What Katie did next …in occupational therapy

Kate next to some assistive technology equipment in a kitchen area.It’s Occupational Therapy Week! And our chance to celebrate our occupational therapists (OTs) and how they’re helping to improve someone’s quality of life.

Our OTs work with individuals who need to make lifestyle changes after losing their sight. OTs make a significant and important contribution so people can complete everyday tasks. Find out more about how our Occupational Therapy Service can help you.

Kate Pyc is currently a VisAbility Therapy Assistant. She’s coming to the end of an occupational therapy degree at Edith Cowan University (link opens in new window). To mark this week, we quiz her on why she entered the profession and what areas interest her the most.

As an OT Assistant, what’s your current role at VisAbility?

“Good question. Anything goes and that’s why I enjoy this job so much, it’s the variety. I assist with OT assessments, so that means being out on the road visiting people in their homes. This may include putting tactile markers on kitchen appliances, or helping them learn about large magnifiers.

Kate sitting in wooded area with visual schedule on her lap I work with clients with vision impairment of all ages, from early intervention, to school age children, adults and seniors. This could be laminating large pictures called visual schedules. These are a series of pictures to communicate the steps needed to achieve an activity.

I spend one or two days at VisAbility and the rest of my time I devote to study. Of course, working closely with the OTs at VisAbility means that if I have any questions relating to my study, then they can help me. Whether that’s practical or theory, they’re always on hand to offer advice. They have been very supportive and I’m really blessed with some great work colleagues.”

Why do you want to become an OT?

“I’m 29, so it took me a while to decide what I wanted to do. I completed a chemistry degree, but the thought of working in a laboratory didn’t appeal to me. I love travelling, so have been away for extended periods. I’ve toured around Europe and taught at summer camps in America. Working with people is very rewarding. Nothing beats that feeling knowing you’re making a difference. I especially like working with older clients. Many can feel isolated when they lose their vision. They like conversation and having someone to talk to.”

How do you explain occupational therapy to people?

“I have been asked that question a lot. If you have had an accident or illness, an occupational therapist can help you regain your confidence. I tell my friends that occupational therapy is finding the easiest way to do things to help others.”