HAND IN HAND
What makes you want to become an occupational therapist?
I like to work with my hands, doing handicraft, sewing, knitting, etc. As well, I like to think, analyse and organise, but not sitting at a desk inside an office. When I was first introduced to occupational therapy while I was in high school (in the 70’s), I was immediately gravitated to it. I’m truly thankful to the friend who told me about occupational therapy.
As an occupational therapist who started the journey some time back, I find it fulfilling when I see the young therapists I work with start to truly appreciate the impact and value of Occupational Therapy. It’s just so heart-warming to see the job-satisfying smile on a young therapist’s face!
In your years in occupational therapy, what have you learnt most?
Motivation is an important factor in any intervention programme. I once worked with two little boys, who had spastic quadriplegia (a severe form of cerebral palsy involving arms and legs), and spastic diplegia (a relatively milder form of cerebral palsy involving mainly the legs).
They progressed from being unable to sit or do anything for themselves to learning to walk with a pair of quadsticks and a wheelchair. As a young therapist, it was like a miracle to me for children with such involvement to be so functional! From then on, I dare not underestimate the potential of any children, and more importantly, I always look at a child as a person who has more than just a set of skills to be trained!
The other thing that strikes me is the importance of the process in doing a job! It is not “what” but “how” we do a job that we learn and develop ourselves, building the foundation, such as endurance and resilience, in enabling our skills and actualising our potential.