Occupational Therapy Week highlights the holistic role of this health profession in today’s health system

25 October

Taranaki DHB celebrates Occupational Therapy (OT) Week from 24 – 28 October this year, with a focus on raising public awareness about the many roles of occupational therapists.
Coralie Andrews, Taranaki DHB Occupational Therapy Community Clinical Leader said, “People often get confused about what occupational therapy is and, it’s often only when you meet one that you understand how we help. There are many things an Occupational Therapist is not, for example, we are not job-finders, physiotherapists, people who only supply equipment or ‘activity people’ to stop you getting bored in hospital.”

“Occupational Therapists are registered health professionals and their role includes assessing and treating people when they face health or disability-related challenges and working with them to improve self-care skills, education, work or social interaction.”

This year’s theme for OT Week is “Occupation without Exception” which means that every person is included.  There is also an emphasis on the value of occupational therapists in different work areas.

Mrs Andrews said, “We are health professionals who consider all areas of function across the whole of life and work in a fully holistic way.  OTs work with people who have “occupational” difficulties, including in hospitals, schools, work places, rest homes, mental health services and prisons just to name a few.”

“We help people who have experienced illness, injury or developmental delay to return to a previous occupation/activity or learn the skills needed to function as independently as possible.”

Taranaki DHB will celebrate OT Week with information in the main entrance foyer and a quiz for both staff and the general public to take part in to win prizes.  The week-long campaign will highlight the skills and training needed to become an Occupational Therapist.

Sophie Munro, an Occupational Therapist working primarily with patients aged over 65 in the Older People’s Health and Rehabilitation Ward at Taranaki Base Hospital, thrives on the opportunity to improve people’s quality of life.

“What drew me to OT work was the idea of helping patients gain independence after an injury or illness and watching them improve over time.”

Miss Munro studied a three year degree in Health Science majoring in Occupational Therapy at the Auckland University of Technology.  She also won a scholarship from  Taranaki DHB which helped to consolidate her career pathway.

“I came in for three weeks every summer during my degree to work as an OT assistant which was so valuable to my studies and helped me to apply the knowledge I was learning to working in a hospital setting.”

Once registered as an OT with the NZ Board of Occupational Therapy, an official practicing certificate is obtained which must be renewed each year to ensure the person is safe to practice as a health professional.

For more information on a career in Occupational Therapy click here.
To find out more about Occupational Therapy Week click here.




For more information please call:

Beth Findlay-Heath
Communications Advisor
021 665 017




Last Tuesday, October 25, 2016 updated:

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