Diploma of Occupational Therapy (Dip COT) at the Welsh School of Occupational Therapy, now part of Cardiff University.
Definition of Occupational Therapy:
Occupational therapy is client centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of Occupational Therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of daily life. Occupational Therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or expected to or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement.
World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT 2012)
Registered Health Care Professions Council (HCPC): Occupational Therapy 07562 Member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapy:- BT0011933
Accredited Practice Placement Educator (APPLE COT).
Since qualifying as an Occupational Therapist I have worked for well over 30 years in the South Wales area being based in Bridgend and employed by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Local Health Board. (ABMULHB)
My roles in Occupational Therapy have changed over the years and are outlined in the sections below.
I currently work 2 days per week as a Practice Development Occupational Therapist.
I am dual trained to work with people who have both physical and mental health issues but have specialised throughout my career in the specialism of mental health.
I have worked with adults in Hospital and Community settings with individuals who have long term and severe mental health conditions eg schizophrenia, bipolar, long term depression and/or anxiety and alcoholism.
My experience in General Practice enabled me to work with people who have mild to moderate mental health conditions eg anxiety, depression, stress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and agoraphobia. This service also provided a preventative role in enabling people to develop coping strategies early to avoid conditions becoming chronic.
I have worked in all of the sub specialism with individuals (1:1) and in formal groups with a psychodynamic or creative focus. The interventions include individuals engaging in occupations of their choice which enable them to identify their values, beliefs and attitudes, roles, routine and relationships, managing a balance of occupations in order to achieve good mental health and well being. Interventions include increasing knowledge and skills in self awareness, problem solving, setting realistic goals and enabling people to participate in occupations in a graded manner. Actively engaging in activities enables individuals to learn and practice coping strategies and skills which can also be transferred into other occupations of daily life.
I was for over 20 years Deputy Head of the Occupational Service and for 10 years as Head of Occupational Therapy Mental health Service managing 59 members of staff. My role included working as part of Multi Disciplinary Management Teams to maintain current services, develop new teams to meet current and future needs, provide prudent healthcare and ensure staff have the necessary knowledge and skills for today’s NHS.
Education of Occupational Therapy Students:
I co-ordinate all Practice Placement Education for Occupational Therapy students from Cardiff University, with approximately 70 students attending per year for clinical experiences. I have a team across the health board to support my role and regularly review the quality assurance of their placements.
I regularly meet with Cardiff University tutors and have contributed to the
Re- validation of the Degree programmes and been part of the Curriculum and Examination Boards.
In September 2017, I was nominated and short listed by Cardiff University staff for a Cardiff University ‘Celebrating Partnerships in Practice’ Special Recognition Award.
Marketing the role of Occupational Therapy to prospective students through Careers Workshops and Work Experience placements are included in this part of my role.
Practice Development Role:
This role has developed since I semi retired (early) and focused on clinical effectiveness supporting both qualified and support staff to carry out evidence based practice, Plan Do Study Act (PDSA), patient stories, audit and research.
All support staff in NHS Wales have to undertake a level 3 – 4 formal qualification. Occupational therapy has chosen to link with Agored Cymru. I am the Vice Chair for the All Wales Occupational Therapy Diploma Steering Group and lead for mental health services in my health board. I am currently supporting 40 learners through the 3 year Diploma in Occupational Therapy Support. This involves – facilitating workshops, assessing learners work and Internally Verifying assessors to ensure quality assurance.
I am an outgoing person who tends to get on well with people in the many different circles in which I mix. My role as a manager required me to be an innovator, motivator, problem solver, planner, goal setter and listener who likes to enjoy life and these characteristics spill in to my social life. I enjoy taking opportunities and whatever I start I like to see through to the end.
I used to strive to be perfect but I learned a long time ago that that is an unrealistic goal. Life is for living!
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