‘The Backyard Project’ – a collaborative green space community engagement project with a Ukranian family and YSJ occupational therapy students

This blog has been written by two of our academic staff, Dr Hannah Spring and Dr Fiona Howlett.  We are posting this in Occupational Therapy Week 2023 to showcase a very successful collaborative  community engagement project with a Ukrainian refugee family and occupational therapy students from YSJ.  

During summer 2023,occupational therapy students at York St John University have been working closely with a Ukrainian refugee family to restore their back garden.  The family did not arrive in the UK on the Government Homes for Ukraine scheme and therefore on arrival were not subject to the benefits of this scheme.  York City of Sanctuary took on the task of finding housing for the family and in the spirit of philanthropy this was granted by two local Quakers who had a rental property available.  The property, however, needed significant renovation and repairs before it could be occupied and the Quakers put considerable funds and effort into making the property habitable.  Grateful for this kind intervention from the Quakers, York City of Sanctuary set out to do something to say thank you.  The only remaining area left in need of attention was the garden and hence, ‘The Backyard Project’ was born.  With our ongoing reputation for supporting sanctuary seekers through green spaces, the occupational therapy team at York St John University were absolutely delighted to be asked by York City of Sanctuary to take on this project.  It was an honour to have the opportunity to make difference to a Ukrainian family in York and with the help of four enthusiastic students putting their occupational therapy skills to use, worked collaboratively and compassionately with the family to create a meaningful outdoor space for the family to enjoy. And what a transformation! Both the family and ourselves at YSJU are blown away with the result.  And as a learning experience for the students, this work has fed into their final year occupational therapy research projects and they had a lot to say about their experience!

“We found the project to be an empowering and rich learning experience.  We are grateful for the lovely connection and friendship we built with the family through a mutual interest in gardening, where we learnt new skills from each other, had fun along the way and learnt more about the Ukranian culture. We enjoyed spending time with the family whilst we developed the garden and valued their insight and input” (Libby Cartwright and Nikoletta Szabo, Final Year Occupational Therapy Students

“As an occupational therapy student I was overjoyed when I learned that the family shared an interest in gardening as this allowed both our meaningful occupations to coincide.  The physical difference made to the garden is something that everyone involved should be so proud of and we should always advocate for more projects like this to be done as it definitely makes an impact”

(Sophie Rowland, Final Year Occupational Therapy Student)


“The back yard project was an amazing opportunity to be a part of. Working in collaboration with the family, we managed to create a little corner of paradise that offers a safe and meaningful space to be enjoyed by all”

(Katy Wood, Final Year Occupational Therapy Student)

Below are some photos of the project. 



An image of a garden which has weeds and is not well maintauned

An image of a garden where the grass is patchy with lots of weeds


An image of a well maintained garden with new green grass, flower beds and new paving stones.

A picture of a newly landscaped garden


A picture of three students gardening

We thank York City of Sanctuary for this opportunity to collaborate on an important social justice related matter and look forward to more in the future. 

Dr Hannah Spring and Dr Fiona Howlett

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Welcoming new Occupational Therapy Academic staff to YSJ

Our October blog is to welcome three new staff to the Occupational Therapy Team at YSJ: Emma, Tracey and Lauren.  All three have join us from clinical practice and therefore bring with them a wealth of varied experience. They have kindly written a quick summary of who they are and their experience for us to share here. 

Tracey Woodall – is working with us Wednesdays to Fridays


My name is Tracey Woodall, and I am really excited to have joined the team at YSJ. I qualified at YSJ in July 2004 and since then have worked in a high secure forensic setting. I have worked across all 5 directorates within the hospital and am currently based in the Learning Disability Directorate. I work with patients individually and in groups. They have a range of diagnoses including autism, dyspraxia, mental illness and personality disorders. I use a trauma informed approach. Many patients experience occupational deprivation and have extremely low levels of motivation. I am creative in applying interventions to ensure they minimise risk and meet security demands in order that patients move along their treatment pathway. In 2021 I qualified as a Sensory Integration Practitioner which has brought an interesting perspective to my practice. I am passionate about supporting individuals learn to develop their skill set and to help support them to widen their horizons in whatever field they wish to pursue. I also enjoy buying boots.

