During his/her transitional period towards professional life, the occupational therapist newly graduated may experiment challenging situations regarding his/her professional values. The expectations the young therapist has developed during his/her education are facing the reality of the practice. Therefore, this research focuses on professional identity construction through this context of transition.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to carry out a qualitative study gathering the perceptions of five new graduate occupational therapists working within different areas of practice.
The information collected has shown the influence of several factors in the development of professional identity including academic education and interpersonal relationships. According to the occupational therapists’ interviews, ethical issues are restricting the expression of professional identity and have impacts on job satisfaction. Various strategies taken from this study are presented.
The importance of interpersonal relationships is discussed, as well as the interest of communities of practice in developing professional identity.
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