7 Awesome Occupational Therapy Memes to Share
Memes are a staple in group chats and forums across the nation. We can probably all agree that memes are fun content to scroll through and browse while we’re standing in line or waiting for an appointment.
But there may be only a select few that actually make us laugh out loud. Usually these are the ones we relate to the most because it’s something we know very well. When a meme strikes a chord with you, you just know. For me, this happens the most often with occupational therapy memes.
It’s somehow so satisfying to look at a meme that makes light of the fact that no one seems to know what we do. There is a strange sense of community among the OTs and COTAs across the world who are all simultaneously commiserating our perpetually unknown field, or making a specific pun about gait belts that not many others understand.
That’s the beauty of our profession: we have the knowledge to craft relatable memes that not only spread the word about the field, but make us smile and enhance our creativity in the process.
So without further ado, here are some of the most laughable and witty occupational therapy memes shared in Facebook groups and OT forums.
Here is one of what seems like thousands of OT memes based on the fact that our profession flies under the radar in the healthcare world. This is one of my favorites because it really describes the energy in the room when two OTs find out about their shared interest for the first time.
I have several memories of meeting other occupational therapists out in public at non-OT events and forming such an immediate bond with them. This, of course, led to us talking shop for the rest of the night and staying in touch over the years. But even a brief conversation with another therapist is enough to light a fire in you for promoting your field and even learning more about it from others. Because, let’s be honest, OTs are the life of the party and we love to talk about OT!
Can you say client-centered care? Nothing serves as a better reminder to put your client first than a scene from a notable movie. There’s no easier way to keep it client-centered than with an interest checklist, or any other MOHO-based assessment, really! When you get to your first job, I hope you think of this meme and use it as inspiration to use patient goals each step of the way. That’s the best way to ensure your patients are motivated, attentive, and involved through the entire plan of care. If you ever stray from this ideal, don’t be afraid to ask what they want to do. Guaranteed they will appreciate it beyond words.
You know this one is a good one because AOTA shared it on their very own Twitter account. To me, this meme emphasizes how good therapists are at helping others, but how we can sometimes be notoriously bad at practicing what we preach. We work tirelessly to make our patients more skilled and independent, but sometimes that means we take the easy way out at home (no judgment here!).
May this meme serve as a reminder to challenge ourselves for the sake of self-betterment. Depending on your preferences, that can mean making a complicated recipe you’ve been wanting to try, taking a stab at a new sport, or testing your memory with some trivia. Get to that to-do list or, better yet, check some items off your bucket list!
If we simply walked away and took “No” for an answer the first time during the start of a session, many of us wouldn’t have any patients. We need to use our creativity to break through the barriers and get to those tough clients who just aren’t feeling up to therapy.
Just like you will have to explain your role to the majority of patients you work with, you will also have patients who decline therapy before even knowing what it is. That can be frustrating, but we have to remember that we see patients at some of their most vulnerable times. So persistence mixed with empathy will go a long way in getting patients the care they need.
Need some help explaining OT to your new patients? Be sure to check out our article all about Crafting Your Perfect Occupational Therapy Elevator Pitch here.
Once you start OT school, you’ll notice that you become a people watcher in a different way. Maybe you’ve always been curious to know what others around you are up to, but you’ll be looking for more specific things now. I find myself looking at peoples’ posture, compensatory strategies they use, and interesting life hacks they use to get things done.
Safety awareness is another area I can’t help but keep an eye out for. If you work in geriatrics, you will get so used to locking brakes for people (or reminding patients to do it themselves) that you’ll find yourself on the lookout for it even after you leave work!
Time management is everything. Some people have this skill down pat in school, but others learn it the hard way once they enter the clinic. It may be tempting to focus only on patient care during the day and save notes for later, but it actually helps your productivity (and the quality of your notes) to get them done a little at a time. As you spend more time working as a therapist, you’ll find other ways to prioritize documentation when you can. For example, when a patient is working on a tabletop activity and doesn’t need direct supervision, you can jot down some notes and save time later.
If you’ve already taken your splinting class, you know that it can be a doozie! It takes a lot of measuring, adjusting, and trial and error) to get it right. And that’s often just the initial splint! Once you fit it to the patient, you may need to make even more modifications to make sure it’s just right for them.
But on the occasion it does come out great on the first try, you will feel like an absolute champion and a master of your craft. Don’t get too confident, though, a key part of splinting is fitting it to your patient’s needs, so adjusting and sometimes even making an entirely new splint is often the best route for everyone involved. Patience is a virtue!
No matter where you are in your OT journey, you likely already know that some things become second nature to us pretty quickly. If you’re still early in OT school, it might be the cranial nerves or insertion points for muscles. If you’re in your grad year, it might be the FIM levels of assist and research methodology.
This doesn’t change once you start working in the field. Depending on what setting you work in, you will be reminding your kiddos not to put the scissors near their eyes or scolding little old patients to lock their brakes while they transfer. These reminders are what make OTs so special, because we offer this encouragement but we also come up with creative ways to help even when we’re not around — like teaching them a funny pneumonic or placing a bright sticker so they can see the wheelchair brakes easier.
And that’s a wrap? Did we miss one of your favorite occupational therapy memes? Give us a shout-out in the comments and be sure to also let us know which one you relate to the most!
This post was originally published on July 1, 2021 and updated on October 29, 2023.