Lily has enjoyed meeting many OTs and clients and gaining a better understanding of different roles. “I never realised how many different areas OTs can work in. They all have their specific roles which has been really interesting to learn about and see how broad the profession is.
“I didn’t realise how much all the different areas would interest me. I thought I was really set on working with kids but doing this practicum has made me realise how much of a difference OTs can make to people’s lives.
“I haven’t been exposed much to people living with disabilities. Sophie and I went into a community home which was pretty eye-opening to see so many people living with such high needs with just a couple of carers but also how a lot of them are so functional. It’s pretty great how an OT can bring in life-changing equipment to help with daily care routines. I honestly wouldn’t mind which part of the profession I worked in now, it’s all really exciting.”
Lily, who is 18 and formerly went to Lakes High School in Rotorua, is thoroughly enjoying student life in Dunedin and is now living in a hall of residence to get the full tertiary experience.
“I’m really enjoying it. It’s a big change from high school. There’s a lot more self-directed learning,” she says.
“We had three papers in our first semester which were really good at introducing you to what occupational therapy is really about. One was ‘foundations’ which is obviously learning the basics. Then ‘professional practice’ which has been helpful in how to interact with clients, and ‘human body’ which I found really interesting, learning about the body and how it works.”
Throughout her three year degree, Lily will have the opportunity to complete five practicums to give her a thorough grounding of what the realities of the job entail. She is grateful to have been placed with Cubro for her initial practicum and has enjoyed her four weeks of on-the-job experience in the Bay of Plenty.
“It’s been really cool. Everyone at Cubro is so friendly and happy to chat with me about their role and what they do, and how they link up with OTs which has been really nice.”