Tuesday 23 January 2018

Stacey is one of our community Grade 2 Occupational Therapists and has worked at Bass Coast Health for nearly nine years. Her involvement in the community setting largely centres around conducting home visit assessments, “I’m invited into people’s homes, which is a massive honour”, she says, “So I can see how they live and offer strategies and recommendations to assist them to stay in their homes longer”. This takes a sound knowledge of what clinical and social supports are available and the best ways to connect the appropriate supports to meet people's needs.


A holistic focus applies to BCH’s OT Team says Stacey. “Within our OT team we cover a vast array of areas, which is really good for our team because we can offer new staff lots of experience in lots of areas”, she says. “We help people in the inpatient wards, community settings and residential care - helping adults and children, in all different service types such as medical, surgical, palliative care and rehabilitation. Our team of eight is fantastically supportive and very skilled. We’re also lucky enough to be supported by the Allied Health Team which includes the Speech Pathology team, Dietetics team, Physiotherapy team and Allied Health Assistants, who we work closely with alongside our nursing and medical colleagues”. 


The broad range of expertise within BCH’s OT team means that new members of the team find they’re able to move around into different specialist areas that interest them or change focus when they feel they’ve had enough experience in one area. Collaboration is key to this.


“You work a little bit more independently in the community setting, but because of the high level of skill within our team, there’s always someone to go to for advice if you need it. When I started many years ago, I worked a lot on my own in the community. Now we work much more closely with each other and it’s nice to be able to draw on the skills of any one of our specialists within our Allied Health Team. In fact, as a team, we’re incredibly supportive of each other”, she says.


This is really important in Stacey’s other role working in the field of paediatrics, where she works with staff from other disciplines to screen kindergarten children for developmental delays and work with them to prepare them for entering primary school. “Working with this group of little people can be challenging because there’s sometimes no specific issue that these kids are referred with, so it can be a bit like putting your detective hat on to solve a mystery. I work with speech pathologists, physiotherapists and dietitians to diagnose and assess what stage a child is at developmentally and this collaborative model works really well. Of course it also involves working closely with the whole family and the kindergartens and schools too, so that each child can achieve their milestones and succeed and grow”.


The OT Team is growing, with recent changes improving access to opportunities for the team to learn new skills. “A lot of education is coming to us now, instead of us having to travel to it, including education that we can access online, which is great to see. Our Paediatric Allied Health Team is really evolving by using a truly multidisciplinary approach, and this benefits our clients and our staff”, says Stacey.


We’re currently looking for a new member to join our fantastic Occupational Therapy team. If you would like find out more, go to http://www.gha2.net.au/BCH/Content/Employment/Occupational-Therapist---Grade-2---Permanent--Full-Time- or call our OT Manager on 5671 3343.