- On 19/10/2021
What made you decide to become an occupational therapist (OT)?
My passion is to assist and support people to overcome everyday challenges and live a meaningful life. I enjoy working in the community to deliver occupational therapy services to people in their own home environment and to assist them to live as safely and independently as possible.
How long have you been an OT for?
I have been an OT for more than 10 years. I attained a Bachelor of Health Science in Occupational Therapy at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand in 2010 and gained work experience in acute and community settings before working at Mannacare.
How long have you been at MannaCare?
I have been working with MannaCare for more than 10 years since August 2010.
What do you enjoy the most in your role as an OT?
At that time I was studying Nursing, I had never heard of a profession called occupational therapy. Upon working as a student nurse and doing my second year placement at Auckland Hospital, I observed and liaised with OTs prior discharging our clients.
I have always wanted to pursue a profession in which I could support people, and I thought nursing would best complement my natural abilities. But then meeting and working with OTs, I realised that I had found what I was looking for. I wanted to be in a health care profession where I could spend quality time with my clients, and assist them to improve their quality of life in all aspects.
Occupational therapy was a perfect fit. I have found that it is one of the most holistic health care professions, and I am proud to have chosen this as my career path. It is a profession that requires sensitivity, understanding, and compassion; all of the characteristics that I value tremendously. Occupational therapy is a career that is certain to contribute much to society and bring enormous self-fulfilment.
What are your areas of expertise or interests?
Home Safety Assessments- Home Modification, Assistive technology and Falls Prevention.
How have OTs adapted during COVID-19?
In many ways including:
- Adapting to working virtually and at home to enable social distancing.
- Providing clients/families an alternative method of service delivery (remote service delivery) and learning new skills such as telephone, online/video consultations to conduct assessments.
- Contact with client/ carers is another thing that has radically changed – more telephone and email use, rather than face-to-face.
A past newspaper article where Joan was featured for OT Week back in New Zealand, while on her last year of OT practicum at Waitakere Hospital: https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/western-leader/701307/Occupational-therapists-make-a-difference