Occupational Therapy Personal Statement
Occupational Therapy is a profession where creative and practical solutions are required to enable individuals to achieve “everyday activities”. I have completed work experience on the Pre University Clinical Experience at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary in Occupational Therapy; I was impressed by the incredible amount of knowledge and skills the OT’s were required to possess. This experience has confirmed my determination to train within Occupational Therapy.
My work experience has included Surgery and Oncology, Heavy Workshops, Integrated Medicine and Rehabilitation. Here I learnt about the valuable key skills which are used in everyday working in each part of OT and the significant “behind the scenes” activities undertaken to support the individual and their family.
In Surgery and Oncology I witnessed an OT communicate using empathy and caring skills when talking to an elderly patient who was rather anxious and wanting to get home to his wife. The OT calmly spoke to him and asked him about his living conditions and if he felt the needed to have any extra help around the home. They discussed adaptive equipment and possible modifications to his home.
In the Heavy Workshop I witnessed the different strategies to re-build strength in weakened areas of the human body and also to enhance dexterity. A patient who had a full knee operation was suffering with a lack of confidence believing she had limited mobility. The OT reassured her that she could regain the mobility in her knee and talked about the range of equipment available.
In Rehabilitation I shadowed an OT who was working on a ward with a woman who was recovering from alcoholism; she was re-learning the everyday tasks such as using a washing machine, how to work in a kitchen, as well as improving her mobility and motor skills. I also observed an OT working with an MS sufferer who was experiencing muscle degeneration. The OT outlined how they could use a working kitchen, adjusting the workshops to replicate that of the patient’s own house, to help them learn strategies and techniques to retain independence.
In Integrated Medicine, I witnessed an OT discussing discharge from hospital, the patient wanted to leave, but the OT and family were concerned about the post-discharge care. Finally I was interested to observe a woman who had a memory retaining difficulties. The OT’s records and notes did not match the patient’s recollections and so the OT sought clarification from family members.
In April I shall be attending an Occupational Therapy awareness morning at the Queen’s Medical Centre. I am hoping to gain a greater insight into how OTs work with difficult or challenging patients they are required to work with.
I also volunteered in the summer of 2005 at a local horse riding centre. I learnt the value of team work when I worked in teams on pony days with children of various ages and also working closely with members of staff. My communication skills were valuable when working in large groups. Working with live animals also required an awareness of health and safety issues. When working independently I often worked to a strict timetable when completing routine duties relating to the stables and equine care needs. Working in teams has taught me to listen to other people’s needs and wants.
By observing OTs I have become aware of the importance of good communication skills including the tone of voice used, body language and the need for good communication between family members. Empathy and understanding was evident throughout my placement as was effective communication and working within a multi disciplinary team. This is important in ensuring effective collaborative working practices, to aid the recovery of the patient after the patient is discharged from the hospital and to work within the limitations of resources available.
I am completing an Access Course at the University of Derby studying Health Studies which has introduced holism and ethical dilemmas and Biology which has given me a clearer understanding of how the body functions. My studies have taught me how to work to tight deadlines and to think in a logical and structured way.
In my spare time, I listen to various types of music and watch films, I also horse ride which I have been doing since the age of eight.
Universities Applied to:
- Derby - Was Rejected.
Comments on the statement:
What a shame you were rejected, I thought this was good ! The only thing I can think of is the list of the OT's you had seen and observed, maybe they wanted more about YOU rather than OT's you had seen. I do think the rejection was very harsh, given the rest of your statement.