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Live course writing event

This month we are pleased to announce our first LIVE event in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Join the OT Collective group for a free seminar on online education course writing for Occupational and Physical Therapists. The goal of an online course is to provide evidenced based, affordable and convenient education to therapists. Many of us have used online education resources during school or as continuing education as clinicians, but what does it take to write a great course? What resources are the best for creating the content, slide shows, images and sound needed to present a course?

In this seminar we will discuss the tools needed to create an online course and review the steps a clinician must take to ensure proper formatting and presentation. We will discuss current requirements for ensuring evidenced based course work and state regulations on continuing education. The seminar will be one hour of content followed by 30 minutes for networking. The event will be held at the Alpharetta Library meeting room.

Please follow our company page for montly blog updates and our facebook page for frequent updates. For questions please email me at

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New Year, Renewed You

Did the past year get away from you? Has it flown by without you meeting the goals you set for yourself personally, professionally, financially? I have been in the same spot finding self reflection during the holidays and the need to act as the new year begins. This is a great time to consider your goals and planning.

Try these 4 strategies to renew and energize your New Year!

4 steps to a refreshed and renewed 2017 !

  1. Pace yourself: As my dear husband always says, “it’s a marathon not a sprint!” This is a great time of year to invest in deep breathing and stress management techniques, which as a bonus are a great thing to teach our clients. Click here for a 2 minute deep breathing video.
  2. Renew your cup of compassion: Do you ever feel as a therapist that you give, and give, and give until your cup of compassion is empty? Do you save anything for yourself? For more information {click this link} to read the study from October 2010 on compassion fatigue in inpatient oncology nurses. Remember you cannot pour from an empty cup, so find your own way to renew your energy. 3.  Interact: A new year is a fantastic time to interact with a new group of professionals. I recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and joining OT Collective for one of our upcoming social events. This is a great way to get inspired and hear what is happening at other clinics, hospitals, and in other practice areas. Remember one of the amazing things about being an OT is that you can change your practice area and develop skills in areas you never even knew existed in OT. Join the email list for event updates {Click HERE} for email sign up!
    4.   Assess your personal brand: A new year, A new YOU? Could you present your personal brand differently in 2017? Here is a great test. Read the last 5 posts from social media, and view the last 5 photos you posted on any media platform. Then choose one photo and one post to represent you and your brand. If you looked at this would you hire yourself or promote yourself at your current job? Remember that your public profile is just that – Public. If you review your information and find anything you wouldn’t discuss openly in a work environment you might want to make some edits and change course with your public brand. Remember that private or closed groups could be a better option for anything you would consider non-professional. If you want to invest in a brand overview or personal consulting, I recommend contacting Stefanie Diaz of Mastermind your Launch for More information (Click Here).
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Driver Generalist vs. Driver Specialist

Did you know?

By 2020 – 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 or older?

By 2030- The number of Americans 65 and older will have doubled

By 2050 – The worlds population of older people will exceed the population of children. It is predicted that every man and 90% of women will enter there retirement years as drivers.

Motor vehicle crashes are the second highest cause of deaths among people older than 65  (2004 National Center for Health Statistics)

READ BELOW for more information on driver evaluations and a comparison of driver generalist versus specialist and how these roles can work together.

What do you need to drive?
Physical Cognitive Visual
Neck Rotation

Upper body Motion and Strength

Upper body coordination

Upper body Proprioception

Lower body Motion and Strength

Balance (sitting/standing)

Grip and Pinch Strength

Sensation in the hands and feet

Ability to recall directions

Maintain focus on subskills of driving

Refrain from getting distracted

Balance Emotions when driving


Contrast Sensitivity

Visual Field

Distance Acuity (20/40 in one eye)

Color Discrimination


Visual Pursuits



Driver Evaluations

I have a client who needs a driver evaluation but I don’t know who is the best resource. What are the recommendations about driver assessments and the laws in my states? Here is a break down of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. It is important to know the laws in your state as they apply to driving before you make an recommendations to your clients.

If you are looking to incorporate driving into your practice as a driver generalist I highly recommend following up with the latest guides from AOTA and your state regulations. Another benefit would be partnering with The Association of Driver Rehabilitation Specialists for training and educational programs.

What is a Driver Generalist?

A generalist completes a comprehensive occupational therapy driver evaluation to assess all aspects of the driving task. Due to the nature of the evaluation, it is

generally 2–3 hours of one-on-one time with the occupational therapy

professional. Although variations exist among programs, all quality

evaluations include assessments of vision, cognition, and motor func-

tion. In addition, a medical, driving, and social history are included. (AOTA, Older driver primer)


The On Road Assessment


A driver specialist can perform the entirety of the driver evaluation, both clinical and on the road or simply the on road assessment following a clinical evaluation by a driver generalist. While there is not a standardized technique for the on road assessment it compiles the motoring part of driving  also problem-solving, judgment, and an ability to integrate with traffic (AOTA driver primer).


