Rachel Hill, MSc Advanced Occupational Therapy
"I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2005 and currently work in the Working Age Dementia service in Nottinghamshire. I wanted to further my knowledge by studying for an MSc in Advanced Occupational Therapy. In 2009 I began studying part time at the University of Derby and studied 8 modules relating to my field of work.
In March 2013, I enrolled for the Independent Scholarship Module for which I completed a piece research titled 'A study to evaluate the role of Occupational Therapy with people with Working Age Dementia who are no longer in employment'. This was a small study based on interviewing 5 participants, focusing on understanding their experiences of work and their experiences of seeing an OT.
Although the research was small scale, the results were in depth and showed that OT was highly thought of and valued. The results showed that although losing the role of being in employment is devastating, OT helped and enabled participants to engage in activities which were important to them. This gave the participants a sense of control, hope, enjoyment and opportunities for the future.
This was my first experience of conducting research and I found the process very valuable and meaningful to my clinical practice. I am in the process of disseminating the results of my research to colleagues and I am considering a journal publication in the future.
I feel that the course has given me the opportunity to enhance my practice by enabling me to apply the knowledge gained through studying to my clinical practice."