Occupational Therapy

(13 Posts)
RowenaDahl Sat 13-Aug-16 14:50:08

I'm considering a career change to Occupational Therapy. I've had a fairly successful if somewhat unfulfilling career as a PA to date.

I'm going to do some job shadowing but have seen a job as an Admin bod within the OT and Physiotherapy dept of the local hospital. Would this be worthwhile or would I be better off trying to get into an OT Assistant role? I'd like a bit of work experience before I commit myself to a two or three year course.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Sat 13-Aug-16 19:25:36

You could do the admin post as well as some shadowing. Do you have science based level 3 qualifications? If not, many unis consider access via distance learning (some don't).

I went to an open day recently and found that the field is much more diverse than hospital based OT so it's worth researching and trying to get some experience in other settings.

RowenaDahl Sat 13-Aug-16 19:33:52

I have three A Levels and a degree in totally unrelated subjects. The only science qualification I have is GCSE Biology. I have no idea what science based level 3 qualifications are! (Have been away from education from a long time.)

Yes, I'm aware it's a very broad area which is one of the reasons it appeals to me. I signed up for an open day at the local uni earlier today funnily enough.

SinnyLou Wed 17-Aug-16 19:48:46

I'm an OT, been qualified for 12 years and work in mental health. I love being an OT! It's a brilliantly diverse career with opportunities in many areas of health and social care. Go for it, you won't regret it. I think your best bet is to get some hands on patient related health care experience as well as shadowing, e.g. care assistant, support worker type roles. This will also be really useful once you've qualified and applying for posts as it's quite competitive out there at the moment. I've recently been recruiting and those who had work related experience as well as their qualification had a greater skill set. Hope that helps and good luck!

SinnyLou Wed 17-Aug-16 19:57:35

Oh and yes OT assistant role would be fab if you find one advertised, also consider any job advertised as activity coordinator as those usually involve working with OT's or within an OT framework/philosophy as activity is our prime therapeutic tool. In the mental health field the OT assistant type role is often called something else eg technical instructor, star worker so look out for those too

changingnameforthispost Wed 17-Aug-16 20:03:34

Definitely recommend looking for hands on care work or support work. The pay will not be brilliant but it will give you a great insight into peoples' challenges and how OT can make a difference.

RowenaDahl Thu 18-Aug-16 20:39:13

Thank you, that's really helpful.

I think I will go and shadow a few people first then see if I can find something healthcare/therapy/activity based. It is all a bit daunting as it's completely new territory for me.

One thing I have noticed is that OTs always seem to talk very positively about their work which is very reassuring!

user7755 Thu 18-Aug-16 20:46:47

Getting into an OTA or role in a department would be great in terms of experience, but also I suspect that in the future individual trusts may begin to start sponsoring people again to do their training, so it could be a really good foot in the door.

RowenaDahl Thu 18-Aug-16 20:55:30

Thanks user, that was my thinking. I have a friend who managed to do his radiography degree via the NHS.

user7755 Thu 18-Aug-16 21:49:33

It's a great job. Really recommend it.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Fri 19-Aug-16 15:59:48

Rowena, that's interesting about radiography. I recently asked a radiographer to find out this was a possibility and she hadn't heard of it. By level 3 science I meant an access course or NVQ. I don't think you'd get in with unrelated level 3 quals.

RowenaDahl Fri 19-Aug-16 18:23:02

Yes, I'm not 100% sure of the details as he is DH's friend but he was working in the NHS and did the course part time. I'm fairly certain it was funded by the NHS and was within the last eight years.

Ah okay. Yes, I think I may have to do something just need to find out what!

SinnyLou Sat 20-Aug-16 16:42:09

It would be worth speaking to the admissions tutor for OT at the university you're interested in applying for regarding your education. You're applying as a graduate and they can guide you as to whether they feel you would need any additional courses and what those should be. That's what I did before applying and they were really helpful. A lot depends on the school of OT you apply to

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