Follow this page over the next month for our review of OT Generalist Vs. Driver Rehab Specialist, Driver Evaluations information for ALL ages, and a review of what to expect from a driver evaluation.

*This information is presented as a resource and I am not endorsing one driving service over another. As a clinician you must choose the best options for your clients.

Julia McVicker,

Founder, OT Collective

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Am I safe to drive?

The question that echoes across rehab hospitals and outpatient centers following a major health change. The sound of teenagers and adults with disabilities. This is a hot topic among therapists across the nation and this month we will explore the role and services offered by Driver Services.

There is no task in our day more complicated and dangerous than driving. The right to drive is sacred and often we take for granted that we can grab our keys and hit the road at a moments notice. Sadly the systems in place to support transportation for those who cannot drive are often expensive and spotty depending on locations. Therefore it is a heated topic for clients and families. Many families are concerned about a loved ones driving but torn because they cannot provide transportation daily for the family member. Driving represents freedom for many clients and temporarily or permanently removing these privileges creates discord in a household. How can we help as clinicians? How do we support our physicians by providing them with an assessment of client factors related to driving?

Last month,  I went to the meeting of the ADED (The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists) in South Carolina. This group of skilled clinicians involves members from Georgia and South Carolina. Currently in Georgia there are 25 Driver Rehab Specialists with 12 Certified Driver Rehab Specialists across a variety of healthcare settings. In South Carolina there are 10 Driver Rehab Specialists and 7 Certified Driver Rehab Specialists. For a complete list of your state use the search engine at ADED.NET (Click HERE for LINK).

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Value of OT

Our most important finding is that Occupational Therapy (OT) is the only category where higher spending

has a statistically significant association with lower readmission rates for all three medical conditions.

New research released September 15, 2016 from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine is leading the charge for advancing OT services in the hospital. Many of us have been very enthusiastic about this new research and its implications for advancing our hospital based OT programs and services. The door is open for us to use this important study to talk with our managers, service lines, case managers, physicians etc. to discuss all of the amazing and encompassing ways that OTs benefit the whole team and advance patient outcomes. My question to you is, “What are you doing today to advance OT practices in your clinic, hospital or practice?” I challenge you to speak to 3 people today about the benefits of OT that you think either have a basic knowledge or no knowledge at all about OT. Educate 3 people and enthusiastically share your love and passion. You might be surprised what happens next.

By simply reading this article and engaging in this platform it tells me that you are the kind of therapist that is looking to expand your own knowledge and resources for the clients that you service and your own personal development. I am including my personal research synopsis below. The article reference is at the end of this blog post for additional review.

In this study by Rogers, Lavin, and Anderson the obvious conclusion is that there is a statistically significant relationship with OT and the three conditions studied : Heart Failure (HF), pneumonia (PN), and acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Objective of study: “To identify specific spending categories where higher spending has the potential to reduce readmissions across the three clinical conditions (p.5)”

Time Line: Tracked patients 2009-2012. Looking at 30 day readmission dates.

Patient cohort: enrolled in Medicare fee for service, 65 years or older, and DC from non-federal acute care hospitals with a primary diagnosis or HF, PN, or AMI.

The take home message – Investing in OT services has the potential to improve care quality without significantly increasing overall hospital spending. “By focusing on the wide range of factors that affect patient health outside of the hospital, OT is well-positioned to address these risk factors for readmissions (p.13).

Your Elevator pitch:

“Have you read the new research from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland? They found that an increased investment in OT services across 3 hospital diagnoses demonstrated a significant reduction in hospital readmissions. Did you know that OT is a critical member of the rehab team? OT has the ability to assess safety concerns with patient discharges, functional abilities, and adaptation of the environment for increased patient independence. I am excited about this new research and proud to be an OT. ”

Please see full article for reference. While you are at it get a copy for a friend or colleague, spread the word!

Rogers, A. T., Bai, G., Lavin, R. A., & Anderson, G. F. (2016, September 2). Higher hospital spending on occupational therapy is associated with lower readmission rates. Medical Care Research and Review, 1–19 – See more at:

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Lone Wolf

Are you an OT who works alone in a clinic or setting? There are many settings for OT where you are the only OT in the clinic on a regular basis. I like to call this “Lone Wolf Syndrome”. We are drawn to our wolf pack but are separated by distance or specialty areas. How best can we collaborate from afar to provide the best care to patients? Are we destined to be a one person wolf pack or could we use our resources to work together to provide superior care.
Join me on Linked In for group discussions, link up to my Pinterest account, and fill out a brief survey here if you would like to contribute to The Collective.

Don’t go it alone. Join The Collective.