Occupational Therapy (OT) may be the lesser understood sibling of Physiotherapy and other allied health services, but it is by no means less important to supporting people, particularly those with disability, to achieve their goals.
This World Occupational Therapy Day (27 October 2021) we spoke to Kate Hill, Senior Clinician and OT at Yooralla about what OT has to offer people as a career choice.
Occupational therapy enables people to participate in activities they find meaningful. The term ‘occupation’ is used to describe all the everyday things we do in our life. These activities can include taking care of yourself and other, working, volunteering, and participating in hobbies, interests and social events.
Kate was initially introduced to the idea of working in Allied Health by a teacher at school, who recommended physiotherapy to her when considering career choices.
“After thinking about it, I felt that OT would be a better fit for me, as it is very holistic and broad and general. There is so much you can do in the OT space and you have room to use your creativity,” Kate said.
Kate admits she didn’t know too much about it until she started studying, to then deciding to focus on paediatric OT.
“I thought paediatric OT would be the best fit for me, as you get to see so much progress and have more opportunity for impact through early intervention support services,” she said.
The difference between OT and physiotherapy
“There is a common theme with a lot of OTs, in that many initially planned to study physiotherapy but after studying OT as a secondary option, have fallen in love with it and stayed,” Kate said.
“When you compare them, OTs look at what people do in everyday life. We look at the body and the mind and think more holistically. Physiotherapy focuses on the body and more so the physical side of things.
“We look at how they can modify the environment to look at the whole picture to help you do what you need to do in your everyday life.
“If something comes into someone’s life that stops them doing what they want to do, then we find a way to work around those things,” she said.
Working as an OT at Yooralla
“We work with people with disability to remove the barriers that might be there to what they want to do,” Kate said.
“Yooralla’s mission of empowering people with disability to live the life they choose is at the very heart of what we do as OTs.
“We work with them to get a good understanding of what they want to do and figure out what is getting in the way of that and what solutions we can come up with to increase their independence and ability, improve their quality of life or comfort,” Kate said.
A good example of an OTs work in action is through Yooralla’s Wizzybug program, where Yooralla’s OTs and physiotherapists work together with young children with disability to empower them to keep up with their peers and reach developmental milestones through powered mobility.
Why work in OT?
“There is so much variety in OT, you are bound to find something within OT that interests you. It is a very broad area, you work in so many different areas and there are so many opportunities – particularly within Yooralla,” Kate said.
“At Yooralla there is an opportunity to try different kinds of OT, you gain experience with equipment and home modifications, therapy and working with both kids and adults.
“The sky really is the limit with that you can do as an OT,” she said.
Sound like the job for you?
As an Occupational Therapist (OT) with Yooralla, you will use evidence-based practice to support children, adults or across the lifespan (dependent on the role) to achieve their goals as part of their NDIS plan.
You will have the opportunity to work as part of a transdisciplinary/multidisciplinary team and best utilise your expertise in occupational therapy to provide quality support to deliver positive outcomes.
An allied health role with Yooralla will suit an OT who thrives in a person-centred and dynamic environment.
Apply now for a position in Yooralla’s Occupational Therapy team.
World Occupational Therapy Day
We spoke to Kate on World OT Day in 2020, about how OTs support people with disability to achieve their goals. Read more.
World Occupational Therapy Day is an opportunity to promote the many ways Occupational Therapists (OTs) can support people at all stages of life to reach their potential.
This year’s theme for World OT Day is “Belong. Be You.” The theme promotes the power of diversity and inclusion as we work together to build community and resilience.
Read more about World OT Day.