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What occupational therapy means to me

By Sarah Jane, Reablement Team Manager

With Occupational Therapy (OT) Week taking place recently, I wanted to share why I feel OT is so important and make sure people know the difference it can make.

I currently manage the Reablement team at the Council, but I started out as an OT, which is all about supporting people with daily tasks so they can get what they want out of life.

The thing I like so much about OT is the opportunity to look at a person as a whole and what they want to achieve.

It isn’t always about the care and adaptations we provide – it’s much more than that – as we look at what drives people, maximises their potential and gives meaning to their life.

One of my favourite sayings that will always stick with me is physiotherapists can help you walk again, but OTs can help you dance.

I think OTs and the role we play can sometimes be misunderstood and that’s why OT Week is so important.

Occupation is everything and, where there’s a person, there can be an OT to help you achieve your life goals.

You can usually sense who would be the perfect person for the role.

I was once having a meal at a restaurant with my family and, as soon as the waitress started talking to us, I knew she’d be a perfect OT.

She didn’t know anything about OT so I explained more, she agreed to have a placement to shadow my role, she went on to get a degree and now she’s practicing as an OT.

You can just see it in people with their personalities and many people I’ve supported as an OT have gone on to support others.

Being an OT is the best job in the world and one of my favourite projects was designing a hall of residence for a young lady who was looking to start university.

We made sure the building had everything she needed, including things like being able to access a wardrobe as she’d never had that before.

We gave her the confidence to attend university, live independently nearby and join in the same as everybody else.

I like being creative and OT provides an opportunity to look at things differently, as well as form real relationships with the people you’re supporting.

I’d encourage anyone to consider becoming an OT because it’s the best job and you can make such a difference to people’s lives.

Join the Council and make a difference

The Council has a range of exciting opportunities across Adult Social Care, including the chance to be an OT.

There are a range of benefits.

  • Competitive pay for the adult social care sector

  • Excellent pension scheme with 22 per cent employer contributions – compared to the typical three per cent

  • Generous holiday allowance of 26 days (pro rata), increasing to 31 days after five years of service

  • Reward and salary sacrifice schemes

  • Ongoing training and development opportunities

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