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Jules

Jules

Pediatric Occupational Therapist

“All the therapists are really experienced and I learn something new every time I work with someone.”

  • Tell us about your role. What do you get up to on a typical day/week?

    My role involves assessing children and putting interventions in place to help them reach their full potential. In an average week I might assess up to four children and write a report detailing the assessment for each. I will also visit children at school or occasionally at home to help get a fuller picture of the help they need. As an OT I am interested in their functional skills. Can they do the things they want and need to be able to do? If not, why not? I often make recommendations for changing the environment, changing the task or upskilling the child in the best way possible for them. I often work 1:1 with a child on a particular skill, work out exactly what they need to progress and I pass this advice on to parents and teachers. I also help with running groups. Some groups teach skills such as “Bike Group” or life skills. Other groups are to inform and upskill parents and teachers, such as our sensory or handwriting workshops.

  • What’s the best thing about working in the community? What made you choose this kind of work?

    I love working in the community because you really get to know the patients. You nearly always see them one to one and in their own environments. Community work also offers the freedom to plan around people’s commitments, meaning I can set appointments that really work for the patients. Plus I get to go outside most days and that’s great!

  • If you have worked in a previous environment, e.g. acute, how does this compare to working in community health?

    This is my first post since leaving university. I had placements in acute wards whilst studying and they were interesting. I have had jobs in care in long term care homes as well. I think the thing that makes the community stand out is the variety. I work in different schools and homes all the time.

  • Describe the working culture here?

    The work culture here is busy and friendly. There is a high energy atmosphere. All the therapists are really experienced and I learn something new every time I work with someone. People are always keen to encourage learning and take time to make sure everything is going well. I really feel like there is a sense of community here, with people always making time to help each other where they can.

  • What do you think makes someone successful here?

    The ability to learn from others and the confidence to get involved and have a go. Never be afraid to ask questions even if you think you know the answers. Everyone has a different angle and thinks of things that others don’t. In order to be successful you have to take advantage of that. Being well organised, with good time management skills also helps a lot.

  • Tell us about the learning and development and career progression opportunities?

    The learning and CPD opportunities here have been great. I’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s available. I feel confident that as my career develops I will be able to identify and secure specific training. For now I’m taking advantage of preceptorship training and training delivered by members of my team. There’s a lot of good essential training and I never feel like the training is a chore. Although I have to manage my time wisely to fit it all in.

  • What’s the most rewarding thing about your role?

    For me personally, it’s the easy “before and after” comparisons. Be it handwriting, bike riding or daily living skills, being able to see such dramatic improvements in areas that immediately impact a young person’s life is amazing. One parent said her 6 year old son will be writing his first Christmas cards this year because of our input, another can ride his bike to school with his friends now. Moments like that are great. Getting praise from children and parents goes a long way as well.

  • What do you think patients would say about the service you provide?

    I like to think that most children love working with us, the people in my team have great rapport with children and the children are nearly always laughing and playing. Often I don’t think they realise therapy is happening. I think parents can often see the results and appreciate the time and effort we put in to our work as well as the time we take to describe and explain what we’re doing. They see what we are doing and they learn how best to carry it on after our input finishes.

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