Somehow we have jumped from October to a very, very quick early December,
which means Christmas is just around the corner.
Now the reason for the season is not about gifts
—despite what commercials and advertisements may whisper to you–Happy birthday Jesus!! But,,,, I for one enjoy being a gift giver which brings me to my
2019 HOLIDAY OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY GIFT GUIDE!!!!
Are you married to an OT (>>>>>>>totally should click here for a basic but awesome article for 11 reasons why you should marry an OT) <<<<<<<<<<< student or practitioner?
Or are you besties with an occupational therapist? Or are you a therapist and you want to buy yourself a gift?? Then this is for you!! I created this list with you in mind. Most of these items are created by OT practitioners which to me makes this list even more special. Some of these items I have used for awhile and others are on my Christmas wish list, too.
PS—-For future years ahead I plan on updating this post based on new fun and exciting things coming out…
Lord knows I need coffee (perhaps hot tea for some of you??) before I step foot out of my house, and I am thinking that you might need some too.
Coffee Themed OT Mugs
- This particular mug design by Calpine and Clover is simple but excellent for male or female therapists. (poor #brOTs always getting left out…). It can be personalized with an individual’s name on the other side of the mug which makes it a little more special.
- I think this mug design by SassyBearCo is adorable! I cannot begin my therapying without the magic of coffee beans so this one rings true!
- Finally, this coffee mug design by LizzaCreations is literally life. I have a similar mug as her designs and cherish drinking my “daily prescription” on the reg.
Giftcard at Local Coffee Shops
- When I can, I enjoy supporting local businesses and that goes the same for my gluttonous coffee intake. A few of my favorites local to Mobile, Alabama include: Carpe Diem and Satori. If you are having a tough time deciding on a gift that will be put to use than I am telling you to march yourself into a local coffee shop (or stay in your jammies and order online) and buy a coffee gift card. Your. Therapist. Friend. Will. Thank. You. (lolz cause I literally typed this blog post in my favorite local coffee shop) – Shout out to CARPE DIEM coffee shop in Mobile, AL!! -the coffee shop that supported me as an undergrad, grad student, and now therapist- SORRY JAMES- COFFEE TAKES OUR MONEY…
IN THE BAG
Clinitote “The Carryall”
- The name is not a joke! This Clinitote “Carryall” Bag literally carries all of my therapy supplies and then some. I have had mine for going on three years now and it is an everyday accessory for me. It is worth it and very fair priced for the sheer reason that this bag is indestructible despite how much I bully it with toting way too much inside! PS this beauty along with the bag mentioned below as well as several others on the website are created by my friend Cami. She is an occupational therapist who felt inspired by her own needs for a bag to “carry all” of her therapy items. (Use discount code: Shannen25 which brings the price down from $165 to $67.50!!!)
Clinitote “The Medical Supplies” Bag
- This is a fan fave bag for me. Great price. And every time I use it I get compliments:) I oftentimes use this Clinitote Medical Supplies Bag as a quick grab bag for me to bring a change of gym clothes in for after work. Let’s be honest, we all need a fun bag to place our gym clothes to motivate us to go directly to the gym rather than to the couch at home hashtag real life. Anyways this bag has a small zipper, is lightweight, and has even survived me spilling red gatorade on it. Nothing like a quick throw in the wash to pretty easily rid out the stain. (Use discount code: Shannen25 which brings the price down from $30 to $22.50!!)
- The HOLY GRAIL. I repeat. The. Holy. Grail. of all general adult rehab OT books. This practical resource book / patient handout / comprehensive treatment adult rehab with emphasis on working with populations with physical disabilities, chronics conditions, or geriatrics is basically an OT bible. The OT Toolkit written by Cheryl Hall, an OT with over 30 years of experience, is AWESOME. I have bought two of these toolkits in different editions so far and will continue to purchase the updated versions in the future because it is really a resource that I use at least 2x a week in my own practice. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS but also recommend that you do not make the same mistake as me. This book in all of its beautiful knowledable glory is fragile when you start scanning it to make copies of the handouts for your patients. I recommend buying a large binder or two followed by taking it to Office Depot to be unbound and hole punched into those binders for increased ease of use. You will not be disappointed. I am still trying to figure out why this book was not a mandatory “textbook” when I was in OT school…
- Any therapist or student therapist that works in the hospital, rehabilitation, home health, or skilled nursing facility setting needs an OT clipboard to save their minds by offering an easily accessible reminder of key reference concepts!
