It had taken many months and years of coursework, exams and tears when I finally received that letter to say I had qualified as an Occupational Therapist (OT). 

I was over the moon!

I remember meeting my fellow Occupational Therapy student friends for coffee that afternoon and we all just sighed with relief and happiness that our hard work had finally paid off.

I was so excited to begin my journey as an OT.

I really wanted to help improve quality of life through helping a person achieve their goals, by increasing their level of independence and ability to participate in daily activities.

My passion for Occupational Therapy came about when my grandfather became ill and required the assistance of carers, OT’s, physiotherapists and dieticians.

On a daily basis I watched them attend to my grandad. They provided equipment to assist with his walking, washing, sitting, and transfers.

I realised that I would love to work in this area of helping people maintain or regain independence after an accident or illness as I could see my grandad’s quality of life slowly improving.

I began working as a community care assistant for several years which I really enjoyed before taking the plunge and stepping inside the doors of a hospital.

What an eye opener, I soon found out Occupational Therapists did a bit of everything.

I worked alongside and observed many Occupational Therapists who worked with children, adults and elderly people.

As I got more exposure to the various activities and equipment that O.T’s could provide I started looking into it as a career.

I sat my Health Professionals Admission Test (HPAT), passed and got accepted onto the only Occupational Therapy course within Northern Ireland.

We learnt a lot within the course and got various placement opportunities to explore which area we would enjoy best.

There are so many….. I am still trying to figure that out!

Two years down the line I have dipped my toe within the national health system in community and hospital settings and am currently working within the private sector.

Although I am at the beginning of my Occupational Therapy career so far I have found that no matter what area you work in, Occupational Therapy is still a very rewarding and enjoyable career.

Occupational Therapy Week runs from 7-13 November 2016

The theme of this year's awareness week is to promote OT as a career choice.

 

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