Emma Barnes – is working with us Mondays through to Friday lunchtime.

My name is Emma and I am really excited to have joined the team at York St John. I have come from a background of working in Emergency Departments over the past 15 years in both Leeds and York, and I look forward to sharing my past experiences and knowledge with you. I have supervised many students from York St John on their placements, so it will be interesting to now be on the educational side. As well as my clinical background, I have volunteered as national lead for RCOT in the Acute Care and Emergency forum of the Older People Specialist Section and have also enjoyed guest lecturing at York St John. I really look forward to meeting you all!’

Lauren Bell – is working with us full time

Hello, my name is Lauren; I have recently joined the OT team here at York St John. I graduated as an occupational therapist from Northumbria University in 2018. My MSc research explored the lived experience of occupational performance for individuals with multiple sclerosis. My clinical experience is in mental health, and I have worked in both adults and older peoples services. My most recent role was in a community mental health service for older people. I provided specialist occupational therapy for patients residing in care homes, experiencing a relapse or deterioration in their mental health. I have particular interests in occupational therapy models, the role of occupational therapy in dementia care, and occupational identity in older adults.


YSJ students – you will be starting to see Emma, Tracey and Lauren in your teaching sessions increasingly over the next few weeks. YSJ practice educators  – you will start to see them during placement visits. Please all give them a warm welcome!

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Showcasing the wonderful work of students from Pinc College

Over the summer I have been making links with Pinc college who are a specialist creative education college based within Yorkshire Museum in York for neurodivergent young people aged between 16-25. They also offer courses in arts based spaces in Halifax, Leeds and Bradford. A short video about Pinc is below:  

Students from York Pinc came to YSJ campus in June to exhibit their artwork at the York Autism Community Of Practice. The community of practice is hosted by York St John and facilitated by a group of YSJ academic staff who are interested in neurodiversity –   Sue Mesa (Occupational Therapy), Lorna Hamilton (Psychology), Jonathan Vincent (Education) and Hilary Conroy (Social Work/Counselling). Information about the community of practice can be found here: 


Some photographs of the students exceptional  artwork can be seen below: 

We were so impressed with the artwork and keen for others to see it, that we borrowed it from Pinc to further displayed it  at Quiet Pride in August which was also hosted at YSJ. 

Pinc students have also agreed for us to display their art work and their written descriptions of what it represents at YSJ for the start of term. It is currently displayed on the  Occupational Therapy notice boards on the second floor of DeGrey building. YSJOT student’s please do go and have a look before we have to return it to Pinc in October!  We are very much looking forward to maintaining this new collaboration with Pinc which is an excellent example of inclusive education. 

Follow Pinc on Twitter with the following twitter handle @pinccollege

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Restarting the YSJOT blog with a student review of the RCOT conference

There are so many exciting things going on @YSJOT that we are restarting our blogging as a way to share these. Ahead of the new term we want to showcase some things that have been happening over the summer months. First up is a blog from two of our first year MSc students who were successful in applying for the funded student places to the RCOT 2023 conference. Here is a round up of their conference experience:

The Annual RCOT Conference

Each year, two students from York St John are able to attend the annual RCOT conference and participate in discussion, listen to guest speaker, and come back to the university with increased knowledge of current research and talking points. Emily Sullivan and Meg Hitchen, first years on the MSc course attended. We attended a range of talks by experts in their areas, with a focus on inclusivity and diversity, growing OT in primary care, and achieving health equity. We summarised the information into helpful online infographics so other students can get a nice overview of the information discussed and click on the links to the full videos if they wish. The talks attended and summarised include: the forensic setting and acute psychosis, seclusion, workplace diversity, independent practice, primary care and referral pathways, cancer rehabilitation and horticulture, stroke co-design intervention, and older adults falls prevention.

We thoroughly enjoyed attending the conference and it created much discussion of the topics raised and ideas of career paths and research we had not considered. We hope you like the posters we created and hope the information is helpful! If you are a current student and interested in attending the conference next year, we definitely recommend attending!

