Interview With An Occupational Therapist

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • What it's like to be an Occupational Therapist.
  • What key qualities are essential to making a successful Occupational Therapist.
  • What a typical day looks like for an Occupational Therapist.
  • How to find and apply for the latest Occupational Therapist jobs.

The Health & Care Professions Council estimates that there are 43,495 Occupational Therapists in the UK; however, there is still an extreme shortage of trained and experienced Occupational Therapists within the sector. 

The sector is trying to attract people into pursuing a career in occupational therapy which is why we recently caught up with Ammarah Saeed who specialises in mental health occupational therapy.

Ammarah has a passion for making a difference in the lives of people she works with and hopes to achieve an equal and cultural workplace wherever she goes. 

Throughout this interview, you'll discover what a typical day looks like for Ammarah and what advice she’d give to someone looking to begin their career in occupational therapy. 

Ammarah, tell us about your career journey so far 

I’m a newly qualified Occupational Therapist and have had my placements in both physical and mental health. Before I qualified as an Occupational Therapist, I was supporting my mum with a home based food business.

I chose to work as an Occupational Therapist in mental health as I feel like I’m able to provide better care and expertise in this area. 

I work in an open rehabilitation mental health ward in a static post, and currently on a preceptorship programme which is for newly qualified healthcare professionals.

What inspired you to become an Occupational Therapist? 

Occupational therapy represented my values which inspired me to take on the challenge of the role of an Occupational Therapist. Occupational therapy allows me to support people not just to have a life but live a meaningful one.

What does a typical day in your role as an Occupational Therapist look like for you?

A typical day can vary particularly when working in mental health. It can include kitchen assessment, functional assessments, MOHOST assessment, budgeting work, distress tolerance and leading and creating groups to name a few. 

The ward can get busy which means we might have to support other members of the multidisciplinary team with any urgent work.

What specific areas of occupational therapy do you find particularly rewarding? 

I find mental health and rehabilitation in physical health the most rewarding as you can see people reaching their occupational goals and see the small changes every day.

In your opinion, what are the key qualities that make a successful Occupational Therapist?

In my opinion, I think being empathic is key as it allows you to have a more holistic approach towards your service user. Being emotionally intelligent is also important to truly understand the needs of the service user. 

Being adaptable is another key quality as some interventions may not work and you'll need to adapt the approach and believe there is a way forward.

What challenges do you commonly face in your role, and how do you overcome them? 

Some of the challenges I face in my role are meeting the unexpected demands of the ward environment which means at times, I have to adjust my schedule for the day. 

Clients lack of motivation to engage in occupational therapy is another challenge I face as engagement in therapy sessions and working with the Occupational Therapist is key for occupational goals to be achieved.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in occupational therapy? 

For anyone considering a career in occupational therapy, I would say go for it! It's so rewarding and the impact you can have on someone's life is huge. Try and get some work experience in a variety of areas, as Occupational Therapists can work everywhere!

Do you have any specific goals or aspirations for your career as an Occupational Therapist? 

My goals and aspirations for the future are to continue making a difference in the lives of people I work with. I will also continue advocating and achieving an equal, culturally diverse workplace wherever I go and maybe in the future work as an Occupational Therapist abroad.

Occupational Therapist jobs 

If you’re searching for your dream Occupational Therapist job, why not check out the current vacancies we have available? Or upload your CV and healthcare recruitment specialist, Natalie Boaler, will be in touch to discuss any relevant opportunities.  

Recruit Occupational Therapists 

Looking to recruit Occupational Therapists? We provide Occupational Therapists to NHS Trusts and private sector organisations nationwide on a temporary, permanent, and interim basis. 

If you’re keen to know more about our occupational therapy recruitment services, contact Natalie Boaler on 01772 954200.

Share your experience

Every individual brings a unique set of experiences, thoughts, and insights to the table. We believe in giving a voice to a community of professionals to inspire positive change and champion reform in the healthcare sector.  

If you work in the healthcare sector and would like to share your own personal and professional experiences, we’d love to hear from you. Perhaps you have a different perspective, could offer a fresh angle, or want to challenge assumptions. 

Simply reach out to our Head of Content, Nicole Sherwood, to discuss a collaboration which makes your voice count. 

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

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