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Change from primary teacher to occupational therapist - any advice welcome

(6 Posts)
wonderstuff100 Tue 19-Apr-16 20:24:32

I'm looking to get out of teaching and after a long think, I've decided occupational therapy is the way to go for me.

I graduated in 2005 with an arts based degree and am looking at getting relevant work experience at the moment. I thought with enough of that and life experience, I may be able to get onto a MSC course starting in 2017. I have 2 unis within travelling distance that run the course, but one has stated I would need a qualification in occ therapy. I can't do another Bachelors degree and I can't really move as I've just bought a house.

I'd love to hear from anyone in this field about qualifications/training or anyone who has moved into it.


MsHaveNaiceHam Tue 19-Apr-16 20:57:48

Hi wonderstuff,
I'm an OT....what can I tell you?

I work in Paeds and do mostly school based work. I travel from school to school in my area; my job is to help identify difficulties as they arise and to advise teachers on how to help integrate children who have formal diagnoses and those who are under investigation (high functioning ASD/DCD etc).

In my work, I think there is a huge overlap between what I do and teachers do....I have huge admiration for the skill involved in motivating and teaching groups of children.

I am in the very very lucky position of loving my job...I love investigating why some kids find it so difficult to learn and am in the fortunate position of being able to help improve things for some of them.

I'll bore you to tears about it if you want!

wonderstuff100 Tue 19-Apr-16 21:15:27

That's fab MsHaveNaiceHam, can you tell me about the way you got into it?

Straight from uni/career change etc?


MsHaveNaiceHam Tue 19-Apr-16 21:21:15

Straight from uni- did a B Sc in OT.

Lots of medics in family; parents weren't very enthusiastic about any of their daughters doing medicine.
So we've gone into associated fields- biochemist, dentist and me!

I did work experience before leaving school and loved the ethos etc.

wonderstuff100 Tue 19-Apr-16 21:40:42

Cool, thanks. My degree was in drama (so not related at all) but I also have a PGCE in Primary that I got in 2013. I'm hoping if I do a course starting in Sept in something relevant, and the work experience/shadowing, I'll have a shot.

What would be the best way to go about getting shadowing?

MsHaveNaiceHam Tue 19-Apr-16 21:55:13

If you're quite serious about it, I would do 2 things.
Decide which of the two courses you are most interested to their placements organiser. Every OT course I know of involves clinical placements as part of training- ask the organiser where they would recommend as a good place to do some volunteer work.
This has the advantage of getting to know their course, and when it comes to interview for places on the course, you've already shown some initiative.

Secondly, contact some private providers locally... as a teacher, you have the advantage of understanding workplaces, confidentiality, being appropriate etc.
Ask if you can come in to observe/tidy their treatment rooms after sessions/empty their bins....whatever.

In your school- do you have any access to OTs? Can they give you advice about local services that might help you?
Or look at treatment videos on YouTube....there are lots, again primarily therapists working in Paeds.

Are you in the UK? Do you have any ideas about what areas of practice you'd like?

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