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Learners inspired by occupational therapy workshop

Students at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor in Dolgellau learned about the role occupational therapists play in hospitals and in the community

Health and Social Care students at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor were inspired by an occupational therapy workshop.

The session in Dolgellau was held to raise learners’ awareness of the role of occupational therapy in hospital settings and in the community.

Students also learned about the different career paths occupational therapy can offer, and university courses that can lead to working in the field.

One learner was so impressed she even changed their university application immediately afterwards!

Occupational therapy (OT) uses everyday activities, exercises and other therapies to aid and maintain people’s physical and mental health.

It is often used to help people who have physical disabilities, learning difficulties or mental health problems, as well as those recovering from an illness or operation.

The session in Dolgellau was delivered by Katie Morgan, an experienced occupational therapist, Ffion Owen, a former Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor student who qualified as an occupational therapist five years ago, and Anna Jones, an OT student currently doing work placement hours as part of her final year.

Learners listened to a talk before taking part in a workshop, with tasks relating to case studies based on individuals needing OT and other agencies to aid their recovery following a fall or a stroke.

Students had to consider causes, barriers to care and support, and other considerations that need to be made when supporting the individual in their recovery. They were able to compare and contrast the differences between hospital and community-based scenarios.

There were demonstrations of equipment including two beds and two hoists, with learners volunteering to try using them, while they were also shown other apparatus and asked to work out what it could be used for.

The feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive. Awel Jones, studying Level 2 Health and Social Care, said: “The session was really informative. Before attending the session I’ve always wanted to work with children, but this session was an eye-opener for me and has made me interested in working in the adult care sector.

“I liked that the work could be based in different locations, and the idea of working with other health and social care professionals. I also like the idea of supporting adults to live a good quality of life and supporting their independence.’’

Scarlett Smart, a Year 2 Level 3 Health and Social Care student, said: “This helped me decide that being an occupational therapist is what I want to pursue. I found out information I didn’t know previously and it made me eager to work in this medical area in the future.”

Cerys Jones, also a Year 2 Level 3 Health and Social Care student, said: “The occupational therapist talk day was very interesting. I found their job very fascinating, and I enjoyed the interaction with them, as well as helping them with the equipment they use.”

Sophie Bryant, also studying Level 3 Health and Social Care, said: “I thought the occupational therapist talk day was mind-opening. It allowed me to see what else the health and social care sector provides, as an occupational therapist is not a widely known thing to the public.”

Health and Social Care lecturer Laura Carr said: “The session was a great opportunity for students to have a greater insight into the role and responsibilities of an occupational therapist, how they contribute to society and the difference they can make in people's lives.

“Students were welcomed with smiles at a tea and coffee station, which was definitely a hit and helped put them at ease in participating in the workshop.

“The session was engaging as students were encouraged to share their ideas and apply key concepts learnt on their course here at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor in Dolgellau.

“Students were given a demonstration of equipment in use - some of which costs in the thousands. This naturally encouraged the students’ curiosity and opened further discussion on the benefits of such equipment and who may benefit from using such equipment.

“A lot of positive feedback was received after the session, with one student immediately changing her university application with keen interest of becoming an occupational therapist in the future.”

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