Enya Ferey

Enya Ferey

A typical day would involve an 8.00am team meeting regarding the medical update of all patients from the nurse in charge. Following this, I prepare and complete a home visit, which involves assessing a patient’s capability to return home safely and independently following their rehabilitation. During this time I make recommendations regarding home adaptations or advise on the support required for discharge. Later in the day I will meet a new patient on the ward and complete a joint goal setting exercise. Following this I will finish the day with a cognitive standardised assessment, which involves a series of questions to identify brain function, memory, object recognition and language comprehension.

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Enthusiasm: to have passion and encourage the best in patients’ rehabilitation.
Strong minded: to voice professional reasoning and advocate for patients.
Empathy: a caring nature is essential.

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
At college I worked with various occupational therapists following a written personal statement about myself. By the end of placement I was quite certain occupational therapy was the career for me. I worked in the hospital for two years in Radiology and other wards to gain experience and finances before commencing my degree. Some people decide at a later stage to pursue occupational therapy as a career. In this case if you have three years out of education you require to study an access course at Highlands College prior to starting university. However, if you have previously attained education to a degree level you can take a two years’ accelerated master degree in Occupational Therapy.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
The best part about being an occupational therapists is working with patients’ from beginning to end and making a positive difference to people’s lives. To watch a patient walk out of the ward who never thought they would walk again with a whole new lease of life is inspiring and makes your work seem all the more worthwhile. Another strong quality to occupational therapy is the variety of opportunities. I currently work in rehabilitation however there are di erent areas such as mental health, children, community, stroke teams. Ultimately no matter where you work each day is a unique experience, I have yet to meet an OT that ever gets bored.

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
The job can be emotional challenging. Working with people with life changing conditions can be testing. In reality, not everyone gets better and not everyone meets their goals despite their best efforts. I often have to break bad news to patients and their families. But it’s about supporting the patient to live to their best quality of life and embrace the skills that they have.

What training / quali cations did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
A-Levels or A-Level equivalents (including a science, psychology is also very useful) or a BTEC diploma in Health and Social Care. Once A-Level education is acquired, three year degree at university, BSc Occupational Therapy. Personally I undertook four months of study in the Netherlands. I would recommend studying aboard if the opportunity arises for any course as this helps to expand knowledge, experiences, perspectives and increases employability.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
Gain some experience in the health and social care setting whether that be ‘shadowing’ the hospital, child care or care facilities to identify if you enjoy the health care setting itself. There are offcial websites such as the Royal College of Occupational Therapy which diversely explains the role of occupational therapy that will help you decide if it is the right career for you. If you do decide to take the OT path I hope that you find the experience as rewarding as I have found it to be.

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