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Small changes can make a huge impact

By Josh Jennings, from My Career, The Age, July 29 2018

Melbourne OT in the workplace

Occupational therapist and ergonomist Jennifer Robinson says she can see the impact she has on her clients’ health and wellbeing quickly.

A good example, she adds, is a client she had who experienced the most extreme pain (due to a chronic back condition) she had encountered in any client.

Robinson was involved in getting the man the right wheelchair, bed, mattress, sling on his hoist and home modifications.

There’s a lot of expertise involved in these decisions and a lot of payoff.

‘‘He was really rewarding to work with because he was lapping up all the information and wanting to make changes,’’ says Robinson. ‘‘I was seeing him quite often and we could see the changes happening.’’

Robinson is the owner of Robinson OT (formerly Melbourne OT), a provider of occupational therapy services for people at home and work. She visits people at home to advise them on aids, home modifications and equipment to support everyday activities and she attends workplaces to advise clients on issues relating to ergonomics and occupational health and safety.

Robinson says one day at work can be markedly different from the next. ‘I never know what’s coming next,’’ says Robinson.

‘‘When I get up in the morning, I think I know what I’m doing but it’s different from what I thought it would be.’’
Robinson, an OT for more than 25 years, has been employed in various environments including hospitals, corporate, small business and public health.

Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy), Graduate Diploma of Ergonomics, Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety and professional memberships and registrations. She established Melbourne OT in 2004 and she’s also a part-time OT at Banyule Community Health and director of Podpad, an online distributor of ergonomic aids.

The Podpad, a pyramid-shaped cushion designed to comfortably hold people’s electronic tablets, phones and physical books, was the brainchild of Robinson’s school-aged daughter Ellie, who conceived the idea to help her grandma comfortably use a new iPad.

Robinson cites her Podpad business as a good indication of how the fundamental skills occupational therapists acquire are transferable to a range of career opportunities.

She adds that emerging and future OTs need to be proactive about building up skills and experiences in different settings and scenarios to really develop successful careers.

‘‘I’m a massive believer that career opportunities don’t fall in your lap,’’ says Robinson. ‘‘You have to make them.’’

What is an occupational therapist? 

Melbourne OT assists older and disabled adultsOccupational therapy for adults and seniors

When an adult or an older person is affected by an illness, accident or workplace injury, an occupational therapist can help them on the road to recovery.

They may assist with the return to home and work life through the development of new skills for daily living, such as household tasks and personal care, return-to-work or leisure programs.

They may also make or facilitate changes to the work or home environment to make life easier and safer.

What do Occupational Therapists do? Click the link to find out. 

Some more recommended reading

Why grab rails are so important

Here is a great document from the South Australian Government: Grab Rails

Independent Living Centre

Here is a link to the ILC, a complete resource for aids and equipment in Australia.  http://ilcaustralia.org.au/

Confused by your IT?

Want to learn more about how to use your iPad or computer.  Check out what IT and Coffee has to offer.  www.itandcoffee.com.au  

Homefast Rails

Information on the Homefast Falls and Accidents Screening Tool. www.researchgate.net

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