Debora A. Davidson, PhD, OTR/L, Clinical Occupational Therapy Editor

Debora A. Davidson, PhD, OTR/L, Clinical Occupational Therapy Editor

“The most dangerous ideas are not those that challenge the status quo. The most dangerous ideas are those so embedded in the status quo, so wrapped in a cloud of inevitability, that we forget they are ideas at all.” ― Jacob M. Appel, Phoning Home: Essays

The American Occupational Therapy Association Ethics Committee is inviting all occupational therapists to complete a quick and easy online survey on “Ethical Challenges and Moral Distress in the Workplace” through February 28th. You can take the survey at

I took the survey in less than 15 minutes. It asks very targeted questions about our experiences as therapists, and there is the opportunity to add specifically- themed narrative responses, in addition to the checkbox responses.  Questions include issues of scope of practice (a particular favorite of mine), productivity demands, and interpersonal stressors on the job.

In 1998, OT Practice published results of a survey showing that most OT practitioners dealt with ethical challenges on a daily or weekly basis.  Top conditions of concern were:

  • Cost containment versus quality of care
  • Inadequate or inappropriate documentation
  • Improper or inadequate supervision
  • Pressure to perform inappropriate intervention
  • Breaches of confidentiality in the workplace

Does any of this sound familiar? Our workplaces have certainly not become less challenging and hurried since then. These are such important and pressing concerns for everyone in health care and educational settings. Please add your voice and complete this important survey today!

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