Natalie Endresz

Occupational Therapy Book

Where did you undertake your placement?

At the Dorothy Thompson Day Program, in Norlane. My role was to assist with activities and be involved with the clients that attended the centre every Thursday. Clients generally had mental illnesses, dementia and were of low socio-economic status. There was no OT present, but I was able to observe and implement some first year OT theory by viewing my placement with occupational therapy lens.

What were the highlights of your placement?

I loved every minute of placement!! However, the main highlights were conducting several social profile interviews with new clients, providing the perfect opportunity to build repertoire and discover clients' interests and dislikes. I was able to run a Timed Up and Go activity and initiate a Brain Gym session, incorporating gentle physical exercises. The best moment was persuading one particular client to participate in all these activities, who never normally wants to try anything new and using this chance to find out about their past lives, experiences, family and stories!!!

What were the challenges of your placement?

One of the most difficult challenges was that once a client felt comfortable enough to talk freely with you, it was very hard not to get side-tracked and lose sight of the information you were trying to gain from them. It was invaluable experience to be able to practice guiding the conversation back without making the client feel like you don't have the time, don't care or are being to rude to listen to them!

What were the rewards of your placement?

Just the simple fact that every smile, every small gesture of kindness and every second of time spent talking to a client may have made their day, made them feel that someone cares and made them reminisce on a happy memory was definitely a huge reward of placement!! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a great program!

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