Although many Occupational Therapists (OTs) train straight from school, I was in my 30s when I started it, after I decided I needed a career change. I was drawn to the idea of helping people, and I still love that I can help to enable people to remain independent. I know how important my independence is to me, so if I can help someone else to keep theirs, it feels like a good thing to do.
I work in Specialist Medicine, predominantly with patients with cardiac problems, but there are many teams of OTs working right across the Trust and in partner organisations, including in the Stroke unit, Kings Lodge, Neuro-rehabilitation, Elderly Medicine, Paediatrics, Hand Clinic and a lot more besides, as well as work for charities and in social care. OTs are dual trained and consider both the physical and mental health aspects of ill health and disability, and how these can impact on a person’s ability to manage their activities of daily life. It’s often things we take for granted, but can become very difficult after an injury or illness, such as a stroke.
In my current role I take part in the daily multi-disciplinary team board round to review patient progress and to identify new patients that would benefit from OT input. For new patients, I carry out an assessment, which involves an interview about how they were managing before they came into hospital. My aim is to support patients to go home independent and safe, and with the same capabilities they had before. Any deficits in function need to be addressed and it is my job to identify the most suitable solution for that patient at that time. This could be further rehabilitation, some adaptive equipment, a package of care or attendance at an outpatient clinic, to name but a few. We have assessment kitchens and bathrooms, which we use to make sure patients are capable of doing the things they need to do to look after themselves. Sometimes, however, we need to do assessments at home, so we go out with the patient to their house. We also go out to measure up for equipment and adaptations which will enable the patient to go home. We also assess the moving and handling requirements for patients approaching the end of their life and provide the necessary equipment to ensure patients can return home if they so choose. There is something very humbling about being involved in this process.
I think OT is a great field to work in, as it is so diverse. We have students from various universities coming into OT, and we also have assistant roles and offer flexible working via the hospital bank.
We’re recruiting now!
Static Occupational Therapist – Stroke Services, Band 5
Click here to find out more and apply! Advert closes 25th Sept 2016