Occupation: It’s What We DO!
During the week of October 21-27, the national body of Occupational Therapists, OT Australia, celebrates and promotes the broad range of specialist skills and services that can be provided by Occupational Therapists.
Occupational Therapy, often referred to as OT, helps people to get the most out of life and minimise the effects of injury or illness. OT’s work closely with people to identify what is important to them and ways to enhance, acquire or regain skills for living. They assist people to achieve their goals by focusing on their strengths rather than their restrictions or barriers. OT’s consider any activity you ‘do’ as being an occupation – an occupation does not have to be a paid activity; it may be a daily activity you need to do such as getting dressed or preparing a meal, a recreational activity such as fishing or, be a part of your life role, such as driving to pick your child up from school. They work in a range of settings including hospitals, aged care, community health, mental health, workplaces, schools and private practice.
A university degree is required to become an Occupational Therapist and this can be undertaken at a number of Universities around Australia. For more information about OT, please visit the OT Australia website at: http://www.otaus.com.au
The number of therapists in the local area has grown to nine over the last twenty years when there were just a few visiting therapists from larger outlying centres such as Dubbo.
The first Mudgee based therapy position commenced in 1991 when Celia Burrows, moving from Sydney, was able to encourage the Dubbo based Department of Community Services to relocate a part time position (working with children and adults with a developmental disability) to Mudgee. Around the same time, Marilyn Baker commenced work in the area of occupational health and safety with Rehabilitation and Risk Control Services.
Resources were scarce and Celia recalls that the local Cudgegong Valley Trucking Association through significant fundraising efforts were able to support the purchase of much needed therapy equipment to begin a therapy centre for children. This centre was initially based in the Mudgee Hospital Grounds. Over time a Speech Pathologist and Physiotherapist joined the team; all utilising the therapy room. Many of these wonderful pieces of equipment are still being used by a team of therapists within the Department of Ageing Disability and Home Care.
From this time on, OT services across the area have grown and the Mudgee Community is now lucky to have a number of locally based OT’s, working within public health and private practice. To contact the OT’s in the Mudgee area just look for our contact details under the ‘Contact Us’ tab.