Thursday, 27 September 2012

An Inspiring Profession

On Monday the SHOUT Team helped support a listening event hosted by the Trent Regional Group of the British Association of Occupational Therapists at Sheffield Town Hall, focusing on membership engagement. As the day came to a close and the rainy night drew in, we sat around the vast table in the conference room talking and feasting on the left over cakes and sandwiches.

Naomi Hankinson, Chair of Council at the College of Occupational Therapists, posed the question: what inspired us all to choose occupational therapy? And so, one by one, we shared our personal stories of how we came to OT and the people or events that had moved us...

Both myself and another student felt a shiver run down our spine as we heard the OTs talk about how they had been drawn to a profession that made such a positive difference in people's lives. Some came from healthcare backgrounds, others had been school students who simply knew that they wanted to help people - all valued the practical way that OT could help people live and enjoy their lives. For those of us around the table that were students, we had varied reasons for choosing OT from the inventive ways an OT can help someone with a physical disability to the mentoring role an OT takes with people with mental health problems, piecing lives back together step-by-step.

Why didn't several of the students pick physiotherapy instead of OT, Naomi asked? A response came back: because OT is more beautiful. 

Treating a person as the unique, extraordinary person that they are, respecting the valuable place they have in society, and enabling that person to do what it is they choose to do is so human and so beautiful. Occupational therapy, more than any other profession it would seem, allows people to live, beautifully. What an inspiring path we have chosen.

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