‘Tis the season for a fun list of great gift ideas for yourself or that favorite Occupational Therapist/COTA/OT student in your life.

The list is a mix of fun, functional, and downright helpful gift ideas to get your favorite OT through those long work days. I made sure all of the items listed from Amazon were the top-reviewed versions to ensure the best gifts 🙂

1. OT Toolkit

The OT Toolkit is number one for good reason. It is the most consistently praised resource for occupational therapists 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 adult rehab settings.

It’s my favorite reference guide for any adult setting, from acute care to home health and everything in between. For all the details on this amazing book, check out my review of it here.

2. Subscription to MedBridge Online Continuing Education

With the promo code MYOTSPOT you will be able to save $175 off of the full price of MedBridge Continuing Education. That brings the price down to $200 for a one year subscription of unlimited CEUs.

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, read Why MedBridge Is The Best Continuing Education Investment You Can Make.

medbridge-ceu-courses-ot

3. Occupational Therapy Reference Clipboard

I love this as a gift for any new OT/COTA or OT student.  I bought mine when I was in my second Level II (inpatient rehab) and it saved my life many times when I needed to quickly glance at dermatomes, MMT scales, ROM, cranial nerves, types of CVA effects, the ASIA impairment scale, and much more.

It covers so much information on both the front and back and also has a separate laminate for pediatric OTs that you can clip right on. It’s a great, inexpensive gift for your fieldwork students as well as yourself.

4. The New (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 newest 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 that we face all day with our phones, tablets, and computers.

5. Wipe-able Gait Belt

While I prefer the standard gait belts, a lot of hospitals are now requiring vinyl, wipe-able gait belts to disinfect between patients. This gait belt fits the bill and will be a welcome addition to any occupational therapist’s toolkit.

6. Pulse Oximeter

Pulse oximeters are a crucial device to use when working with a myriad of conditions, and it always seems like they are so hard to come by in the hospital or SNF setting. I bit the bullet and purchased my own which has saved me so much time making sure my patients’ heartrate and O2 sats are stable during treatments.

7. Fitbit Charge 2 Heartrate Monitor + Fitness Tracker

I’ve had this Fitbit for the past year and a half 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 for measuring your minutes (a must during patient care!).

The Fitbit Charge 2 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.

I want to also note that the Charge 3 is now available but I’ve noticed the reviews aren’t quite as solid, so I’m still recommending the Charge 2.

8. A Massage Package

Any occupational therapy practitioner, regardless of their setting, can always benefit from this with all of the intense physical activity (lifting, pulling, walking, standing) 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 tons of free YouTube videos like this one to show you.

Foam rolling is one of my top recommendations (combined with yoga) for the aches and pains that come with the job. I personally like the more intense foam rollers with ridges (shown here), but softer ones are also readily available for people new to foam rolling.

10. Bed Buddy Hot Pack

And one more product for those aches and pains is the “Bed Buddy.” 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 a minute and 40 seconds and voila, instant moist heat. I use mine for neck soreness almost daily and it does the trick.

 

11. New Scrubs

Scrubs can be pricey and thus aren’t something purchased very often. Getting a fresh new pair of scrubs (Grey’s Anatomy scrubs are my personal favorite) can be a nice surprise. Just make you know the “approved” colors for the organization as some hospitals are really picky about this.

12. Comfy Shoes

Comfortable shoes are crucial. Many OTs recommend either Dansko clogs or Asics running shoes (my personal favorite) to wear to work for the most comfort. Remember that sizing can fluctuate between types of shoes. Therapists either love or hate Dansko clogs so this one might need an approval before surprising them if they don’t love clogs. 🙂

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I hope this list has given you some fun and functional occupational therapist gift ideas. I’d love to hear your suggestions as well in the comments below!

Note: Several of the products listed provide a small commission to My OT Spot at no additional cost to you if purchased from the link directly. All proceeds go directly back into managing site operating costs. Thank you and happy gift giving!

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2 comments

  • Katherine Kurtz December 29, 2016   Reply →

    Thanks for your blog! I am the mom of an MOT student and am looking for gift ideas for my daughter and her friends/colleagues. Was wondering if you recommend any specific OT clipboard, as I noted there are several available online. Thanks so very much for any advice you (or other readers) can provide.

    • Sarah Stromsdorfer, OTR/L December 29, 2016   Reply →

      Hi Katherine! My personal favorite (and the same one most of my coworkers use) is the clipboard on Amazon called “Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy/Anatomy Reference Clipboard with Wire Clip” by Kwik Klips. It’s the one I describe in this post, and it has both the front and back covered with important assessment details.

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