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.
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.
Available: Amazon | ottoolkit.com
2. An Annual 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, be sure to check out our all-inclusive MedBridge review covering everything you need to know.
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 (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. Wipe-able Gait Belt
Vinyl, wipe-able 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 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 acute care treatments.
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 or when current restrictions have us staying put for now. 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 being an occupational therapy practitioner. I personally like the more intense 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 a minute and 40 seconds and voila, instant moist heat. I use mine for neck soreness regularly combined with stretching which usually does the trick.
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 you know the “approved” colors for the organization as some hospitals and workplaces are really picky about this. For this, be sure to include a gift receipt to play it safe to ensure your OT has the right sizing and colors.
12. Comfy Shoes
Comfortable shoes are crucial for any OT. Many OTs recommend Asics running shoes (my personal favorite) to wear to work for the most comfort. Remember that sizing can fluctuate between types of shoes. One thing to note about Danskos is that therapists either love them or hate them so this one might need an approval before surprising them if they don’t love clogs. 🙂
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. For more 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 in your life. I’d love to hear your suggestions as well in the comments below!
Note: We may receive small commission from products purchased from this article at no additional cost to you. All proceeds go directly back into managing My OT Spot operating costs. Thank you and happy gift giving!
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.
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.
The kwik klips one is my fav! had it for five years 😊