- This Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy/ Anatomy Reference Clip Board with Wire Clip is the exact clipboard I used for just under 3 years of use. After dropping it probably conservatively at least 100 times, I have finally broke a corner of it insert sad face. So overall, it is pretty durable and provides an overview of Range of Motion, Spinal Cord Injury Function, ASIA Impairment Scale, Functional Capacity Scales, and Sensory/Nerve info. The downfall is that it does not have a cover to hide patient information.
- I think I might try this WhiteCoat Clipboard Blackout Occupational Therapy Edition one next. I like that there is a folded compartment which would better protect patient information in comparison to the clipboard I mentioned above.
- I’ll take two of these please dear Santa. No, but really — RIP to the two oximeters I have used to the point that no new batteries could restore its use or just got lost in the bottomless pit of my scrub pockets in the past few years. I recommend the pulse oximeter that has the lanyard attached for the reason of reducing the risk of losing the little but mighty device. Nowadays you can purchase these lovelies from Walmart, CVS, Amazon , the list goes on.
Blood Pressure Cuff and Stethoscope
- My home health friends recommend having their own cuff and scope to address vitals with increased ease before and after therapy intervention. Here is a set that I have tried and like a lot for many reasons including the size, fit, weight, integrity, and reliability! Bonus: comes in lots of fun colors such as this purple. This particular set and diagnostic kit is called the Professional Diagnostic Kit – ADC Pros Combo 728-609 Aneroid Manometer Kit!
- My all-time hands down favorite pens are definitely Stabilo. They are worth the price for sure and last for a long time. You can order these pens off of many sites but Michaels Craft Store offers coupons all the time online for up to 50% off. These pens make me thrive!!! Pens are like shoes; you can never have enough!!
- Oftentimes in the hospital or rehab setting, patients are dependent on their family for many things such as relying on them to pay their bills or to bring in clean clothes for them to wear for their inpatient stay duration. When appropriate, I enjoy providing the opportunity for my patients to write their loved one or friend a “thank you” note or a “thinking of you” card which typically evokes feelings associated with positivity and increased locus of control secondary due to ability to “give back” in a small but meaningful way. For this reason, I make sure to have an assortment of blank, pretty cards on hand. (hello functional dynamic standing balance / fine motor / planning / leisure occupational task). I just ran out of this exact set of blank cards from Michaels Craft store and just purchased these Christmas ones pictured below for my patients. I preface this with the addition of –> try to purchase cards from small businesses local to you if possible (just a thought:) )!
Post It Notes
- We don’t care where they are from or if they are “name brand”. We just like them, okayyyyy ?!! I am pretty sure you will not have any of your therapy friends turn down some fun-shaped post-it notes and if they do then email me and I will give them a home in my scrub pockets. These ones I found on Etsy here look like fun additions to have on hand to make quick notes from the therapy day’s sessions.
- I am going to be transparently honest and state that I am one of those people who gets really REALLY excited about a new planner every year, yet by March of each “new” year I revert back to my text anything important to remember down in lists in the notes app of my phone. So therefore these two planner recommendations and suggestions to consider are strictly from multiple individuals from my Instagram. The two most recommended planners to purchase are the Passion Planner and Erin Condren Daily Planner , which both I cannot attest to because try as I might – I just am not a planner person.
Reusable Water Bottles
- This 17 Ox. Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle Travel Mug has a greatly executed design because it is narrow and thereby fits more cup holders as well as it is stainless steel with vacuum wall constructed material to maximize temperature retention for hot or cold. Also, I think it is pretty pleasing to look at!
