12 Perfect Gift Ideas for Occupational Therapists
‘Tis the season for a fun list of great gift ideas for yourself or that favorite occupational therapist/COTA/OT student in your life.
Our list is a mix of fun, functional, and downright helpful gift ideas to get your favorite OT through those long work days. These are all products or services that I personally use and love, and I made sure all of the items listed from Amazon were the best-reviewed versions to ensure the highest quality gifts 🙂
1. OT Toolkit
The OT Toolkit is number one for good reason. This book is the most consistently praised resource for occupational therapists, COTAs and OT students, and will be a gift that can be used every day. It has educational handouts for patients as well as information and interventions for the majority of conditions occupational therapy practitioners will see in any adult rehab settings.
The OT Toolkit is my favorite reference guide for any adult setting, from acute care to home health and everything in between. For more details on this amazing book, check out my comprehensive review of it here.
2. An Annual Subscription to MedBridge Online Continuing Education
Want to give the always-valuable gift of continuing education? With the promo code MYOTSPOT you will be able to save $150 off of the full price of MedBridge Continuing Education for a year’s worth of continuing education credits that will count for OT license renewals in any state.
I’ve been using MedBridge for many years now, and have dabbled in other online continuing ed platforms. I’ve found that the massive amount of quality content available on MedBridge beats anything else I’ve tried. MedBridge seeks out industry-leading experts in each therapy discipline to provide exclusive courses on virtually every topic you can imagine. For more information, be sure to check out our all-inclusive MedBridge review covering everything you need to know. This is a gift that I promise will be very appreciated!
3. Occupational Therapy Foldable Reference Clipboard
I love this as a gift for any new OT/COTA or OT student. I got mine when I was in my second Level II fieldwork (in inpatient rehab) and I loved having it on hand when I needed to quickly glance at vital sign info, dermatomes, MMT scales, cranial nerves, types of CVA effects, the ASIA impairment scale, and much more. For peds OTs, they’ve also got you covered with developmental milestones.
It covers so much information on both the front and back and is foldable to stick in your scrub pocket. It makes a great, inexpensive gift for fieldwork students and new OTs alike.
4. The Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite
The Kindle Paperwhite is a great leisure option to have after work, when it’s time to unwind and dive into a good book. I’m really excited about this Kindle since it’s waterproof and is perfect for those much-needed Epsom salt baths after full days of tough patient care.
I also prefer the Paperwhite over tablet reading since you don’t have that digital screen glare/blue light that we look at all day with our phones, tablets, and computers.
5. Wipeable Gait Belt
Vinyl, wipeable gait belts are a must for OTs since they’re so easy to wipe down and disinfect between patients. This gait belt fits the bill and will be a welcome addition to any occupational therapist’s toolkit, especially since so many therapists need to supply their own gait belts (particularly in acute care and home health).
6. Pulse Oximeter
Pulse oximeters are a crucial device to use when working with a myriad of cardiopulmonary conditions, and it always seems like they are so hard to come by in the hospital, home health or SNF settings. I keep my own with me at work which has saved me so much time making sure my patients’ heartrate and O2 sats are stable during my treatments in acute care.
7. Fitbit Charge 4 Heartrate Monitor + Fitness Tracker
I’ve had this Fitbit Charge for the past several years now and love it during work and off hours. I love that it not only monitors all of your fitness activity but also has a watch and timer for measuring your minutes (a must during patient care!).
The Fitbit Charge 4 not only tracks all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes but also reminds the wearer to find moments of calm throughout your day with guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate.
8. A Massage Package
Any occupational therapy practitioner, regardless of their setting, can always benefit from a massage with all of the intense physical activity (lifting, pulling, walking, standing) and occasional (and sometimes more frequent) emotional stress that the job requires every day. A gift card to a favorite local massage spot will definitely make any OT’s day.
9. Foam Roller
Speaking of massages, a foam roller also does the trick when there isn’t time to make it to a massage. Foam rollers are designed for reaching myofascial release trigger points, such as the neck, back and legs, to strengthen and improve flexibility and overall health. For details on how to use it, there are many helpful free YouTube videos like this one to show you.
Foam rolling is one of my top recommendations (combined with yoga and strengthening) for the aches and pains that come with being an occupational therapy practitioner. I personally like the more firm foam rollers with ridges (shown here), but softer ones without ridges are also readily available for anyone new to foam rolling.
10. Bed Buddy Hot Pack
And one more product for those common aches and pains is the “Bed Buddy” hot pack. The moist heat from the Bed Buddy really helps after those long days of documenting and “text neck.”
The flaxseed naturally soaks up humidity from your home, so all you have to do is microwave it for around a minute and 40 seconds and voila, instant moist heat. I use mine for all the time neck soreness and I highly recommend this for any therapist.
11. New Scrubs
Scrubs can be pricey and therefore aren’t purchased very often by therapists. Getting a fresh new pair of scrubs (Grey’s Anatomy scrubs and the Cherokee Infinity stretch scrubs are my personal favorites) can be a nice surprise. Just make sure you know the “approved” colors for the organization as some hospitals and workplaces are really picky about this. For this one, be sure to include a gift receipt to play it safe to ensure your OT has the right sizing and colors.
12. Comfy New Shoes
Comfortable shoes are crucial for any OT. Many OTs recommend Asics running shoes to wear to work for the most comfort.
Another great brand that is getting more and more popular are ALTRA running shoes. They have a “zero drop” which means the heel of the shoe is the same height as the toe. They also come with a wide toe box to allow toes to spread out. Both attributes are claimed to support a more natural foot function for strong and healthy feet. While I loved my Asics, I am currently on the ALTRA train and highly recommend this brand as well.
Sizing can fluctuate between types of shoes and brands so a gift receipt is highly recommended for this gift as well.
For more OT shoe gift ideas, be sure to check out our article, The 7 Best Shoes for Occupational Therapists.
I hope this list has given you some fun and functional occupational therapist gift ideas for that special OT, COTA or OT student in your life. I’d love to hear your favorite OT gift ideas and suggestions as well in the comments below!
Note: We may receive small commission from certain products purchased from this article at no additional cost to you. Thank you and happy gift giving!