They do it for the love of it, and this week there is a recognition for the difference occupational therapists are making on a global scale.
Industry professionals are reflecting on how they’re making an impact on lives ahead of World Occupational Therapist Day (WOTD) on 27 October during OT Week.
Occupational therapist and Curtin University lecturer Dave Parsons says WOTD has internal and external importance.
“It’s fantastic for us to be recognised and hopefully it will illuminate to others the important role occupational therapists play in the lives of people,” he says.
Mr Parsons has been a registered OT since 2007 and is now working towards completing his PhD in the field.
Jayne McDonough OT for Riverland Kids occupational therapist Mercy Klynsmith shares a similar view and says OT Week will help people understand the nature of the profession.
“I think having something like OT Week that promotes occupational therapy is a great opportunity to share a bit more about what we do and give some insight into the awesome world of OT,” Ms Klynsmith expresses.
Providing services in regional South Australia, Ms Klynsmith enjoys the variety in the work.
“There are so many opportunities to support people from all different backgrounds and I love this variety,” she says.
“I also love that there are lots of opportunities for creativity and to think outside the box about how to best support clients to achieve their independence goals.”
There are currently over 16,000 employed OT’s in Australia with that number set to rise 21 percent by 2020.
Mr Parsons feels OT’s are playing a huge role in people's lives which continues to grow.
“We (occupational therapists) play an ever increasing role in the disability sector and in health in general,” Mr Parsons states.
“With the NDIS, we are very person centric and I think that will resonate well with the community and people.”
Ms Klynsmith also thinks that occupational therapists can positively impact the lives of people with disabilities.
“As OT’s, we are concerned about health from a holistic view - using therapy to support physical, emotional, social and psychological health, she explains.
“We work alongside clients to help them achieve the goals that they set, and provide them with opportunities to develop the skills that they need to do so.”
In the future, she’ll continue to use sensory strategies in her practice and strive to discover new ways to use it in therapy.
Both professionals and their world-wide colleagues will celebrating the significance of the day.