Posted on 10/11/2016

Occupational Therapy - starting as an Occupational Therapy Assistant

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Occupational Therapy - starting as an Occupational Therapy Assistant

Today we'd like to introduce you to Sharon, our trusted Occupational Therapy Assistant. As a member of the team who is still learning what Occupational Therapy is all about, she is the perfect person to provide real insights for those entering the sector on how their knowledge will grow and what they can expect to achieve.

Name: Sharon
Years in OT: 2 years
Favourite area of OT: I’m still learning!

1) How did you get into Occupational Therapy?

I worked for several years in a local authority adaptations team, working closely with OT’s to arrange minor and major adaptations to people’s homes. I learnt a lot about things that can be provided, and why, and several OT colleagues commented that I should be an OT.

2) Which ways are best for learning your trade?

I gained a lot of knowledge in my previous job. Since joining NRS Healthcare I have completed Trusted Assessor training, however you don’t have to have qualifications to be an Occupational Therapy Assistant. I've also just started a 2 year course studying for an HNC in Occupational Therapy Support, which will teach me about the history and philosophy of OT, about anatomy and physiology, psychology, Human Development, a bit of sociology, and about OT policies, procedures and professional standards. I'm really enjoying it!

One piece of advice I would give to anyone starting their career in OT is that it's important to be able to listen to what someone is saying, as sometimes emotions get in the way of the words.

3) What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

Much of my role is working on Product Advice, and the most rewarding thing is knowing that I have helped someone who may be quite distressed about someone they love becoming disabled and giving them usable advice on equipment that will be suitable for them.

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

You can work in Occupational Therapy without being a qualified OT; there are lots of opportunities to work in related roles, which may help you to decide whether to apply for full OT training.

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

Be successful in another role, infecting my fellow employees with positivity!

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