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The purpose of this qualitative life history study was to explore the evolution of occupational therapy (OT) practice through the life history of Joyce Wicklund, a retired occupational therapist who practiced in multiple settings in North Dakota and other states from 1970-2010. The researchers conducted one 1-hour semi-structured interview with Joyce Wicklund. Themes regarding her involvement in continuing education and her perspectives on the profession were synthesized from the interview data and compared with literature about continuing education and specialization in the field of OT. The predominant categories representing the major elements of her career were Maintaining Competence, Changing Demands of OT, and Ethical and Personal Challenges. The findings indicate that Joyce Wicklund experienced increasing demands and challenges over the course of her practice and she valued the pursuit of competence in her role as a practitioner. Joyce Wicklund was a gentle, caring, accomplished occupational therapist who contributed greatly to the profession of OT by practicing with integrity and passion. Her practice had a significant impact not only on the patients she worked with, but also on her colleagues and other health professionals with whom she interacted. Joyce’s legacy of masterful and skilled practice provides an example of how to face challenges, deal with changes in the healthcare system, and maintain competence through continued education.

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occupational therapists, Disabilities, psychosocial, pediatrics, and traveling OT, mind, the body, and the soul, holistic.


Occupational Therapy

Life History of Joyce Wicklund