Occupational Therapy: More than I ever expected

I started my journey to become an occupational therapist in 2015 after completing a year of exercise and nutrition science. At the time I wasn’t entirely sure if occupational therapy was what I wanted to do; it caught my interest but I can’t say I really knew much about it. I can safely say now, as I come to the end of my studies, that I can’t think of a better degree and profession to become a part of. My four years of study have been filled with countless amazing opportunities and experiences both in and out of the classroom and my last year has definitely been no different to this.

Outside the classroom

This year has been a bit of a roller coaster for me. It started with an intensive week of lectures in semester one before my final student placement. My placement didn’t commence until midway through February, which gave me a little bit of time to relax before the start of a very opportunity rich and enjoyable year.

I was placed at the Geriatric Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit at the Princess Alexandra Hospital for 10 weeks. During my time there I was responsible for managing the groups programs as well as having an individual case load. The groups I facilitated ranged from cognitive groups through to upper limb retraining groups. Most of the patients I worked with had experienced a stroke and required upper limb therapy. The time I there went so incredibly quickly; I was learning every single day and I was loving what I was doing. I had the opportunity to shadow in many different areas of occupational therapy, such as the acute wards, hand therapy and in the spinal injury unit. I enjoyed every second and it was great for me to find the area I want to work in.

Returning to class

After placement we returned to the classroom one more time for out last semester. This has been one of the most rewarding and interesting semesters yet. I have had the opportunity to build friendships with more of my cohort as we work together to create some very special things. 

One of the assessment pieces we have requires us, in small groups, to create a social change campaign. My group and I chose the topic of domestic violence. For this we worked together to create awareness and shine a light on a subject that is often too taboo to talk about. My group and I created an Instagram page called ‘it.starts.small’ which we have used to reach a large audience of young people. We have also done plenty of things outside of the virtual realm, such as meeting with the leader of the Liberal National Party of Queensland, Deb Frecklington, to interview her about domestic violence. As well as this we have interviewed psychologists and plenty of students. It is beyond rewarding to build awareness about such an important topic. If you would like to know more about our campaign head over to our Instagram page.

What I have enjoyed the most

If I can summarise what has been the biggest highlight in my final year of studies, it would be the relationships I have built with my fellow students, my lecturers and my supervisors from placement. It has been a crazy 12 months and I couldn’t have done it all without the support of some of the incredible people I have met over the last 4 years. I have loved every second of university and I can’t wait to enter the workforce!

 

Last updated:
24 October 2018