Forensic Setting

Workplace Diversity  

Independent Practice  

Primary Care – Referral Pathways

Cancer Rehabilitation + Horticulture

Stroke Intervention + Older Adults Falls Prevention

Emily and Meg (MSc OT students)

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Be inspired to become an Occupational Therapist

It has been a challenging 18 months for everyone during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Our students have shown resilience and determination to achieve their ambition of becoming occupational therapists.  Their passion for the profession shines through and it is always rewarding for the OT team at York St John University to watch our students grow personally and professionally over the duration of their studies.  

We have a lot to celebrate this year.  The Occupational Therapy Undergraduate Programme was voted course of the year 2021 by students at the York St John University Student Union Awards.  One student said “Or tutors consistently support, guide and encourage us, making us better professionals, and better people.  They are role models for the profession and for life”. 

Our final year students and Alumni from the Undergraduate Programme took part in the “OT in a Box” recruitment project promoting the profession to secondary school pupils.  Listen to Freya and James, final year students and Alex, Alumni talking about the reasons why they chose Occupational Therapy as a career and why they chose to study Occupational Therapy at York St John University.

Freya – Why I chose occupational therapy as a career                 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCqDB7CFXkY

James – Why I chose to study occupational therapy at York St John University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEfcR3c7re0&t=7s

Alex, Alumni and Occupational Therapist talks about why he chose OT as a career, why York St John and a day in his life as an Occupational Therapist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c8ck96kuZg&t=9s

If you are interested in studying Occupational Therapy at York St John University attend our next Open Day on Saturday 24th July 2021.  Further details can be found on our webpages.  Contact Alex Deacon, Admissions, admissions@yorksj.ac.uk and Karen Wilson, Admissions Tutor for the Undergraduate Programme, k.wilson1@yorksj.ac.uk  


@YSJOT blog-July 2021, Karen Wilson, Senior Lecturer and Admissions Tutor.

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Evidence-based practice in action: facilitating a journal club on placement

In this blog, final year occupational therapy students Victoria Bell and Katie Jackson share their experience of facilitating a journal club whilst on clinical practice placement, and how this gave them an insight into the professional and service development that can come from evidence-based practice.

On placement we are working alongside the Children’s Therapy team in Scarborough and were recently asked to facilitate a journal club as part of a staff meeting. After a search of Google Scholar, we identified an article entitled ‘Pediatric Telehealth: Opportunities Created by the COVID-19 and Suggestions to Sustain Its use to Support Families of Children with Disabilities’ (Camden and Silva, 2021). We chose this article because it was relevant to both Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, where telehealth is currently being used to deliver services.  At the beginning of this pandemic, the Children’s therapy team were forced into a new way of working – virtually. While this was not to everyone’s liking, the service had to adapt to accommodate the restrictions surrounding COVID-19 and to enable them to continue to deliver therapy to children in need.

This article we selected by Camden and Silva (2021) is not a typical journal article but more of a perspective piece, discussing the pros and cons of telehealth. A standard critical appraisal tool would therefore not have been appropriate and so we developed our own critical appraisal tool to help guide our discussion during the journal club around the key points of the article.  This included considering the advantages of telehealth, and the extent to which appointments conducted virtually are more accessible to a broader variety of patient.  The article showed telehealth to be cost effective, feasible and client centred, delivering the right information and support at the right time in the right place. Within the journal club discussion an advantage highlighted for clinicians was a reduction in travel time.  With some locations of service delivery being rural and covering a wide area (Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale) telehealth was felt by the team to be efficient. However, it was also highlighted that there are limitations to the use of telehealth. For example, those most in need are generally those with reduced access to technology and therefore unable to participate or engage in virtual appointments. In addition, telehealth was considered a good concept for use with children, but not suitable for every child. There were concerns regarding appointments that required a face-to-face approach, prompting discussion around the understanding of when telehealth is the most appropriate approach. Both the recommendations of the paper and the clinicians attending the journal club concluded that a blended approach would be conducive to best practice.

