JCU student Kady Delle Baite has always found her happiness in helping others. Now in her fourth year of studying Occupational Therapy, Kady has been able to do just that.
Occupational therapists (OTs) are health professionals that support and assist people whose health makes it difficult for them to do the activities that are meaningful to them, or the actions that ‘occupy’ their everyday lives. They work with people from birth all the way through to end of life with both physical and mental health illnesses and disabilities.
“Occupational therapy covers a wide range of everyday activities. For example, one patient’s goal might be to get back to yoga class while another patient’s goal might be to simply make themselves a cup of coffee,” Kady says. “Everybody’s needs are different, and I want people to be able to live their life to the fullest. I’ve always loved to help people and I knew I wanted to work in the healthcare field for as long as I can remember. I was drawn to OT because it is such a diverse career that can take you anywhere.”
OTs can be found working in a wide variety of settings including schools, hospitals, prisons, private clinics, aged care facilities, rehabilitation centres and people’s homes.
“It is such a broad degree with so many career opportunities in so many different fields,” Kady says. “You can work in a rural generalist role or, if you’d prefer, you can specialise in something like burns or lymphedema management. Honestly, you can really make it your own and go wherever you want with it.”
Occupational therapy is also a career that is experiencing significant growth. OTs are being increasingly sought after in a number of fields and the demand is expected to continue to rise.
“Since I’m in my final year of uni, I’m going to be searching for jobs soon and it’s reassuring to know that there is a huge call for OTs at the moment. It’s really growing and expanding as a career, which is very exciting,” Kady says.