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‘It sowed a seed’: exploring the professional experiences of occupational therapists who started working in Ireland in the 1970s’
Lynch, Sarah
Background: There have been increasing calls from occupational therapy associations and scholars around the world to engage in historical research in order to better understand, promote and advance the profession (Trentham 2011; Molke 2009). The history of nursing, medicine and other health professions is well documented, both in Ireland and abroad; however there is no official record of the history of occupational therapy in Ireland. As AOTI prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2014 and the profession moves towards registration it is hoped this research will contribute to greater awareness of the experiences and contributions of occupational therapists in Ireland. Objectives: This study aims to explore and record the professional experiences of occupational therapists in Ireland; contribute to the University of Limerick’s archive on the history of occupational therapy in Ireland; and also add to the growing body of international literature on the history of the profession. Methods: A qualitative oral history methodology was employed involving seven in-depth, semi-structured interviews with occupational therapists who began working in Ireland in the 1970s. The results were subject to thematic analysis. Results: Results highlight the experiences and contributions of occupational therapists who graduated in the 1970s, particularly through opening departments and pioneering services. Themes include developing services; the problem of professional recognition; and professional and personal development. Conclusions: This research records the challenges and rewards associated with working as an occupational therapist in Ireland. It is hoped that these findings will contribute to greater understanding of the development of our professional identity.
Keyword(s): occupational therapy; Ireland; history
Publication Date:
2013
Type: Master thesis (research)
Peer-Reviewed: No
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Publisher(s): University of Limerick
First Indexed: 2014-09-25 05:35:49 Last Updated: 2015-11-04 05:30:39