OT Spiral Notebooks
- Keep your work notes or school to do lists in check with this super cute spiral notebook by Play Box Therapy Shop USwith 120 lined pages. It is a pretty little edition to make yourself a little more inclined to stop putting off what it is you need to be doing. Go get after it🙂 !! (Use code SHANNEN for 15% off)
Gait Safety Belt
- Looking for a sassy wardrobe edition that equally adds style and safety to your day? You might like to purchase a high quality custom made Gait safety belt from MoreCowbelt! They have so so so many designs and have many ways to tailor the belt to your needs. Their mantra is basically that helping people is a good thing so why not look good doing it? I have the sunflower edition (no surprises there:) ) and I JUST LOVE IT!! The best part is that they are created by therapists for therapists and that they donate a portion of the revenue to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation.
WEAR ON THE JOB
- Probably one of the easiest go to gifts for any healthcare worker is a badge holder. I have a few that I have purchased as well as some that were gifted to me that I love. love. loveeeee. The variety of options bring smiles to many because of their small but mighty conversation starter designs. My favorites from Badge Blooms are the “OT’s Help You Achieve”, any of the sunflower designs, any of the brain designs (neuro patients have my heart), and any of the holiday themed designs.
- I will be the first to admit that I love cute little things. One of those things includes this VCOTERIE Pin crafted by an orthodontic resident in her spare time. It is the cutest addition to your therapy scrub jacket, just saying!! She has lots of fun designs, but this one is my favorite. The image of the healing hands warms my OT soul.
OT Reference Cards
- V. v. very biased about this product because I know the gemstone that created them. These are so great and super fantastic to give for maybe a Level II student who worked 12 weeks under your license. Just a thought! The General Adult Rehab Set of OTReference Pocket Guide Cards are 16 pages of double sided goodness. This specific set is targeted from an OT lens rather than a general medicine lens. Some of the topics found on the cards include Manual Muscle Test values, anticipated Range of Motion values, Lab Values, Vitals, Orthopedic Precautions for Post Op Care, Weightbearing Classifications, Dermatomes, Myotomes, Anatomy, and Assessment and Descriptions of commonly presented conditions. They fit in your scrub pocket very easily. Very practical gift.
Urbane Align Jacket
- From the hospital to the gym this Align Warmup Jacket is my all-time universal fav!!! The jacket is flattering with its contemporary fit paired with the 4 way stretch fabric. (PS there is a matching top + bottom scrub set that basically feels like workout clothes stemming from its lovely PWRCOR waistband). The beauty is in the details which features slimming contoured design, easy zip zipper, multiple pockets including added zipper pockets on the right front seam, and is wet resistant. It is available in Black, Steel Gray, and True Navy.
- Let me tell you about my new favorite shoe start up company known as Friendly Shoes . Invented by an occupational therapist named Joseph who spent over 4 years testing ideas to develop a novel adaptive footwear technology to accommodate the gamut of physical, neurological, and age-related challenges, he took this endeavor and created Friendly Shoes which deliver adaptability without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal. They are available in a multitude of colors and are for men and women (and soon kiddos). (Click here and use code “BLACKFRIDAY40” for 40% off.)
- Another top shoe of mine is the Urbane Excel Shoe because it is lightweight, 100% washable, shock absorbent, slip resistant, and has an easy to pull toggle lace. It makes facilitating independent and safe showers as an occupational therapist working in the adult rehab setting a little easier to navigate. Also, this is a shoe that is supportive on an elliptical or stationary bike and is 100% washable. I have had mine for about 2.5 years now and they come out looking 90% new after a wash. Available in Green (pictured below), Black, and Pink.
Classic Timex Watch
- An Apple Watch may be the stylish and “most hip” option, but honestly a trusty Timex can last you YEARS, as in like 7 years. Mine just recently went to watch heaven so I will be marching my behind back to Academy or Walmart soon enough.
