At the end of July BallyCara welcomed two Occupational Therapy (OT) students from the University of Sunshine Coast (UniSC) for their 10 week placement.
This was a valuable learning experience for existing BallyCara Staff and the OT students alike.
In celebration of World Occupational Therapy Day (27th October) below are some words from Megan and Paul about their experience on placement at BallyCara.
Firstly, thank you for having us! Thank you for welcoming us and allowing us into the BallyCara family for these 10 weeks.
The entire team at BallyCara have been very welcoming and engaging. We enjoyed our opportunities shadowing community Exercise Physiologists, Support Workers, Residential Physiotherapists and the Leisure & Lifestyle Team. No question felt too silly to ask, and all teams took the time to identify relevant client factors in a holistic Multi Disciplinary Team approach which incorporated the role of OT’s, this was vital to our growth and development.
We didn’t feel like students, we felt respected as peers and our contributions were valued. In particular, Georgia and Erika (BallyCara’s OT’s), made us both feel welcomed within the team and allowed us to collaborate alongside them. They were very willing to share their knowledge and experience with us.
We were exposed to the many facets of OT funding models in Aged Care including Home Care Packages, Short Term Restorative Care and Residential Care.
We were able to read, observe and participate in community client visits which was great as we got to see a range of different interventions such as home modifications and equipment prescriptions to increase the clients’ ability to stay in their own home for longer.
We were also very grateful to have had the opportunity to see what OT could look like in the residential aged care space. Working alongside the Leisure & Lifestyle and Allied Health teams, as well as the nursing/care staff was wonderful. All the staff were lovely and super helpful if and when we had questions. We loved getting to know the residents, hear their stories and experiences, and support them in whatever way we could.
We are proud of our projects including a mobility presentation to community clients, developing information flyers and other resources, as well as helping to complete surveys in Residential Care. These projects allowed us to develop our communication skills, work with groups and draw upon theoretical knowledge in a ‘real life’ setting. We feel as though we have been able to contribute to each client/resident and hope that we made just as much of a positive impact on them as they have had on us.
Overall, everyone has been so accommodating and welcoming to us both. We really appreciate all of the support we have had over the last 10 weeks as we continue along our OT learning journey. It has been obvious to us that BallyCara do practice what they preach in terms of wellness, office atmosphere, and the team dynamic.
We hope that future students learn as much as what we did in our few short weeks at BallyCara!
Megan & Paul :)