GETTING INTO JOB: Occupational Therapy

Article excerpt

NAME: Lucy Burton

AGE: 29

CARE... looking after children with disabilities is all part of the job

PERSONAL HISTORY: Lucy grew up in the Midlands with her mum and two brothers. She gained nine GCSEs and three A-levels in English, art and psychology.

She decided to become a teacher and read for a BEd in English at Plymouth University.

During her time there, Lucy did some voluntary work with a local school for children with learning disabilities and got a job with a leading charity soon after graduating.

After a year, Lucy got a job as an occupational therapy assistant at a hospital near Plymouth, and later applied to various universities to do the three-year full-time BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy degree.

After graduating, Lucy did clinical placements in a number of hospitals and community centres throughout Devon and is now working as an occupational therapist in Exeter.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Occupational therapists work with people of all ages who have a disability or a physical or mental illness with the aim of enabling them to achieve maximum independence in all areas of their lives.

They work as part of the health service team in hospitals and in the community - mainly in people's own homes to supervise treatment and to advise on adaptations and special equipment. After assessment they design treatment programmes to suit the client's needs.

SKILLS AND PERSONALITY: This is a challenging and rewarding career and you need to be able to deal with all kinds of different people. The job can also be quite demanding so you have to be resilient. Strong communication skills and a good sense of humour are essential. …