Landau Proflex Scrub Set
- Did someone say Christmassssss?? How about”Wine” red or “Hunter Green” or “Ciel Blue” as well as available in many other colors:)??? If you are looking to bring together Christmas colors and scrubs than I recommend this Landau ProFlex line . The banded V neck line is elegant on many body shapes and the flexible ProFlex waistline cargos provide complete range of motion flexibility. I personally like the bootcut flare leg fit. This particular line is very durable and I can attest that after many washings in both my Hunter Green pair and my Ciel Blue pair, the color is still vibrant.
- Yes we as occupational therapists do much more than deal with “hands” but you have to give these quirky Earrings by ForeverFourDesigns a hand for their sparkle and shine that will surely start conversations. Maybe you can wear these out to the grocery and the strike up a conversation about occupational therapy to the individual who compliments you on these… Available in many colors! So cute:) !!
- I am going to let you in on a little secret. You can purchase silicone rings at Walmart for the fraction of a price of other ring companies. Literally 3 rings for <$5. I have had mine since 2017 and they have not lost their size or changed in color at all. 10/10 recommend especially for those of you who work in acute care and probably peds, too. Gym hack: These work well at the gym for those of you who are not married or engaged but just want to get your workout done in peace without conversing with other interested humans hahaha no but really this has worked for me.
DECOMPRESS OFF THE CLOCK
OT Crew Neck Sweatshirt
- Sturdy warm sweatshirt for the win by Play Box Therapy Shop US. Preshrunk and classic fit. Feels like a classic gym sweater to cozy up with next to a ginormous cup of hot tea or coffee or wine…or if you live in the South like me — use this sweatshirt not to be warm outside but for inside freezing hospitals that seem to NEVER turn off their air conditioner!! (Use code SHANNEN for 15% off)
- Cute with or sans scrubs. So. Many. Options. Enough said. Check out the crazy amount of awesome socks options by clicking here! Certainly with a little Christmas spirit you can find a pair that suits you or a friend.
OT Fan Favorite Tee
- Designed by new grad Jessica, this OT shirt is sure to be a fan fav. Honestly I am a Saints Football fan and I envision myself wearing this with gold earrings for a Saints GameDay Weekend. Is super cute with jeans and is at a steal price of $10 only. You can order one for yourself by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
OT Wine Cup
- Everything in moderation right??? Well I think that I am speaking for a large majority of therapists and healthcare professionals in general, wine is a nice end to your day (in a responsible not every night kind of fashion;) ). This Wine Cup by Canada Rock Engraving is dishwasher safe, reasonably priced, and can be personalized. I call that a WIN(e)!
- Speaking of wine.. wine not? These candles are also great gifts for friends and family and actually probably could be the best Dirty Santa Gift that anyone would like. Seriously, who doesn’t like a good smelling candle?? Wine and dine with these Repurposed Soy Candles by WineScentsCrafts with a twist made by an occupational therapist in her spare time out of the clinic. These unique candles are handcrafted from upcycled wine liquor bottles to simmer down after a harder day on the job. Pretty ingenious recycling right there!! My husband and I both love ours as it is the perfect addition to our wine bar. The smell is intoxicating even when it is not even lit!! Several different design options waiting for you to browse and order!! (Use code SHANNEN15 for 15% off)
JoyEnergyTime Wellness Club
- Can you say Wellness Club for Healthcare Professionals that prioritizes personal growth and work well-being??? Click here to view the month to month $4.99 subscription or the $29.99 yearly subscription. Also message me on Insta @shannenmarie_ot or comment on this blog for a code (working out the kinks with Erika the founder of JET and the Wellness Club!). Expect weekly content, conversations, affirmations, progress, and inspired actions.
- Shop Local but also Massage Envy… 🙂 🙂
- I have not ever personally used a weighted blanket but a few of my friends’ top recs include: BlanQuil , WandererCustomDesign , YnM Weighted Blanket. Some individuals believe that weighted blankets reduce insomnia anxiety, improves focus, improves sleep quality, and helps with Sensory Processing Disorder due to the soothing, deep pressure. One of my friends describes her weighted blanket as “it is as if I am receiving a never-ending hug”.
