The Need for BrOTs
September 9, 2016
It’s no secret that occupational therapy is a female-dominated profession. But while the majority of occupational therapists are women, there is a growing need for men in the profession.
In order to best serve our diverse populations, it is important that we also have a diverse workforce. In this case, increasing gender diversity provides opportunities to better serve our clients and propel the profession forward.
For example, in an adult rehabilitation setting, male clients sometimes feel more comfortable having another male assist them in developing/regaining self-care skills such as dressing, bathing, and using the restroom.
The same could be said in other settings. For my Level II fieldwork, I worked in pediatric mental health. At this site, the majority of my clients were adolescent boys labeled with a mental health diagnosis. Working with these boys made me realize how important it was for them to have a male figure in their lives. While some boys were content working with female practitioners, other boys were more comfortable working with me because they found a male more relatable. This in turn created a therapeutic relationship where my clients felt more comfortable sharing their feelings and experiences. After all, for many boys that age, sharing delicate information to women isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do.
Although we love the companionship of our female classmates, I feel that the male students in the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy have developed a special bond. While about 10% of our student body is male, those numbers are growing every year. We “BrOTs” have to represent! After all, occupational therapy is about helping others, and helping others is not exclusive to a single gender.
Here are a few photos of USC’s BrOTs.