• Chantelle Vischer

Dear OT... Happy #OTWeek

In honour of #OTWeek, I thought it would be fitting to write an open letter to all the hard-working, life-changing and absolutely amazing Occupational Therapists all over the globe. Whether you’re one of the brave one’s that have gone before us, setting a sound foundation for all the future OT’s to work from; whether you’re currently in the thick of practicing OT, showing up every single day willing to go to war for your clients; or even an eager OT student, still fresh and ready to leave an imprint in the world that we live in. This one goes out to each and every one of you!

Occupational therapy is probably one of the most versatile, draining yet life-giving professions that this world has to offer. Very few truly understand what exactly it is that we do, or better yet, what we have to offer this broken world that we live in. You see, occupational therapy is not just a job, it’s a calling. It’s not just something that we do; it forms a part of who we’ve become. There are few and far between that are truly courageous enough to take on the challenge of occupational therapy.

So, if you haven’t heard it in a while. I’m here to thank YOU, dear OT.

Yes, at times, occupational therapy can become a lonely profession, even though we might constantly be surrounded by people. Yes, on some days our OT flames might shine dimmer than others, as we find ourselves having to get up every day to fight a different battle alongside a different client, with little to no fight left in us or them. Yes, at times, our cups might feel somewhat empty, as we’ve learned to give much of ourselves to this profession that we love so dearly, without taking the necessary time to stop and refill again. Yes, at times, the profession itself might challenge us, as we question whether it’s all really worth it at the end of the day.

Yet, dear OT, despite all of this, you've somehow found a way to keep showing up. You carry a hope in you that far out ways the challenges that you have to face on a day-to-day basis. A hope enforced by the realisation that you are indeed one of the very few that's strong enough, valour enough, willing enough and equipped enough to take on this profession. A hope that you genuinely CAN make a difference in the lives of your clients, because if YOU don’t show up, who will? A hope ignited by the knowing that, without a doubt, at the end of the day, your client's will most likely have a greater impact on your life than you on theirs. It’s a hope that can sometimes be forgotten but should never be left behind.

So… Dear OT, wherever it is that I find you today. Just in case you’ve forgotten. Here’s a reminder - What you do matters. You are incredible. You are passionate. You are fierce. You are influential. You are capable. You are a life-changer, a world-shaker and an absolute force to be reckoned with. It’s an honour that I get to serve alongside you in a pursuit to make this world a better and more inclusive place for the misinterpreted, downtrodden and often neglected. Even on the harder days. You are NOT in this alone. Keep going.

Lots of love,

Chans x


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