- Rest your head dear one, you deserve it after a long day of therapying. But really these crafty and creative pillow covers from Forever Four Designs are so awesome. The decorative pillow color designs vary but are approximately 20″ x 20″ cotton material with the implantation of a heat transfer vinyl design. I literally want all four of these!
EMBRACE THE LEARNING JOURNEY
Seniors Flourish Learning Lab
- This Learning Lab is my Jam!!!! Created by an occupational therapist aka Mandy Chamberlain who is just as inspiring as she is fired up for changing the OT game in the geriatric/adult rehab world, this is a very low cost, but high gain “lab” that is offered either as month to month or annual membership. If you or your friend feels stagnant in their career as a student or therapist and is looking for new ideas..this is for you. If you are hoping to integrate more research into practice…this is for you. If you wish you knew more about the diagnoses you were treating..this is for you. If you are in need of patient handouts, but productivity demands deter you…this is for you. If you are looking for ways to earn Professional Development Units regularly..this is DEFINITELY FOR YOU!! I use this lab / private Facebook group / read the associated blog EVERY WEEK and you shoulder maybe too:) ( Click the link and use code SHANOT:107 for an awesome discount! ).
- Now if you are one of thoooooose people who really like digging deep into the whys and the hows and the what ifs than MedBridge might be for you (or for your OT friend). Future separate blog post to come to unravel the beauty of MedBridge but for now their website link offers substantial overview of their amazing subscription that is a great gift for any occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, nurses, or athletic trainers ( Click the link and use code SHANNENMARIE for $175 off your annual membership!!
Purpose Therapy Box
- There is not many things cuter than sweet older adults smiling. If you are feeling generous than a super sweet gift idea for an older adult in your community – such as an individual without family support at a local nursing home or hospital – is to provide them with a personalized gift box. These gift boxes were created with love by two Occupational Therapy Assistants, Ali and Holly, who had a vision to provide gift boxes to lonely elder adults who could benefit from a little love. They use their OT lens to develop and come up with specific objects within their different box options tailored to meet the cognitive and physical needs. Go be a hero!! Choose to Sponsor a Purpose Box.
Pay a Loan Payment
- Idk if this has ever actually been recommended in a gift guide before, but I am dang sure that nobody with a student loan would be angry at this gift. Hashtag yes please.
Salve: Words for the Journey by Monica Vasa
- Written by a psychiatrist, this compilation of poetry and journaling is a personal book reflecting on mindfulness, emotional well-being, and compassions. Monica Vasa, MD provides an intimate view of narrative medicine which I think is very brave. Her vision for writing this book came from her patients and all of those may whom never have the chance to step into the office of a psychiatrist or therapist. This appears to be a book that will land a home on your nightstand to read as needed. I have heard GREAT THINGS about this book and hope to get my hands on a copy soon.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
- This exquisite novel is deeply moving. Written a surgeon who provides glimpses of his patient’s stories amongst the ever changing dynamics of medicine including the battles of providing patients with choice as well as the battles of providing false hope. This book portrays how it is important not just to have a “good death” but to have a good life to the end.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
- A neurosurgeon’s account and memoir that leaves you questioning what truly makes a life worth living. This book offers a powerful view of stage IV lung cancer diagnosis from the eyes of a neurosurgeon at the culmination of a decade of training. Offers the unique and rivetingly painful viewpoint of both a doctor and a patient.
PS Mandy from Seniors Flourish has a great compiled an excellent list of 28 books OT practitioners and students who are interested working in the adult rehab / geriatric population world may enjoy reading which you can find by clicking here!!
- Looking for a humorous adult game that will let you practice your articulations with a twist then Speak Out might be the perfect pick. Gear up to place your lips in a spreader like the things you wear sometimes at the dentist. Not a promise, but if you bring an SLP in your group you can bet they will listening bilabials….
- Think Gross Motor, Bilateral Integration Skill Training, Sequencing, Motor Planning, all. of. the. skills. A classic game for children, but even more fun as adults.
- I am all about operation except when I start to get cramps in my fingers. No, but really this is a classic game that offers the right amount of neurotic visual scanning, timing, sequencing, and pressure to make any OT practitioner or student feel the rush.