This week is Occupational Therapy Week, where Occupational Therapy Australia hosts a series of events to educate the public and promote the value of the profession. Mable’s community of independent support workers also includes some OTs and OT students. We sat down with recent OT graduate and independent support worker Ani, to get a sense of what her job’s all about.
Here’s what she had to say.
Where did you study Occupational Therapy?
“I completed my Master of Occupational Therapy Practice at Monash University, Peninsula Campus.”
What made you decide to pursue Occupational Therapy as a career?
“After graduating with a Bachelor of Psychology, I worked part time as a research and teaching assistant in my alma mater for two subjects, Health Psychology and Mental Health. My second part time job was as a therapist assistant in a private clinic for children with special needs including Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and learning difficulties.
The Occupational Therapists and Speech pathologists mostly applied play therapy approach in their intervention. They sometimes arranged home visits and school visits to review children’s occupational performance in their natural environments. Every day I enjoyed working with children while learning more about the important role a paediatric Occupational Therapist plays.”
What area of OT do you intend to specialise in?
“In the beginning of my career journey I was interested in working in mental health, paediatric and geriatrics. However, I would say that after working with kids for about three years, this is the work that I am most engaged with.”
What brought you to the Mable platform?
“I heard about Mable through a conversation with my landlord, who encouraged me to pursue work experience while I was undertaking my uni studies. He sent me a link to Mable and was willing to provide me with a personal reference. Once my profile was confirmed I started my work as a support worker and now am grateful to be working with five clients including young kids, teenagers, and one adult.”
What kind of work do you do with your Mable clients?
“As most of my clients are young kids, I provided services through activities that they’re interested in – specifically, through play. Through play approach, I am able to identify my client’s level of thinking, their fine motor skills, and their emotional regulation. For my teenage and adult clients, I focus more on how to improve their independent living skills such as room cleaning and maintenance. I have built positive relationships with my clients’ families as well as other support workers and health practitioners – as it’s important that we work together as a solid team to achieve my clients’ goals.”
Although you’re a recent graduate, have you already been able to apply your studies through the work that you do with your Mable clients?
“Definitely yes. It’s so satisfying when I find out something I’ve learned at Uni can be useful for others. Working as a support worker providing social and domestic support is also rewarding for me as I always learn something new from my beautiful clients especially about life lessons. My magic words are persistence, patience, and passion.”
To meet some of the independent support workers offering services in your local area, start searching today.