This first week of November marks Occupational Therapy Week - seven days dedicated to promoting the important work of OTs.
Occupational therapy supports people to adjust or change their everyday environment to promote independence and helps to improve the ability to perform daily living activities.
We asked Jade Jacklin, Therapy Team Lead, to talk us through a typical day in the role.
When I was asked to describe a typical day as an occupational therapist working in mental health services, it was difficult. I arrive at work around 8.30am and check my emails.
The team attend our daily huddle to discuss complex cases within our services and advise where occupational therapy input is identified.
The beauty of our role is that no two days are the same. In the morning, I might attend a Best Interest Meeting for a service user on our acute ward. Here, I’ll provide feedback on an occupational therapy assessment.
After that, I may be back on the acute unit, completing a kitchen assessment. As an occupational therapist, I have to consider whether a person can be independent and safe in certain situations - such as washing, dressing or cooking.
I then have to write up my notes on assessments. This will summarise how much help the service user needed with the tasks and make any recommendations.
After lunch, I might move on to a moving and handling assessment on the ward. During this, I have to consider a few things, including the task at hand, the individual, and the environment. After considering and assessing all factors, I’ll put together another report.
As a profession, we identify a person’s ‘ability, not their disability’, using a strength-based approach which explores the person’s ability, their environment and the task that they are completing at any given time. We also spend time liaising with other professionals to build up knowledge.
We cover a range of areas and offer a variety of assessment and interventions. We also contribute to the wider multi-disciplinary team, presenting the value of occupation as a means for recovery and to help stabilise a person’s mental health condition. We complete this in many ways, including outreach to community-based units.