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Celebrating Occupational Therapists for OT Week

They are the people we trust with our loved ones, and they are dedicated to improving the wellbeing of their clients.

They enable their clients to participate in the activities of everyday life, and they are people passionate.

They are Occupational Therapists.

In honour of Occupational Therapy week, we are celebrating the work of the OT’s both in our organisation and in the community. OT week is an opportunity to increase the visibility of the profession and empowering the people that empower our loved ones.

To gain a deeper insight to the lives of Occupational Therapists, we spoke to our very own Linda Byrnes. Linda has been with us at Rehab Management for over 3 years and is now the NSW South and West manager who supports consultants across NSW.

“When I left school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I enjoyed helping people and being creative, and my careers adviser funnily enough suggested Occupational Therapy as it was all about craft. He wasn’t totally accurate (we didn’t do any craft until 3rd year) it was more founded in science; however, it was a great decision and I really enjoy being an Occupational Therapist. The opportunity to find creative solutions to problems was what I wanted to be doing.”

The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday 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 are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement. (WFOT, 2012)

“We look at how people interact with the surroundings, what they want to achieve and look at practical solutions to achieve success, whether this is training and coaching or modifying a task or activity. It is about promoting independence and achieving the goals of the participant. Occupational Therapists apply this skill over a large variety of client groups.

Occupational Therapists look for strategies where an individual has difficulties in productivity, self-care, or leisure. This may be due to a recently acquired illness or injury, a change in circumstance, a progressive change, or a condition that an individual is living with that makes accessing these areas of their lives more challenging.”

Linda has helped a number of Rehab Management clients over the years, but there was one memory that was special to her.

“There have been many opportunities to set goals with both staff and clients where they have been hesitant and unsure of achieving an outcome, working step by step with them and watching them succeed.

I can remember I had a client that was an older gentleman, self-employed truck driver, wanting to continue to work for a few more years. He was able to do all of his job except to effectively cover his load, which was required of him.  After assessing the workplace, we looked at an electric cover which he was able to operate independently, and this gave him a number more years of work. It made all the difference for him to be able to continue working, and I’m glad I was able to be part of the process.”

For Occupational Therapists like Linda, it is more than just a job. It’s a devotion to empowering clients and helping people in the community, and the team at Rehab Management appreciate them for their hard work in bettering the lives of others.

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