“I’m a clinical lead occupational therapist (OT) in the Memory and Later Life Services, based in the Carleton Clinic in Carlisle.
My role as clinical lead gives me the opportunity to work clinically with the client group, alongside providing clinical supervision to other OTs. I also look at developing the occupational therapy services both within my own speciality and across the Trust and advise on wider service developments from an OT perspective.
On leaving school I worked as a nursing assistant in a residential unit for people with learning disabilities. I then worked as a podiatry assistant before I took the plunge to study occupational therapy.
I didn’t really understand the role of OT at all. I’d always worked in health-based roles but always felt I wanted to do something more challenging that fitted with my values. I saw an advert on the side of a bus for the University of Cumbria and after looking at their prospectus was immediately drawn to OT. I went to an open day and immediately applied for the course!
The best thing about this job is the people we meet. Having this role allows us to have contact with people with such interesting and diverse life stories. It’s a privilege to be part of their story, even for a short time, and to work with them on what is important to them.
If anyone is thinking about a career in OT, I would say go for it! There are so many options, in terms of the people you work with and the opportunities for training and progression. I would recommend speaking to OTs in different services which will really help understand the breadth of possibilities on offer.”