Peer Support Needed for New Graduate OT’s!

In a variety of studies conducted throughout New Zealand, it is stated that new graduate occupational therapists (OT’s) struggle to experience strong role identity and value within their first year of work. It is also stated that good interpersonal relationships can assist with the development of ones professional identity (Morley, 2009) (Smith & Pilling, 2007) (Tryssenaar & Perkins, 1999). What are the benefits of and what are some ways we can utilise peer support in our future practice as occupational therapists?

In this blog I will discuss my thoughts and research on the difficulties that we may face within the transition period from student to therapist that is fast approaching me and my OT peers. I will then discuss what is available in terms of support for us within this period followed by addressing the need for access to more informal forms of peer support for OT new graduates.


Morley, M. (2009). Contextual factors that have an impact on the transitional experience of newly qualified occupational therapists. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72(11), 507-514.

Smith, R. A., Pilling, S. (2007). Allied health graduate program- supporting the transition from student to professional in an interdisciplinary program. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 21(3), 265-276.  

Tryssenaar, J., Perkins, J. (1999). From student to therapist: Exploring the first year of practice. The Amercian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 


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