We check in with Hannah Brady for Occupational Therapy Week to see how our graduate OT alumna is going post-uni.
Since finishing her Bendigo course last year, Hannah has been employed in Bendigo Health’s Grade 1 Rotational Program, which supports OTs to obtain clinical experience, skills and knowledge in a range of areas across the hospital.
“I’m currently working in the Outpatient Rehabilitation Service, primarily in back rehab and orthopaedic rehab,” Hannah says.
“The clinic I work in assists people living with pain to improve and manage their conditions. My-day-to-day role includes education, activities of daily living modification, problem solving strategies, pacing, guidance and support with self-management. It is a very rewarding field and has been a wonderful learning opportunity.
“I enjoy helping people to regain their own independence, confidence and improve their safety within the home. It’s very rewarding.”
Hannah’s uni years began in Melbourne, but after hearing from a friend studying OT in Bendigo about the placement opportunities in the local course, she moved to town and never looked back.
“The highlights of the course for me were completing clinical placements in my third and final year,” she says. “I had a wide range of placement experiences from rural/ remote placements, to private NDIS work and finally an inpatient acute hospital experience.
“I found that I had enjoyed all of my placement experiences, despite them all being so vastly different from each other. It was comforting to know I was going to be heading into a career with such variety and diversity.”
Hannah says for anyone considering a career in health, OT is a wonderful path. “It’s a field that allows you to work with people every day to improve their ability to manage everyday tasks and increase their quality of life,” she says.
“If you are someone who enjoys working with people and would prefer a career that allows you the opportunity to specialise in many different types of diverse areas, then OT just may be for you.”
Pandemic highlights need for more OTs
Bendigo-based La Trobe Associate Professor Carol McKinstry is also the President of Occupational Therapy Australia. She says she’s been reflecting on the theme of this year’s OT Week, which is ‘Occupational Therapy supports participation, inclusion and independence’.
“It is not until you can’t do something that you really appreciate its true value,” Carol says. “Living in Victoria, the past few months have been different and particularly difficult for those in Melbourne during extended lockdown.
“The impact of occupational deprivation on mental and physical health have been highlighted, particularly for those already marginalised groups of society. Vaccination will be key for inclusion going forward for many of our occupations, particularly work and leisure activities in the community.”
So, what might that mean for the future of the profession?
“I may be slightly biased but for me it has never been a better time to be an occupational therapist,” Carol says. “Never have we had such a demand for our services and there is an ever-growing recognition of what we do.”
Interested to know more? Explore our courses.