Today marks the beginning of Occupational Therapy (OT) week, a time to celebrate the extraordinary efforts of our OTs and the transformative impact they have on clients’ lives.
Vision loss can be life-changing, and our dedicated OTs specialise in working with people with low vision. They’re here to work with clients to live their lives to the full and achieve their goals at home, work, and in the community. Services we provide include home modifications, technological assistance, training, and life skill programs, such as cooking, shopping, and gardening.
To celebrate our amazing OT team, we sat down with Isabella Bristow, a Therapy Assistant, who recently completed her OT placement with See Differently, to discover what sets our team apart!
Q: What motivated you to pursue Occupational Therapy?
A: Occupational Therapy wasn’t something I initially knew about. My inherent desire was to help people, so I applied for a nursing degree. In my first year I met a group of OTs in my placement at the Royal Adelaide Hospital that I realised I was in the wrong career. I changed my degree and have never looked back!
Q: What did your day look like as an OT student at See Differently?
A: My nine-week placement was incredibly dynamic. I had the opportunity to work in two different locations with experienced supervisors who shared their knowledge of OT with me.
From here, I worked directly with clients, assessing their goals and needs and preparing any necessary equipment, I thought they would benefit from. Working with clients’ in their home was great as you developed strong relationships with them and their family members. Following the visits, I would handle administrative tasks, including scheduling equipment deliveries and referring clients to our orientation and mobility instructors, technology, and optometry team. It was never quiet!
Q: What do you enjoy most about working at See Differently?
A: Meeting a diverse range of people is the most fulfilling part of my job. Vision loss is unique for everyone, and it can come with a lot of problem-solving and creative thinking, which I enjoy. I also love working in a team that is passionate about what they do. The support from See Differently is excellent and makes my job meaningful.
Q: It’s OT Week, and the theme is Unity through Community. What does that mean to you?
A: The theme means to me having a supportive network around you. The valuable thing about See Differently OTs is we understand people and acknowledge what they want to be. Other healthcare professionals only want to keep the client healthy or alive. OT is an empowering career.
Q: What have you learned about working with people who are blind or vision impaired?
A: Everyone is different, and no day is the same. The information we learn about a specific vision condition may not align with an individual’s unique needs. It is essential to listen to clients, understand their problems, and collaborate with them to find solutions.
Q: What advice would you give to a student in year 12 who may not know what they want to do at university? Why should students study OT?
A: OT is forever changing, with new research always emerging. If you have a passion for caring for people and their needs, OT is a great work field to be in.