The advance in technology and access to the correct IT systems were identified to be a barrier of working virtually. Under normal circumstances, the introduction of telehealth into this service would have taken years and correct training would have been provided. However, due to the pandemic, technology and clinicians had to adapt fast with little training to provide essential therapy for those children in critical need. A discussion took place about the competence of clinician’s IT skills and the continuous IT problems that still regularly occur throughout services. To approach this, the article suggested that if this way of working is to continue in the future, IT consultants should be included as part of multiple disciplinary teams. This would reduce/minimise disruption to delivering services via telehealth, reducing the stress levels and anxiety of professionals who regularly experience technical difficulties.

The article also discussed the need for more support for the physical and mental wellbeing of therapists engaging in telehealth.  Clinicians at the journal club expressed elevated feelings of fatigue whilst continuing to use telehealth to deliver services. Telehealth can for instance impact on physical health through reduction in movement, and emotional health through exhaustion from continual videoing. Broadly, they voiced a positive outlook towards telehealth and a motivation to continue working in this way, however were in agreement that if virtual ways of working are to continue, this would be something that needs addressing within the service.

Other areas of discussion were focussed around uncertainties into the effectiveness of their delivery of service and how this impacted on patient satisfaction. As a new way of working, participants found it beneficial to use this evidence to reflect and to compare techniques, critically evaluating what is needed and suggested for best practice. After discussion, clinicians felt more confident in providing healthcare through telehealth as from the journal club, they were able to provide a clear rationale, backed up by evidence for their decision making within practice. Overall, the journal club prompted the clinicians to reflect on their own professional skill set and adapt their approach to a more evidence-based approach. The journal club prompted the sharing of ideas for service development that would benefit both patients and healthcare professionals.

From facilitating and participating in a journal club, we have now seen first-hand and learnt the true value of evidence base practice, and most importantly how it informs and shapes our practice. Not only have we gained valuable knowledge from this article, but we have also played a part in bringing positive change to health service delivery, for best practice directly influenced by research evidence. The discussion between different clinical areas was highly beneficial and enabled different views and concepts to be heard.  These shared ideas helped bring together a mutually beneficial and enjoyable discussion.

As student occupational therapists we felt valued and part of a professional team.  To have the opportunity to facilitate this journal club felt like a great achievement.


Camden, C. & Silva, M. (2021) ‘Pediatric Telehealth: Opportunities Created by the COVID-19 and Suggestions to Sustain Its use to Support Families of Children with Disabilities’, Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 41(1), pp. 1-17.

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Working with refugees and asylum seekers to enhance the occupational therapy curriculum

Our March blog comes from Dr Hannah Spring and Fiona Howlett who provide a brief overview of how their work with refugees and asylum seekers is informing the occupational therapy curriculum.

Above: York St John University student and staff project teams from recent academic years who worked on  refugee and asylum seeker research studies.


In recent years the world has seen record levels of mass migration due to war, conflict and political persecution.  Many people who have been the victims of forced migration find themselves seeking asylum thousands of miles from home in unfamiliar and often hostile environments.  Situations like this can often lead to occupational disruption in which familiar daily life is drastically altered and preventing engagement with dignified and meaningful occupations. 


What we do

Participating in meaningful occupations is a fundamental aspect of the human experience and crucial to health and well-being.  Those seeking asylum or refugee status in the UK encounter significant barriers to integration which can often result in occupational deprivation.  This issue goes to the very heart of the work occupational therapists do to improve quality of life.  At York St John University staff from the occupational therapy team have developed links with a drop-in service for asylum seekers and refugees in Stockton-upon-Tees, and more locally with partners in York to develop mutually beneficial relationships.  As a result of this we have collaborated in a number of activities with some very positive outcomes.  These include:

  • Student and staff co-production of impactful research though SCoRe (Students as Co-Researcher) projects to help inform UK service development and policy concerning the occupational needs of asylum seekers and refugees.


  • Presentations given at national and international conference presentations by staff and students, and the publication of peer-reviewed research papers including 10 students as named authors.


Above Left: Staff and students presenting at the World Federation of Occupational Therapist Congress in South Africa.  Above Right: Staff and students presenting at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Student Conference.

  • Regular talks and lectures from volunteers and asylum seekers from the drop-in service to occupational therapy students to aid student learning and understanding of this population group.


