AOTA Professional Development Tool reflection Unit


AOTAProfessional Development Tool reflection


Professional development is a very important feature of allprofessions in different fields. It allows individuals to improvetheir knowledge in their specified field, enhance personalgratification, increases career prospects, and increased confidence,improved quality of service rendered (Nixon, 2013 Katz, 2015) aswell as a desire for additional accreditation (Crist, 2013) In sightof such benefits, I have taken professional development as a path inlife and my profession. With my six year’s experience in thegeriatric field, I am currently working to improve my skill level byundertaking this course. This is with a view to improve my careerprospects and also assume more significant responsibilities from theones I undertake currently as an occupational therapist assistant ata skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility. To assess the progressof my professional development, I used AOTA’s self-assessmentpersonal development tool (PDT) whose results I have discussedbriefly next.

Current changes

There are no major changes in the standards of operation facing theprofession. However, I have been keeping updated for any changes byregularly visiting the AOTA website to check on any changes. Besides,I also do keep in touch with the associations’ newsletter thoughwhich any changes might be communicated. Other changes I haveexperienced in the workplace. There has been a significant increasein the workload and the number of patients in the community in needof OT has increased. However, the number of positions in theprofession has decreased. Another change has been the types of casesI have encountered. There has been an increase in fractures as aresult of slips and falls.

Learning needsand goals

I need to work more on my cultural competence. In the modernglobalised world, it is only realistic to expect that one willencounter colleagues and clients from a different culturalbackground. Cultural competence in this case pertains not only to anew language and manner of communication but also other ways ofcommunications such as gestures and touch. These aspects change fromone culture to the other. Therefore, improving my cultural competenceby first learning at least one new language in the next two years andinteracting with the native speakers of that language will greatlyhelp in improving my cultural competence.

Activities topursue career goals

One area that I desire to pursue in OT that will assist me pursue mycareer goals pertains to research and evidence based information oncommon diagnoses. Adoption of enhanced technology in the field toassist in sharing information to aid diagnoses. Specifically, I aminterested in development of mobile applications based knowledgesharing and utilization of various devices used in OT. This is inrecognition of the growing demand for mobile based applicationsfueled by rapid technology changes in that direction. The OT field,for instance, has developed various mobile based applications thathelp both patients and OT practitioners in various capacities. Forexample the “Therapy Ax” is designed to help OT practitionerstake notes on the go while “My Pain Diary” provides keyinformation on pain management (App reviews 2015).

However, I believe that the full potential of these apps has not beenfully explored. I believe that there should be OT apps developed torespond to individual issues. Apps should also enhance liaison andcommunication between OT practitioners with their patients and fellowprofessionals in the healthcare sector. For instance, a single appcan be developed that harmonizes a client’s needs and informationlets from a OT practitioner, a nutritionist, and specialist for thosewith chronic conditions. This way, the needs of a client needs arewell represented which is a key concern for mobile-app development(Erickson 2015).

Learning goalsfor continuing competence

  1. Expanded knowledge: To enhance my knowledge, I have promised myself to attend more professional expos and conferences starting early next year. Such conferences will provide a better platform for networking and peer to peer connections with fellow professionals from the field. Again, from these conferences and workshop, I can learn how to benchmark with the best both at a personal and organizational level. For instance, AOTA holds its annual conference and expo annually while individual states also hold their regular conferences.

  2. Improved application of critical reasoning: In this area, I have two main goals. One of them is to learn how best to appraise and evaluate literature and new materials relating to the practice before sharing such knowledge or employing them in practice. This is based on the increased accessibility of information that has given rise to more cases of unreliable information being circulated. To identify and used new materials, I plan to learn better ways of critically and methodically evaluating literature for authenticity before adopting in evidence based practice. The second goal is to promote critical reasoning in the practice and in interpersonal dynamics. This is based on numerous reports in the media of unhealthy therapist-client relationships. Such relationships undermine the profession and delivery of services (Hall, Ferreira, Maher, Latimer &amp Ferreira, 2010).

  1. Interpersonal abilities: On this area, I plan to improve my client centeredness. This is light of the fact that I plan to learn a new language and thus to learn to apply client centeredness in a new cultural context.

  2. Upgraded performance skills: As I look toward assuming more responsibilities first as a CHT and as a director, I plan on advance skills in better supervision practices and positivism that inspires and motivates others.

  3. Refined ethical reasoning: Act as a role model and as an occupational therapy advocate in ethical reasoning under diverse cultural and social contexts.

Peer review:

Name: SeniorOccupational therapist at my current position.

Suitability:I think this is the person who has seen me at work for a number ofyears. He understands best my strengths in weaknesses and has seen meat my best at my worst. Furthermore, after working closely for solong, he can be honest about me in the review.

Expectations: I expect that a peer review should be an honest opinion about me, myprofessionalism and work ethics. I would prefer that the person toreview me does not have any bias and should do so when I am notaround as my presence may interfere with his objectivity (Scaffa &ampReitz, 2013). From the results of the peer review, I can then learnon areas that I need to improve and purposively work towardsaddressing them to raise them to expected standards and at the sametime in improving in the rest continuously.

Most noteworthymy own professional background

  1. Formal learning

  2. Independent learning- Through experience and general literature reading

Summary ofexperience

In general, the pleasant was pleasant. I was particularly impressedwith the straightforward questions that do not leave room for anyambiguousness in the responses. Additionally, the recognition ofindependent learning as a critical process in professionaladvancement is quite impressive. However, it is this area that Ifound can be problematic with other users of the tool. This isbecause there is no method provided to ascertain that users of thetool have indeed read and understood the literatures that they maylist as having read in independent learning. There should be a way toverify individuals have indeed actually read and understoodinformation contained in such resources to avoid dishonesty.


I must admit the process was enlightening and at the same timechallenging. The exercise pushed me into deeper thinking about me, myprofession and how I represent the profession. I would thus recommendthat all practitioners should create an AOTA portfolio and updateregularly. It is also important that other professional associationsshould adopt the AOTA system and help profession reflect n theirpractices and chart their professional development as a way ofadvancing their professions and improving service delivery through amore knowledgeable and self-conscious workforce.


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