Susan Metheringham's story
When did you first become interested in Occupational Therapy?
I first became interested in Occupational Therapy when I was twenty years old and I went to look around the old Derby School of Occupational Therapy. However, I made the decision to study another field, as I wasn’t quite sure I was ready for OT. I then qualified and worked in catering and accommodation management, lived abroad and had a family before coming full circle and returning to thoughts of OT. This time round I had gained considerable life skills, knew what I wanted and here I am thirty years down the line feeling very privileged to have the opportunity to begin a new career.
How did you feel before starting the course?
Before starting last year I did have a few concerns about how I would fit in and what it would be like being a full time student again, but I needn’t have worried as from day one everyone, staff and students, were very supportive and inclusive and I have felt part of a family.
What have enjoyed about your course?
I have enjoyed the range of teaching methods on this course; workshops, lectures, quizzes, presentations and I particularly enjoyed the ‘self as therapist’ module, which initially sounded quite daunting but was really fun and valuable. The course constantly requires you to reflect upon your learning and really come to know your own strengths and weaknesses. The emphasis is upon developing yourself so that you can go forward and be the best practitioner possible to help other people, and the placements are a brilliant opportunity to put this into practice.
Tell us a little about the placement opportunities.
My first placement with a mental health service for older adults was a really positive experience; it gave me chance to demonstrate what I had learnt, and the feedback from my educator increased my confidence and helped me to build upon my strengths. I look forward to my future placements and really like the fact that I will be able to experience completely different areas of practice, which will help me to decide where I want to work when I qualify.
I still have quite a way to go but I am really proud to be a member of the OT community.