Celebrating National OT Week with IAHA Member Amanda Bailey

My name is Amanda, and I am a proud Ngarrindjeri woman living and working on Kaurna land. I moved into occupational therapy from nursing, with the goal to be a palliative care occupational therapist. This dream was achieved, but short lived, due to funding limitations. I have worked across rehabilitation, palliative care, and aged care as an occupational therapist, and have now found my long-term place as a Homecare Occupational Therapist in aged care.

Occupational therapy is a wonderful Allied Health profession, because in this role the word occupation refers to all the meaningful things that we do every day which ‘occupies’ our time. This is different for each person at each different stage of our lives. This is one of the things I love about working as an OT, I get to look at the whole person, their key networks, and the wider community, and my referral can be for almost anything. This is a challenge and the thing I love, all rolled into one.

Working in homecare as an aged care occupational therapist allows me to assist clients and their families to find ways that enable them to stay in their chosen home and take part in meaningful activities. I work with my clients and families to develop strong, trustworthy relationships. I explain processes and policies, and never make a promise I cannot keep. Through relationship building, I am privileged to hear many stories and can unpack some deeper meanings, rather than only being given the generic surface information that someone tells ‘any old health professional’ during a rushed visit. Soon my role will grow to include not only metro Adelaide, but regional South Australia too, which will enable me to work with a broader range of clients, with challenges that relate to living in rural and remote South Australia.

I wanted to become an OT to be part of assisting our communities to grow and develop, through being able to take part in meaningful activities, and ultimately improving our physical and mental health through taking part in these activities. When we are doing what is meaningful to us during the day, our identity grows and we can achieve so much more than being disengaged. Empowering our communities to live well and thrive in culture.

One of the best things about my role is the joy you can bring by assisting with a simple change. I always tell people: here are a few options, this is why I am making this recommendation, now what do you want to do? OTs look at the bigger picture, the person, the environment, client function, and what meaningful occupation the person wants to take part in. OT is an empowering profession and very client centred, another reason I love this job.

OT week is a great opportunity for everyone to be able to increase their understanding of what an OT is and some of what we do. As it is such a broad profession, it cannot be summed up easily. We are always needing more OTs and OT week may be the thing that attracts and empowers the next generation of deadly OTs.

October 29, 2022


Posted by: Jessica Schulz