Where resources are scarce, the imperative to be strategic is great.
Even though the profession is growing (WFOT, 2018), occupational therapists are always a scarce resource. Incumbent on us is the duty to practice in ways that honour this reality.
Two issues emerge when considering how to do this:
- leverage – how can I have the biggest possible impact, and
- leadership – how can I strengthen leadership in this field of practice?
Impact at a micro level means those who use your services, your work peers, your occupational therapy students and colleagues are changed.
Occupational therapy impact starts with a direct change in occupational opportunities at an individual level but it should not stop there.
Aware of the immense need, we also work to increase the chance of those occupational opportunities being sustainable or scaled. We want to leverage our work to include others in similar situations.
Impact at a meso level means your organisation, professional association, or regional response to displaced people are changed by your contributions.
Typically these types of contributions demand being ‘at the table’ to hear what is said, to give feedback, shape agendas, reframe discussions, and influence decision making. We can leverage our input by contributing at a meso level.
This is why the focus of this site is increasing the number of practitioners in paid work in this field of practice. These positions are the seat at the table, and the linchpin for other types of professional contributions such as research, education, advocacy, and pro bono service.
Impact at a macro level means you’re contributing to changes in your your country, national systems or professional systems enabling the profession to be an active part of history-in-the-making.
World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) (2018). 2018 Occupational Therapy Human Resources Project (Full) – Alphabetical. Retrieved from: http://www.wfot.org/ResourceCentre.aspx