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Competencies, Middle managers, Occupational therapy, Roles, Skills



  1. Guo, Kristina L. PhD, MPH
  2. Calderon, Ana OTR/L


This article describes the most essential roles, skills, and competencies needed by middle managers in occupational therapy organizations. Middle-level managers are responsible for a specific segment of the organization. They are uniquely positioned to foster changes in the department. Because of the challenges in the health care environment, it is important to discuss the roles that middle managers need to bring out the viability and growth of their departments and organization. These roles include planner, strategic planner, coordinator, leader, problem solver, and negotiator. To conduct these roles, skills and competencies that are closely linked to the effective performance of those roles are also described. Skills include human relations, marketing, and conceptual skills. Competencies include being able to manage attention, meaning, trust, and self, as well as being competent when conducting utilization reviews, program evaluations, documentation of services for quality and reimbursement purposes, and fiscal management. With these outlined roles, skills, and competencies, middle managers should be able to promote the mission of their organizations, support their employees, and navigate successfully in the competitive and ever-changing health care environment.