Sharing learning as an occupational therapy intern

During summer 2015 if we can call it a summer, I had a fantastic opportunity and completed an Occupational Therapy internship with Alzheimer Scotland based in Edinburgh. I did not complete this internship alone, there was another occupational therapy intern completing many of the projects with me, she was Lynsey Robertson-Flannigan. There were lots of objectives and highlights of this internship and one thing that was an objective of ours,and a highlight of the internship, was the use of social media to share our learning and also share the impact that an Occupational Therapy intern can have.

As there are so many different forms of social media out there with many different people using each we decided to take a cross-platform stance. Meaning that we would use 4 different forms of social media and share them across each other to gain followers, viewers and readers from each and bring them across to view our other accounts.

The 4 that we chose were Twitter, a Tumblr blog, Instagram and YouTube. They are all different in themselves and share different forms of information.

 Twitter – @ChrisGCousins and @LRFlanniganOTS

pic a

Five reasons we chose twitter?

  1. It is a free service with over 500 million registered users (Twitter, 2015) and is one of the top 10 most used sites on the internet.
  2. There is a large and very active occupational therapy community that regularly engage in twitter chats.
  3. We could use the hashtag #OTintern and track to collect the number of tweets and show the impact of the use of twitter. Over the 2 months of using this hashtag, we had 178 tweets that had been seen by 197,448 people.
  4. Twitter is quick and easy to update and you can share what you are doing while also an opportunity to link with other allied health professionals and learn from them.
  5. A large part of our work involved engaging with Scottish Dementia Working Group, @S_D_W_G at meetings and events, we started to also engage with the group over twitter creating fantastic tweets that were retweeted many times.

Our Blog –

 pic b

Following on from the success of this Let’s talk about dementia at, we chose to blog twice a week, on a Monday and Friday, to share what we had learnt and been doing in the week to show part of the life of an occupational therapy intern in Alzheimer Scotland. Through this blog we also hoped to share the impact that we were having on both the AHP work within Alzheimer Scotland and through our work with the Scottish Dementia Working Group. In the 2 months of us blogging, we had 28 posts on our blog with 272 views. Not bad for novice bloggers we thought?

Instagram – @alzscot and soon to be @ahpdementia

pic c

Instagram is the fastest growing current social media platform with 300 million active monthly users and we decided between us that we would begin to try and look at the use of Instagram as it is the largest growing social network. At first it took a bit of thinking about , asking ourselves how we would engage with people but we got there and uploaded some pictures of what we had been doing. With using Instagram it meant that when the images were uploaded we could share them on our twitter and Tumblr. As Instagram continues to grow, we will continue to build our activity on this to share with more AHP’s what we are doing through images so watch out for the developing insgtram account.

YouTube – @Alzheimer Scotland

pic d

Through this large video sharing site “300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute” (YouTube, 2015) showing just how popular it is and how many people will have access to our video’s.

During our occupational therapy intern we developed three vlog where we shared them on Let’s Talk about dementia. Here are the links for you to view all three: This is the videos and the interest they created:

  1. Role of an intern
  2.         “What’s important to me”
  3.         This is me”

What next?

Through completing all of these ways of sharing learning on social media, I feel I will be able to share my learning well with all my colleagues, that I will be able to lead and influence others to do the same building a greater network and pushing AHP learning forward. I am looking forward to my final year of university and sharing all my work as a summer Alzheimer Scotland occupational therapy intern.


If you are a health care professional, I challenge you to think,

How do you share your learning?

Please leave us a comment and we will get back to you


Christopher Cousins

Occupational Therapy Intern  


I am an Occupational Therapy Student from Queen Margaret University and am currently working in the role as Occupational Therapy Intern within Alzheimer Scotland working with The Scottish Dementia Working Group and using social media to promote what we are doing. I am in post for June, July and August 2015.


Lynsey Robertson-Flannigan

Occupational Therapy Intern  


I am an Occupational Therapy Intern working within the policy team at Alzheimer Scotland. My internship has provided me with the excellent opportunity to work alongside the Scottish Dementia Working Group and support them with a project to share their ‘Top-Tips’ for living well with dementia. I am also completing a literature search on rights based practice to be used in the development of an MSc Dementia module being run at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.


We want to know what you think about this blog topic.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s