Biggest Challenges in Finding Online OT Resources
As therapists, there is a common thread of struggling with time and energy when it comes to finding online Occupational Therapy resources. Many therapists struggle with fitting in professional advancement between work schedules and home life. Take into consideration all that needs to be done for a therapist to maintain licensure requirements, learn on the job, and other efforts for advancing clinical expertise. To take additional time out of family life or “off time” to seek out evidence-backed answers to clinical questions can be a real challenge!
Below you’ll find common themes related to challenges Occupational Therapists experience as they locate and search for online OT resources.
Advancing in a professional manner through independent learning as an occupational therapist “should be” easy given that therapists of this technological age have the world at their fingertips given an online search. Finding resources online “should be” an effortless and obvious means for continuing education in an individual manner. But there can be challenges to finding online resources.
Many therapists come across common challenges as they look for the resources online…resulting in frustration and unanswered questions.
Do any of these common these challenges sound familiar?
Biggest Challenges in Finding Online OT Resources
Look through the list below and see if you see a common thread when it comes to challenges with finding online OT resources that answer clinical questions and promote professional advancement.
One of the biggest issues that therapists have found when it comes to finding answers to clinical questions online is time. Taking the time to find reliable resources can be a real challenge when therapists are working in the clinic or other settings. Many times therapists do not have access to internet resources while on the job and searching for additional support online needs to be done off the job and in the evening hours at home. One strategy that can help with the issue of time is setting aside a specific time to locate needed information. Blocking out a portion of time can be a big help in finding answers to clinical questions. Try creating a running journal of questions or areas where you would like to advance in your expertise in a notebook. Throughout the day this can be added to and jotted down. Then during a set period of time, search for answers to questions. Set a timer and block out a short period of time.
Therapists often run into the fact that when locating online resources and research, there are fees required for access to articles. The therapist who pays for malpractice insurance, healthcare, continuing education costs, licensure fees, additional fees for evidence-based practice resources can struggle to pay for evidence-based sources of information online.
3. Valid information
Another concern among therapists when finding and seeking out online resources is ensuring that the information found is valid and a source of clinical expertise. Reliability of sources can be a struggle when it comes to ensuring evidence-based practice. Given the abundance of research limitations and lower-level evidence sources, it can be difficult to know what is valid evidence. A collection of dedicated therapists who strive to promote and enhance the profession are a source for finding valid information.Imagine if every single therapist in an online community shared one source of evidence-based practice. This could help many other therapists along the way.
4. Working in isolation
Many therapists work in a setting where they are the only therapist in a school district. Therapists sometimes work alone in a setting or in a setting without support from other OT professionals. Interacting with other therapists can be a struggle. It means spending excess time and resources to locate evidence-based practice and answers to the clinical questions.
5. Narrowing down a clinical question to meet specific needs
Sometimes just narrowing down the wording of the question during online searches can lead to results that are not needed. Having a community to network in an easy manner can be a strategy for identifying a specific question to search for in research or online.
6. Sorting through all of the information out there
While it’s great that the internet has so many sources for information right at our fingertips, therapists can struggle with weeding through all of that information. An efficient and fast resource where other professionals answer your questions is such a valuable asset to the therapy community. If any of these struggles sound familiar, it’s no question that you’re not alone. Many Occupational Therapists are struggling with finding answers to clinical questions for various reasons. We’re all in the same boat!
That’s one of the reasons why The OT Toolbox Community was developed.
- The OT Toolbox Community is a free resource for occupational therapy practitioners who struggle to find valuable resources in a timely and efficient manner. Based on The OT Toolbox website, The OT Toolbox Community promotes clinicians as a valuable “tool” for clients. By connecting and collaborating with other therapists, it is possible to exponentially enhance and promote the profession.
Seeking out and finding answers to clinical questions can be a huge limit when it comes to time, energy, cost, and other issues.
The OT Toolbox Community provides a resource for therapists to connect with one another and collaborate on clinical questions. OTs and OTAs have the opportunity to ask questions related to specific their needs. Therapists can draw on clinical expertise to respond and answer other clinician’s questions. Imagine if many therapists joined together in sharing years of clinical expertise and resources and put them into one toolkit. The OT Toolbox Community provides a one-stop location for navigating all of the information out there.
- It’s a place to access research.
- It’s a place to find best practice sources.
- It’s a place to promote, collaborate, network, and mentor with one another as therapists.
The OT Toolbox Community is looking for you. Meet hundreds of other occupational therapy professionals who have joined the community and are sharing questions, answers, resources, and valuable sources of clinical information.
A few facts about The OT Toolbox Community:
- Members are able to upload links to valuable resources that they have located online. These can be shared with other members and searched for by category. Check out the Resource Center and add one of your own.
- Members are able to ask questions and answer questions. These are sorted by category to enable search queries in order to locate best practice answers in a timely manner. Stop over to the Question Forum and see if there is one that you can answer given your clinical expertise.
- Members can upload their own documents and files to share with other therapists. This is a huge asset for data collection screenings and other sources of information for therapists.
- Members can list job opportunities in the Job Area. Have a position open in your facility? Reach out to our large community of occupational therapy professionals and fill your positions fast!
- Have an activity that you love using in treatment sessions? Snap a picture with your phone and share it as a Blog Post. It doesn’t have to be a fancy blog post…just share your idea with the community members. Members can enhance the profession by sharing practice strategies that work!
- In The OT Toolbox Community, all links, resources, questions, comments, and blog posts can be shared anonymously if you like!
Stop by and join The OT Toolbox Community! It’s a thriving source of information for occupational therapy practitioners.