occupational therapy {a poem}

One of the sneaky parts of having a blog is being privy to the search terms people type in that leads them to said blog. I noticed that lately the term “occupational therapy” has rendered a few links to Pearls on a String(!). For those of you that don’t know, I am in fact an occupational therapist by day/wannabe blogger by night. I am of course not allowed to mention where I work specifically because that is strictly against the HR social media policy, but I can say that I work in pediatrics at two hospitals in Baltimore, Maryland. Being that it is occupational therapy month I thought I would shed a small light on this very unknown profession. After all, I spent seven years in school and owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans to become part of it.

It is a near daily occurrence when my office pal and I say to each other: “We see the weirdest stuff ever. It’s not even believable it is so weird.” I think this is true for the majority of healthcare professionals, especially those that work in big cities. I find it is extremely difficult to explain my job to people and even my family hardly knows exactly what I do. My time is divided by approximately 50% direct patient care, 30% documentation, and 20% coordinating with the family and other disciplines. Rather than blab on about what occupational therapy is according to Wikipedia or the American Occupational Therapy Association, I thought I would provide a synopsis of a day or so in the life through a poem, because life is more fun in rhymes. {If you’re still reading this and you are not a therapist or my mother: 1) Wow, thank you! 2) I apologize.}

The day starts out by fabricating a splint, a cast or two,
No, not for broken bones or even the slightest thank you.

Next comes a slew of kids who cannot walk or talk,
We help manage their care and teach them to don a sock.

Kids come from far away and from many different nations,
In order to receive a ten page developmental OT evaluation.

OTs assess strength, fine and visual motor skills,
We try to improve a kiddo’s life sans dozens of pills.

Then there is the other hospital with kids in intensive care,
They have deep burns, injuries, and tumors that are extremely rare.

We splint and teach positioning to the nurses and the docs,
Thinking about long-term and the ability one day to stack blocks.

The heartbreaking stories can be overwhelming yet are sadly part of the job,
At times I have caved and let out a hidden silent sob.

We write novels for notes and countless medical necessity letters,
To help kiddos get equipment that will hopefully make their life better.

OTs are creative, compassionate, and quick to think on their feet,
They know when to be stern and know when to be sweet.

Not many people know about this semi-secret profession,
But now you are not one of them thanks to my silly poetic confession.

{Thanks for sticking to the end! The picture above is from a class in OT school when we were learning wound care. If you are not an occupational therapist keep in mind that the field is extremely broad and this does not represent the profession as a whole. It is similar if someone says they are a physician or a lawyer, with numerous specialties and subspecialties that one can work in. Finally, cheers to all my fellow therapists: physical, occupational, and speech!}


  1. What is that thing on the baking pan?!?!

  2. winterstar06 says:

    I have been waiting for one of your poems. I loved it; thank you!

  3. Hey Les! I have not posted on your blog for a long while (been under the weather). Nice to see you are still writing your poems 🙂 Take care!

{share your thoughts}

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: