What's your job about?
I am currently working as a senior Occupational Therapist across 9 aged-care facilities on the Sunshine Coast- I strive to provide my clients with high quality therapy services that meet their individual needs and goals.
Occupational Therapists aim to enable clients living with a variety of health conditions and disabilities to live their life as independently as possible, and to continue engaging in everyday activities that bring meaning to their life.
In my current role, I also have the opportunity as a leader to provide support, training and education to HCA staff, ensuring that all team members are following and up to date with recent policies and procedures to allow facilities to operate smoothly.
My job is very versatile as an Occupational Therapist; my responsibilities include but aren’t limited too: providing soft tissue pain management, equipment prescription, seating and complex wheelchair assessments, providing falls prevention measures and education to residents and staff, manual handling training, conducting home care package and DVA assessments, engaging in weekly meetings with key stakeholders within facilities, mentoring new graduate staff members and providing leadership and support for a team of 15 Physio’s and OT’s.
What's your background?
I grew up in a small coastal town in NSW and moved to Queensland where I completed my 4 year Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) at The University of the Sunshine Coast.
My time at USC was a rollercoaster and I loved the lifestyle of the Sunshine Coast- whenever I was not at college you could find me at the beach! I was lucky enough to have a job with HCA lined up just after I graduated- which made my transition into full time work much less stressful.
Working for HCA has allowed me to do some pretty amazing things- I have travelled Europe and some parts of Australia that I hadn’t yet been. I recently worked in Cairns where I spent time exploring waterfalls, trying local restaurants, scuba diving and bungee jumping just to name a few!
Could someone with a different background do your job?
No- to be an Occupational Therapist you are required to do a degree and industry specific training, which is highly useful as it allows you to get a taste of what the job can involve or what area of OT you are interested in whether that be aged-care, paediatrics (working with children) or in hospitals!
I believe an ideal OT is someone with characteristics of empathy, compassion, problem-solving skills, strong communication and motivation to help others.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
In my job I feel blessed that I can see myself making a positive difference in the lives of others, having the ability to build strong relationships with vulnerable people and their families.
OT is a very spiritually fulfilling job and is dynamic in nature as there are no ‘set rules’; how I address an issue varies from person to person depending on their goals and limitations.
Working together with clients to improve their daily life through meaningful activity is satisfying and there is no greater joy than to see people overcome adversity and find their passion for life again!
What are the limitations of your job?
As a health professional we do have responsibility to our clients and their families but also ourselves- working with people suffering very severe health conditions, such as Dementia, can be confronting at times.
In aged care, I am faced daily with the ‘end-of-life stage’, but ultimately I have learned how to use this as a positive experience and know that the little acts of kindness and caring contributes to making peoples last days/weeks/months of life more comfortable.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
I would tell myself to be more accepting of my shortcomings as these are what make me human and unique, if we can find strength in our flaws then we can be a better version of ourselves!
I would also say to take risks and take all opportunities life throws as you, because life is so short and our youth is a gift that shouldn’t be wasted!