Interviewer Isabelle Raven
Interviewee Trinity Faulkner
What are you studying?
A Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (honours) at UniSA.
What is occupational therapy?
As defined by Occupational Therapy Australia, Occupational therapy (OT) is a client centred health profession that enables people to participate in activities they find meaningful. These activities include taking care of oneself (and others), working and participating in hobbies, social events and even sleep!
OTs complete ongoing assessments with their clients to understand what activities they can do (and those they want to do), any current limitations, their goals and also to offer advice and techniques about how to do something more easily and safely.
What made you want to study/become an OT?
When I was younger, I used to come along to my little sister’s OT appointments at a paediatric clinic, and it looked like such a positive, supportive and active environment for both the children as well as the therapists, so I thought ‘this looks perfect!’. I always knew I never wanted an ‘office job’ staring at a computer all day (no offence to all the people that do, I just simply have too much energy for that lifestyle!)
What would you say to someone wanting to get into OT?
I would say: get ready for a very practical course! I love how active and practical the OT degree is, as I find, I learn so much better in a visual setting. There are definitely difficult aspects of the content we learn but as is the same in all courses! However, I definitely recommend that if you’re thinking about getting into OT, just do it! There are so many branches in OT, there is definitely an area for everyone!
What do you find most rewarding about your degree?
What I find to be the most rewarding about my degree is how much I am learning about people through a holistic lens. OT is a very holistic health profession, and I am finding that it is changing some of my attitudes and the way I used to think. Ultimately, it will be much more rewarding once I finish my degree and I’m out working with real people and helping them reach their goals and getting back to doing the things they love! That is what I think will be the most rewarding.
What do you find most challenging in the field of OT?
The most challenging thing I have come across in the field of OT, so far, is the number of frameworks and models we need to know. There is a framework and model for just about everything in the OT world and it can be so confusing to know which one you need to apply in a specific context. Another challenging aspect of OT, there is so many different settings that OTs can work in. You can find OTs in hospitals, schools, workplaces, rehabilitation facilities, the community, in mental health and so many more places I cannot even think of right now—people do not realise how versatile of a profession OT is! When learning all these frameworks and models, we need to be able to be flexible and adaptable in applying them to all different settings, so I am finding it is taking a little bit of practice and revision!
How do you apply what you learn to your everyday life?
I find that I am applying what I am learning in my course to almost everything I do in my everyday life. In OT, you learn how important your environment is in being able to do all the things you want/need to do every day. I just cannot help but always analyse my surroundings, how they are impacting me, why I am doing something well and why I am struggling with a task! I cannot help but over-analyse all the people around me and realising why they do the things that they do and why they do not like the things they do! Studying OT makes you become incredibly insightful, understanding and empathetic of other people as you realise all the variables that are impacting people’s lives.
What are your plans after studying?
At this stage of being halfway through my degree, I am hoping to work in paediatrics in the future, but who knows, I might change my mind after placement!