Flinders student Hannah Crockett-Naini’s ambition to enter the occupational therapy field is driven by one simple motivator. “I want to work in a field where I can help people,” she says.
“I think it’s very rewarding to be able to help people transition through some of the most challenging times in their life.”
Hannah was first exposed to the occupational therapy profession during Year 10 work experience where she shadowed an occupational therapist and “loved it”.
An occupational therapist’s role is to promote health and wellbeing by enabling people to participate in the everyday occupations and activities of life.
Hannah completed the Bachelor of Health Sciences/Principles of Occupational Therapy degree at Flinders and is now undertaking her first year in the Master of Occupational Therapy.
“I have really enjoyed being able to do a broad Health Science degree with some elements of OT before solely focusing on OT. I think it helped me to gain a broad understanding of health before focusing on a niche area,” she says.
“I also enjoyed being mixed with other Health Sciences students in my bachelor as it helped us to learn about other professions but it also helped us to practice working in ‘mock’ multi-disciplinary teams.”
For a work integrated learning placement, Hannah recently joined private community-based occupational therapy service, National OT, and says it gave her the opportunity to see the theories learnt in the classroom in practice.
“I was also lucky enough in these times to be linked in to telehealth appointments which was really interesting to see. I was also able to sit in on online mentoring sessions with the specialist OTs in each field running a mentoring class every week,” she says.
“I found placement very interesting and slightly overwhelming as you begin to realise how much there is to learn. However I learnt so much from being able to observe four different OTs working with a range of clients.”
During her placement Hannah also worked with her supervisor on a mental health plan the therapy service is aiming to set up for people with psycho-social disabilities via telehealth, as a result of the COVID-19 isolation.
Hannah says the focus of the plan is on activity scheduling, which involves the OT helping the client identity activities that increase their mood and activities that decrease their mood before ensuring that mood-lifters are incorporated more into daily schedules.