Naomi Farthing - Occupational Therapy
Choosing Occupational Therapy at Derby
I’ve always seen myself as a very empathetic and compassionate person, so I wanted a career where I could make a real difference in peoples’ lives. This naturally drew me to healthcare, and when I read about the role of an Occupational Therapist it seemed like a perfect personality-fit.
The open day at the University of Derby allowed me to get an understanding and feel for the course and campus life. What struck me about the course was the sense of community in the Occupational Therapy program and the friendliness of the staff. I was made to feel extremely welcomed by both staff and students.
The course structure and facilities at the university also appealed to me as it allowed for both written and practical learning opportunities. A wide range of teaching methods meant that I would be able to learn in many different ways and the clinical skills suites at the campus meant I could get practical experience before going on practice placements. Students are allocated a personal tutor throughout training which means they have the opportunities to get the help and support that they need throughout their studies.
I had the opportunity to present at a student conference to other Occupational Therapy students and qualified Occupational Therapists. This gave me real confidence and allowed me to present what I was passionate about – the whole experience was a brilliant learning opportunity.
I made loads of friends at the university who I am still in contact with and will always remember nights spent watching stand-up comedy together in the Student’s Union bar.
I am now working as a qualified Occupational Therapist in private mental health rehabilitation, helping those who have multiple mental health diagnoses and are under the criminal justice system. My role is to help rehabilitate them back into the community and to bridge the gap between institutional care and community life. A part of this is developing a robust therapeutic program including group work and 1:1 sessions utilising the community as much as possible. I work closely with their families, carers and a number of different professionals.
The course has helped me grow both as a person and as an Occupational Therapist. My confidence grew considerably on the course and it taught me the vital skills I needed for registration. Tutors at the university helped me to shape my own identity as a practitioner and always encouraged me to do the best that I could and to keep setting new goals for my development. I was encouraged to question practice and to always reflect and evaluate interventions. A number of practice placements allowed me to gain a wide range of experience across physical health, mental health and community settings which allowed me to apply for a number of Occupational Therapy positions.
In the future I intend to study for my post-registrations master’s degree in Advanced Occupational Therapy Practice and would like to become a practice placement educator.
What I would say to someone considering studying Occupational Therapy at Derby
I would highly recommend The University of Derby if you’re looking for a career in Occupational Therapy, and would strongly recommend visiting the university on open days to get an understanding and feel for the course and to meet current students. Visit the city centre and talk to the students and locals about what life is like living in Derby.
The lecturers at Derby are inspiring and motivational when teaching and talking about their subject – they get to know you, and you know that they are there to support you throughout your course and are genuinely concerned about your wellbeing and performance.
Occupational Therapy at Derby is extremely rewarding but also hard work, so ask as many questions as you can to make sure that the course is right for you.