A survey of Occupational Therapists in Ireland, conducted by the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (AOTI) has found that over two thirds of Occupational Therapists have experienced burnout as a result of their job in the past 12 months.
Findings from the survey also indicated that almost half have considered leaving the profession in the last year.
Commenting on the survey, Odhrán Allen, CEO of AOTI said: “Occupational Therapists are facing severely challenging – and deteriorating – working conditions that negatively affect their capacity to provide a high-quality service and impact their mental health and overall wellbeing. The findings of our survey are extremely stark and concerning, and demonstrate the precarious situation in which Occupational Therapists and, by extension, those requiring Occupational Therapy services find themselves.
More than 430 Occupational Therapists working across all areas participated in AOTI’s survey.
It showed that two-thirds of Occupational Therapists felt more negatively about their job than 12 months ago, with respondents attributing this to, lack of staffing (59%), lack of career progression (37%), the experience of burnout (37%) and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic (33%).
Fifty five per cent of Occupational Therapists had considered leaving their current job, while 44% had considered leaving the Occupational Therapy profession. The main motivations for those considering changing roles were, better work/life balance (46%), better opportunities for career progression (38%), the desire for a better work environment (35%), better opportunities to expand or use their full skillset (34%) and the promise of a better salary or better compensation in a different role (25%).
In relation to waiting lists and staff shortages, more than four in five (81%) Occupational Therapists believed the service they worked at was not adequately staffed by Occupational Therapists.