If you have an occupational therapy assistant or OTA student in your life, it can sometimes be tough to figure out what to get them for holidays, birthdays, or other special occasions. We’ve put together a list of the most essential gifts for occupational therapy professionals.
Chances are, the OTA in your life probably has plenty of academic books about occupational therapy. However, there are also plenty of novels and memoirs out there that deal with the kinds of issues OTAs deal with on a regular basis. This list of occupational therapy-related books can act as a starting point, allowing you to find something that will speak to an OTA or OTA student on a personal and narrative level, not just an academic one.
Even better, get them an audiobook. OTAs are often on the move, so something they can listen to in between client visits will serve them well through many a commute.
Related resource: 10 Creative OTA Therapy Ideas to Improve Skills and Function
OTAs go through a lot of gear on the job. They’ll probably crack out their clipboard every single shift and, like other healthcare providers, are constantly in need of pens. If they don’t already have an aluminum storage clipboard, they could probably use one.
OTAs can also go through a lot of electrical tape on the job. Fixing and securing mobility devices and other equipment is part of their daily routine, and having a roll or three of reliable tape on them is pretty much always necessary.
Related resource: 5 Occupational Therapy Ideas Using Household Items
Being an OTA can be a physically demanding job! Foam rollers will allow the OTA or OTA student in your life to roll out the kinks in the back and limbs, and an exercise ball can help them stretch out and exercise after a long day of helping others become mobile. For those knots in the back and shoulders that just won’t go away, a lacrosse ball can be repurposed to work away the pain.
You could also spring for a professional massage. An OTA would almost certainly appreciate having their own body worked on by someone who knows the ins and outs of human movement.
OTAs often do in-home care, and that can mean they travel with a fair amount of equipment, paperwork, and personal items. A good backpack is necessary to keep track of it all. If theirs is getting a little ragged around the edges, a crisp new one would probably be appreciated.
Not only does a backpack need to hold everything, though, it also needs to rest on their shoulders in a healthy way. Backpack health is important. OTAs and OTA students are all too familiar with how the straps of a less-than-optimal backpack can dig into your shoulders and contribute to back problems. Give them something they themselves would approve of!