Kate - Occupational Therapist, Transition Care
Length of aged care service: 4 years
How did you get into aged care?
I started work in aged care in 2013 when I graduated from Curtin University with a degree in Occupational Therapy. I did some placements within residential care during my degree and I really enjoyed it.
What do you love about working in aged care?
I love the variety of people I work with - their diagnoses and life experiences are hugely varied. It is vastly different to working as an Occupational Therapist (OT) in a hospital where I’d be on an orthopedic ward and only work with people with broken arms and legs.
For the last three years I’ve worked in transition care which is where you’re helping people to recover after a hospital stay. The work is different again. The speed is quicker than in residential care and I have to be on my toes. I like the pace and love seeing people improve.
However, the really enjoyable part of working in transition care is that you’ll never know what type of work you’ll do until you meet a client and discuss their goals. My work has ranged from helping people to find the right equipment through to assisting a family to renovate their bathroom. You end up with an interesting set of skills and different experiences.
Lastly, you get more time to spend with people. You really get to know them and their story, which gives me a lot of personal satisfaction.
What training have you undertaken?
I have a degree in Occupational Therapy.
What is your advice to someone thinking about working in aged care?
Give it a go! It’s fun, you get to spend time with people, and make a difference to their lives.
But you’ve got to have the right attitude and want to be there. I look for people who are positive, enthusiastic and genuinely want to work in aged care.
I also want to encourage more young people into the aged care workforce. I’m involved in programs run by the Acorn Network which are aimed to inspire and develop young professionals in aged and community care. Outside of work, I run an interest group for young OTs in aged care so we’re building a collegiate network of young people who can support each other, bounce ideas around, and share common problems.