Occupational Therapy(4 Posts)
Hello, long time reader, just joined
I;m not really sure where else to post this but... I'm considering training as an occupational therapist and wondering if anyone here is an OT? I'd like to ask what it's REALLY like being an OT, I've researched loads but I'd love to get some first hand opinions if possible.
I have been an O.T for nearly 25 years now and love it. I have worked in mental health and physical and elderly mental health which often includes some physical too. I have worked in hospitals,rehab centres and the Community.I have worked in Africa , New Zealand and the U.K. I have never not loved my job. I may have just been lucky that I seem to always have worked in lovely teams with very supportive line managers as you do meet some very stressed O.T's but it is generally a very rewarding job. To be able to assist people to achieve their maximum level of independence is so rewarding. the best thing to do is to ask a couiple of local O.T's if you can shadow them. I would try to spend a day with an O.T in a general hospital,one in a rehab setting(admission avoidance/rehab centre/Intermediate care) and a day with a social services O.T. If you are interested in Mental Health,Paediatrics or Learning difficulties,then find an O.T in those areas.There are so many areas you can work in once qualified and so many transferable skills. I would recommend it to anyone biut feel free to ask any questions.
Hi vdbfamily, thank you so much for replying and for the advice and insight. What would you say is the common reason for those OTs who are really stressed? Also, do you think the prospects are good for a newly qualified OT at the moment? I see a lot of jobs advertised that ask for experience. How easy is it to move between different OT areas?
I think some depts are overstretched and/or poorly managed. Some newly qualified O.T's do not get the support and help that your proceptorship year is supposed to offer.(would be worth asking about at interview)
I think in the last few years it has become harder to find work as an O.T but now with the emphasis on admission avoidance and keeping people at home or getting them home quicker,hospitals are realising that O.T input is key and new jobs are being created. It is also generally very flexible.My current job has the possibility of evening and weekend hours too.
Some people train by getting work as an O.T assistant and then doing a 4 year part-time course sponsored by the employer. Although that does not guarantee you a job,it does mean if one becomes available you are likely to get it as they do try and employ you afterwards. The best job to do post qualifying is a mixed rotation where every 6 months you move into a different area and at the end of 2 years you have experience of 4 areas. This stops you getting too specialised too soon. Or, you might know when you finish training exactly what sort of O.T you want to be,in which case you may try and get a job in that area from the start.I started my training wanting to work with kids and now,25 years later,that is one area I have never worked it. You will go on work placements whilst training and get some idea what you want to do from that. There are O.T's working for equipment shops,stairlift companies,electric wheelchair companies,council housing departments , schools ,prisons, nursing homes, so the world really is your oyster once trained!
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