I’m Caitlin Mumme, I’m a Year 10 student at Southern Cross Catholic College, and for the past week I’ve been given the exciting opportunity to experience what it would be like to work as an Occupational Therapist. I have plans to become a Paediatric Nurse or an Occupational Therapist, which is why being able to complete work experience at TOTS has been such an amazing opportunity. Mainly I have been working with Alicia, but I have also observed sessions run by Nicole. Over the past week I have worked with a range of different kids, and learned about their different behaviours.
In some sessions, I was able to play games such as snap, scooter board racing, dinosaurs verses army men and even mould playdough, whilst in others I observed. Watching all the personalities that walk through the front door is fascinating, some kids are bouncing off the walls whilst others were more than happy to leave at the end of their session hard work. I was encouraged to think about what I saw and ask questions, and through this, I now understand that there is a lot of theory underpinning what ‘games’ are played in the sessions. I also learnt about several terms e.g. Sensory Processing, where everyone has different ways to filter the different senses; some struggle to tune out irrelevant noise or sensations, whilst with others find it difficult to even feel pain.
Of course, Occupational Therapy isn’t all fun and games – there’s a theory side to all jobs. After some sessions, I was able to write ‘Session Notes’ about my observations throughout the sessions. Writing these notes was a great way for me to think of why people may act a certain way or do a certain thing. I have learnt that, as an Occupational Therapist, there’s many qualities that are crucial for a person to carry in order to be a great OT. Nicole and Alicia are always full of energy, ready to play at any chance and are always willing to conduct sessions at the child’s pace, which is exactly what most children need. Working alongside two great Occupational Therapist’s has encouraged me to build my career pathway to lead into OT work.