what do occupational therapists wear to work

What do Occupational Therapists wear to work?

If you’re reading this, you’re an OT, want to be an OT, or need to shadow an OT.

So what do Occupational therapists wear?

Occupational therapists usually wear scrubs, business casual clothing, or a polo shirt with khakis.

It really depends on the setting.

In this post, I’ll list the most common clothing OTs wear, and what to do if you still don’t know.

What do Occupational Therapists wear in acute rehab, skilled nursing facilities, and hospitals?

Occupational therapists in acute rehab or skilled nursing usually wear scrubs or a polo shirt with khaki pants. Some facilities require OTs to wear color coordinated scrubs for each department.

You might see nurses wearing the same blue scrubs, respiratory therapy wearing black scrubs and PT, OT, and speech wearing matching polos.

Some OT settings are flexible and will let you where scrubs, polos, or t-shirts. Other settings can be less flexible and may require specific clothing.

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What do Hand Therapists wear?

  • Scrubs or business casual clothing
  • Casual shoes or dress shoes

I’ve seen OTs wear scrubs in hand therapy and also business casual clothing. If you visit the clinic’s outpatient website, you might have a better idea if they’re wearing scrubs or not.

If doing fieldwork or shadowing a hand therapist you may be near open wounds. Plan on wearing business casual clothing with running shoes or dress shoes. Avoid open toe shoes or ankle socks until you’re more familiar with the facility.

What do Home health and pediatric therapist wear?

  • Business casual clothing
  • Scrubs (less common)
  • Casual shoes or dress shoes

If working in home health, avoid dressing up too much if you live in a big city. You may have home health visits in areas with increased crime.

Best clothing for OT, PT, and Speech Therapists

Scrubs

(Recommended) FIGS and Jaanuu

Figs Scrubs

Figs scrubs are stylish, durable, and have the same features of many of the more expensive brands.

If money isn’t an issue, I recommend FIGS or Jaanuu scrubs for both men and women.

FIGS are a scrubs company out of Los Angeles and have been made popular from their new jogger pants style. They are light, comfortable, and they have a great return policy. You can buy them and exchange them if they don’t fit.

They also have a sizing chart on their website. Plan on spending about $100 for one pair. You can find deals around 20% off during holidays and nursing week.

Cons

  • Some of their styles are loud and trendy
  • Expensive

I also like Jaanuu Scrubs because they’re not as popular. They have excellent quality material (like Figs). They also have more styles.

Both Figs and Jaanuu are great for PT and OT because they stretch and give when you need it.

Budget option

Scrubs are expensive, and Figs and Jaannu are among the most expensive. If you want great quality scrubs and you don’t want to wear the same scrubs as everyone else in your hospital go with Mock scrubs or elements.

Mock Scrubs

Mock scrubs are stylish, durable, and have the same features of many of the more expensive brands.

Elements is a great budget option comparable to FIGS and Jaanuu. The material is breathable, lightweight, and durable. They’re also great for moving around, and they’re moisture wicking.

Unfortunately, they don’t have any options for men.

Business Casual and Polos

For business casual I recommend J-Crew, but they tend to be a little more expensive. Here are some other options I’ve listed below.

Women

H&M and Macy’s will have business casual attire, and their clothing line changes all the time.

Men

If you’re on a budget, go with H&M or Gap. They fit well and are fashion friendly.

What should I wear as an OT student?

OT Student dress
My OT Student attire

If you are a student, volunteer, or shadowing an OT, I would recommend business casual. This could mean wearing a polo shirt with dark pants or khakis. You may also wear dress shoes or business casual shoes.

If you’re in a hospital, I would wear something comfortable with minimal jewelry.

Still don’t know what to wear?

If you’re still not sure what your workplace requires, check out the company website. Sometimes they will post a photo of the rehab team.

That can usually give you a good idea of what to expect and point you in the right direction.

I Hope this was helpful. If you’re thinking about OT school check out my Pre-OT course.

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