Posted on 07/11/2016

Occupational Therapy - insights of a Clinical Services Lead

Occupational Therapy - insights of a Clinical Services Lead

As part of Occupational Therapy week, we thought it would be great to introduce you to our team of OT’s here at our Head Office in Bardon and let them tell you about their job, in their own words.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Rachel, our Clinical Services Lead. Be sure to keep checking back over the next few days and get to know the other members of our team!

Name: Rachel
Job role: Clinical Services Lead
Years in Occupational Therapy: 22 years! Yikes I can’t believe it! Qualified in 1994 from Essex School of OT
Favourite area of Occupational Therapy: I’ve spent most of my career working with children and adults with a physical disability and I love the variety – I am just as happy working with children and their families as I am with older people.

How did you get into Occupational Therapy?

I originally wanted to be a social worker after doing a geography degree (I just loved the subject!). I went and spent time with social workers but they all told me they didn’t enjoy their jobs and that put me right off! I stumbled across Occupational Therapy when a friend’s Mum went into hospital and met an OT who she said was just like me; so I explored a bit more, liked what I saw and here I am!

Which ways are best for learning your trade?

Definitely on the job and from a great mentor – my best learning has come, and continues to come, from other people who are passionate and brilliant at their jobs. I have also learnt lots from the people who use our services – other healthcare professionals and, in my current role, from operational teams, manufacturers and suppliers who really know their markets. You never stop learning in this job.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

In my current role I love knowing that the products and services we supply make a real difference to the people who receive them. I also love the fact that through our processes and efficiencies we can really make a difference to the health and social care budgets whilst not compromising on quality. I also think that as OT’s we can really contribute to a new emerging role where our value can be seen in a commercial organisation and we can make a difference to the company and to our customers.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to be an OT?

Go for it! It’s a brilliant, varied career with huge opportunities if you are willing to work hard and remain passionate about the people you provide services for. Go to a great university with up to date lecturers who understand the emerging roles and opportunities for OT’s. Also choose your placements well and learn as much as you can on them. Any work or volunteering you can do outside of college with older / disabled people and their families will really make a difference too. I spent the summer before college working as a nanny for a girl with tuberous sclerosis and it was a real eye opener for me.

If you didn’t work in Occupational Therapy, what would you do?

I would be either be running a wedding planning service or, bizarrely, I have always thought that I would really like to be a funeral director and run my own business – I think that making a difference to families at such a difficult time would be rewarding....think I’ll stick to Occupational Therapy though!

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