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Research Article  |   November 1994
The Caring Occupational Therapist: Scope of Professional Roles and Boundaries
Author Affiliations
  • Dalia Sachs, PhD, OTR(l) is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Haifa University, Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel. At the time this article was accepted, she was Visiting Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Deborah R. Labovitz, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University, New York, New York
Article Information
Ethics / Practice
Research Article   |   November 1994
The Caring Occupational Therapist: Scope of Professional Roles and Boundaries
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 1994, Vol. 48, 997-1005. doi:10.5014/ajot.48.11.997
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 1994, Vol. 48, 997-1005. doi:10.5014/ajot.48.11.997
Abstract

Objective. This article links two dimensions of occupational therapy within the context of professionalism: the role of caring and the implications of occupational therapy being a predominantly female profession.

Method. Seven occupational therapists representing various levels of professional experience were interviewed to determine (a) how female occupational therapists perceive caring and (b) the implications of this perception for professional role definitions.

Results. Participants’ daily professional work role was determined by three factors: the interpretation of holistic philosophy in their everyday activities as occupational therapists, the influence of their caring attitude in broadening their responsibilities beyond the occupational therapists’ role definition, and the organizational settings in which their work took place.

Conclusion. The seven participants had a broad definition of the scope of their professional responsibilities and experienced difficulty defining the limits of their role. Caring is a central part of the occupational therapists’ role; therefore, perceptions about caring are central to the role definition of occupational therapists.