From the Early Career Professionals (ECP) program to Grade 2 OT: Career progression at Yooralla

There are many opportunities provided throughout the Early Career Professionals program that allow participants to gain the skills and knowledge to move to Grade 2.

We spoke to Dana, a full-time Occupational Therapist (OT) who has completed the Early Career Professionals (ECP) program, about what we look for in an OT and her experience in the role.

Tell us a bit about Yooralla’s Early Career Professionals program?

Yooralla’s Early Career Professionals program has been developed specifically for new graduates to provide them with time to learn about their role, understand the organisation, learn more about the services Yooralla offers, better understand the NDIS and develop their skill set.

Over two years, in-house professional development starts with disability and the NDIS and becomes more specific to the role as the program progresses covering sensory profiles and trauma-based therapy, for example.

Participants have the opportunity to shadow other therapists before gradually being provided with a small case load that reflects their skills. They also have supervision with a senior clinician. It’s a really supportive program for people who want to develop their skills and progress their career in therapy.  I can highly recommend it!

Can you provide an overview of the journey from Early Career Participant to Grade 2 OT?

There are many opportunities provided throughout the program that allow participants to gain the skills and knowledge to move to Grade 2 such as I have done. A competencies checklist table that measures outcomes has been designed specifically for this purpose!  This is an opportunity that isn’t always provided in other organisations. Yooralla’s ECP program is specifically designed to develop skills of new graduates in a highly supportive environment.

What kind of qualities and interests do Grade 2 Occupational Therapist’s need?

Someone who:

  1. Likes working with others and working in teams
  2. Likes to solve problems
  3. Has a good understanding of or experience utilising evidence-based practice
  4. Likes a varied case load
  5. Enjoys working with (at times), a challenging case load

Describe a typical day in your role.

A typical day usually involves between 2-4 therapy sessions with a child.  This can be held at the family’s home, education setting or in the clinic.  Most of my case load requires travel.  My case load is quite varied so preparing resources is also an important part of planning and preparation.  I have a few customers who like to participate in telehealth sessions and this usually involves planning and preparation as well.  School visits usually involve communicating with the classroom teacher and integration aides.

I work full-time, but due to varied starting and finish times, I have one day off per month.  This allows flexibility around my case load in terms of when sessions are scheduled and also allows for better work-life balance.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your role?

The most rewarding element to my role is the opportunity to form relationships with the child and their family.  This allows me to see the child’s development over time, and to provide interventions that might improve a child’s life and/or enable them to participate in everyday occupations.  I also feel very privileged to be allowed into families lives, even if only for a short time.  It is a great feeling of accomplishment when families are helped during what is often a very difficult or challenging time.

A second element to this role that I particularly enjoy is the varied and at times, challenging case load.  I am always learning about interventions, assistive technology, conditions and strategies that may improve children’s lives.  Yooralla has community of practice opportunities throughout the year, I receive regular supervision, I am well supported by my manager and the very experienced OTs and SPs that I work with.  Yooralla also provides funds for professional development outside of the organisation.

Yooralla currently has ECP and Grade 2 Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology positions available. Grade 2 OT and Speech Pathology roles may be eligible for a financial incentive.

Incentive information

Until 30 April 2022, Yooralla is offering financial bonuses for any established allied health therapist, registered psychologist or specialist behaviour support practitioner who joins our experienced, supportive team.

You will receive a $1,500 (gross) bonus paid on commencement of your employment in an eligible role with Yooralla, and you’ll receive a further $1,500 (gross) on successful completion of probation. If you’re referred to us by a current Yooralla Allied Services or Specialist Behaviour Support employee, then the person who referred you will also receive $1,500 (gross) as a thank you for referring you. This applies to all applications for eligible roles received by 30 April 2022.

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