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Case study 3 - Dipak

Raising the profile of the profession through social media.


Dipak is an occupational therapist. He has recently started co-ordinating a campaign with his employer to promote the profession to the public; to encourage more people to the role and to inform members of the public about what an occupational therapist will be able to do for them. Dipak is keen to use social media as part of this campaign, including using blogging and sites such as YouTube to share experiences and demonstrate in interactive ways what members of the profession will traditionally do as part of their role.

Dipak has been blogging in his personal life for several years. The blog combines his own thoughts on practice issues, anecdotes from his practice, difficulties he has encountered from working as an occupational therapist and his views on developments to the profession. He frequently refers to particular cases he has worked on, but always keeps these anonymised and changes certain facts to make sure service users cannot be identified. He believes the blog will be a good tool to give a realistic picture of the challenges and rewards of being an occupational therapist.

Dipak co-ordinates the campaign’s social media accounts and uses these to share key materials. This includes participating in ‘Twitter chats’ and sharing positive stories and articles about his practice. He does not share confidential information but does share more generally information about his experiences – this spreads awareness of what he does and improves the image of the profession. On YouTube, Dipak and his employer create short pieces to camera which respond to questions about the occupational therapist profession and provide examples of an average day in the life of an occupational therapist. Patients are not included in these pieces, with Dipak editing the interviews to remove any confidential or identifiable information.

Through use of these more interactive tools, Dipak’s employers find the campaign gains more traction than it otherwise would have and reaches a wider range of people. Dipak also finds his close friends and family have a greater understanding of his role.