perfect gift for the OT practitioners or students in your life? Over the years we’ve shared nearly a dozen lists of gifts, books, and films. Here are the top 25 most-viewed gifts. Don’t forget to pick a few OT Centennial–themed gifts before the end of 2017!
Gift 1: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This novel is set in France and Germany during World War II. The writing is superb and active and you get drawn in and immersed into the lives of the characters. Themes OT peeps will enjoy are how the daughter learns to live with her blindness, the opening up of the uncle with shell shock from being a soldier in WWI, and many others. It’s a beautiful book.
Gift 2: On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks
I’ll let your OT colleague describe neurologist Oliver Sacks’ memoir On the Move: A Life.
"I am so inspired by his creative and zealous approach to his clinical work, and his insistence on seeing the whole context of a patient’s life rather than focusing on just the clinical details. I found it very relevant to the occupational therapy frame of reference.”-Cheryl Crow of The Enthusiastic Life
Gift 3: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
A neurosurgeon finds out at 36 that he has stage 4 lung cancer. Paul began writing this memoir as he went from being a physician treating the dying to a patient struggling to live. He tackles subjects like morality, being a parent, and what makes life worth living in the face of death. Paul died in March 2015 while writing the book but his words continue to challenge and inspire.
Gift 4: A Pocket-Sized Notebook
OT practitioners (and students!) take a lot of notes. They'd appreciate having this handy reporter's notebook with them that is small enough for a pocket.
Gift 5: Always Having a Pen Nearby
Combine it with this self-adhesive pen holder and avoid the usual scramble when trying to find a pen.
Gift 6: Pens that no one will steal (or they’ll feel guilty about stealing!)
Where do those pens go? If your OT always has a problem with disappearing pens, they would probably love a huge set of pens engraved with “I stole this pen from (enter their name here).” An example here.
Gift 7: A great pair of scissors, engraved
What’s better than a great pair of scissors? Not ever having them stolen! You can buy a nice pair of scissors as a gift and get it engraved it with their name. Stores such as Things Remembered do custom engraving on items you bring into the store.
Gift 8: An organized therapy bag
If the OT practitioner in your life has a bag for all of his or her therapy stuff, you could give them the gift of organization! Unfortunately Mary Poppins’ bag is still not for sale, but bag and purse organizers are the next best thing. Check out these as an example.
Looking for something beautiful to inspire your OT practitioner or student to meet their goals? We love the Simply Yours Day Planner designed by two occupational therapists. Using their OT background, they developed a planner that will help you reach short- and long-term goals.
Gift 10: Zolocolor
The Zolocolor coloring book series from Simon and Schuster have simple but bold shapes for people who want to color but don't want to have to do intricate designs.
Gift 11: Paris Coloring Book
Technically the Paris Coloring Book is for children, but the beautiful scenes of Paris are anything but juvenile. Your OT will enjoy coloring the major Parisian sights while learning about French culture as well.
Gift 12: Simple Designs, Laid Back Coloring Book
This author created a coloring book with simple designs for people with disabilities. Your OT can try it out and see if it would work for their clients.
Gift 13: Coloring Books for Men
Coloring is not just for women! If you want more masculine coloring page designs, check out The Amazing Colouring Book for MEN.
Gift 14: OT Tote Bags
They can store all of their therapy notes and supplies in an OT-themed tote or shopping bag.
Gift 15: OT Rex Gear
Admittedly you might not “get” why a T-rex with reachers is so darn funny, but trust us—the OT practitioner in your life will love it. We’ve got t-shirts, a hoodie, and a stress toy with the unstoppable OT Rex!
Gift 16: OT-Themed Colored Pencils
If you're buying them one of the coloring books above, get them OT-themed colored pencils as well!
Sure, you can buy them these films, or - even better - make some time to watch these movies with the OT peeps in your life (don't forget to bring the popcorn!).
Gift 17: Travis: A Soldier’s Story available on Netflix
If they attended AOTA’s 2014 Annual Conference they probably remember Staff Sgt. Travis Mills and his fellow wounded warriors from the Welcome Ceremony. Travis is a quadruple amputee, and he shared how OT helped him. The documentary Travis: A Soldier’s Story tells his story and highlights his physical and emotional challenges. Watch a trailer.
Gift 18: Life, Animated available on Amazon Prime
This Oscar-nominated documentary tells the story of how a young man with autism used Disney films to develop communication skills. Watch a trailer. Fun fact: find out how occupational therapist Kristie Koenig was involved with the film.
Gift 19: Other People available on Netflix
Koenig recommends this movie describing it as “an amazing movie of love, loss, friendship and the enduring, maddening power of family.” A struggling comedy writer moves home to help his sick mother and finds himself a stranger in his childhood home with his conservative father and younger sisters. Watch a trailer.
Throughout 2017, occupational therapy has been celebrating its 100 year anniversary. Get your OT a gift to remember with our most popular Centennial-themed gifts.
Gift 20: 100th Anniversary Stylus Pen
It's a pen and a stylus for writing on tablets or phones and it promotes OT's Centennial. What more could you want?
Gift 21: 100th Anniversary Car Magnet
This car magnet promotes the profession and the 100th anniversary.
Gift 22: 100th Anniversary Badge Holder
If your OT practitioner or student wears an ID badge, give them this 100th anniversary badge holder to promote OT at work and school
Gift 23: 100th Anniversary Multi-Use Tool Key Chain
This adorable key chain not only holds your keys but also features a bottle opener, an LED light, and a 39 inch tape measure.
Gift 24: Any of These Other Centennial Gifts!
But there's more Centennial gifts! Check out all of our 100th anniversary items such as a journal, blanket, tote bags, mugs, and more!
Gift 25: AOTA Membership
The ultimate gift for your OT? Renewing their American Occupational Therapy Association membership (or, if they aren’t members yet, signing them up!). This gift will show the OT in your life that not only do you want them to grow and develop professionally, but also that you support their profession and want to see it flourish!
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This is awesome.