  • Attendance at the OT Society Christmas Talent Show each year from members of the drop-in service and musical performance contributions from asylum seekers and refugees to support cultural understanding and integration.

Above: The OT Society Christmas Talent Show with members of the Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project Stockton.  Photograph reproduced with full permission from Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project Stockton.

  • Spring into Action Campaign – a student led charitable campaign by the OT Society, and regular charitable donations of clothes, toiletries and household items from York St John to the drop-in service at Stockton (please drop-off any donations you may wish to offer in DG310 – we visit the service regularly and take donations each time).

Above: Refguee and Asylum Seeker Project Stockton accepting donations from York St John University students and staff from the Spring into Action campaign. Photograph reproduced with full permission from Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project Stockton.

  • The attainment of a plot of land at the Haxby Road allotment site of York St John University. With the help of a grant we are currently working on the development of this allotment site for a join community allotment project initiative with Refugee Action York.  This project will link York St John occupational therapy students with local refugees for the purposes of supporting community integration, dignified and meaningful occupation, and health and well-being.

Above: The allotment site at Haxby Road

Above Left: York St John University students with service users at Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project Stockton.  Above Right: Refugee Week 2019. Stockton-on-Tees. Photographs reproduced with full permission from Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project Stockton

Why does it matter?

The collaborative work we do with refugees and asylum seekers ensures the delivery of a contemporary curriculum that is informed directly by the people occupational therapy can benefit.  It enhances the student experience by enabling them to interact and form relationships with people from different cultures and to understand and contextualise global problems that affect us all.  It also provides students with the opportunity to engage in real world research with a compassionate ethos that aims to be impactful to public policy, the profession of occupational therapy and in achieving occupational justice for asylum seekers and refugees.  But more importantly, the relationship we have is truly reciprocal.  Being given the opportunity to engage with students is highly valued by our asylum seeker and refugee friends.  It provides them with a safe platform that bypasses media manipulation and from which their real voices can be heard.  It also enables them to provide pure education on why they migrate and what their occupational needs are when they arrive in the UK.  Our work was instrumental in York St John achieving University of Sanctuary status in 2018, and as we move towards the development of an Institute for Social Justice, this work and its maintained development will continue to hold great value.


Dr Hannah Spring and Fiona Howlett


Key Reference

Spring, H., Howlett, F., Connor, C., Alderson, A., Antcliff, J., Dutton, K., Gray, O., Hirst, E., Jabeen, Z., Jamil, M., Mattimoe, S., Waister, S. The value and meaning of a community drop-in service for asylum seekers and refugees. International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care. January 2019. Available from: https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/IJMHSC-07-2018-0042

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New year reflections on the MSc OT programme

Our first blog of 2020 comes courtesy of Sue Mesa, Course Lead for MSc Occupational Therapy.

The end of the year and the beginning of the new year is a busy time on the MSc Occupational Therapy programme, with cohorts of students starting and competing their programmes. In November we celebrated our first cohort of MSc OT students graduating from the programme at the York Minster. All of this cohort are now working as Occupational Therapists in lots of different settings and it was fantastic to hear how they were getting on. Soon we will be trying to enlist some of this group as new practice educators ?

Above: Graduating MSc Occupational Therapy Students of 2019

This week we will be welcoming our 2020 cohort of MSc students to York St John  and on behalf of all the OT team I would like to offer a very warm welcome to them all.  We have students joining us with a wide range of clinical and academic experiences and it’s often this diversity that creates great learning opportunities for everyone. With this in mind as a staff team, we will be encouraging them all to be confident to share their skills and experiences and support each other in learning. The course is intensive and challenging, but we also try to have some fun in the process. 

Our 2019 cohort are half way through their programme now and I’m sure will be wondering where that first year has disappeared to! They are going out onto their role emerging placements and these are in a wide range of settings with lots of different groups/communities, including people experiencing domestic violence, a veterans charity, a youth homelessness project, primary and secondary schools, care farms and horticulture projects and a charity for people with dementia.  We are very much looking forward to supporting these placements and hearing all their innovative ideas about what Occupational Therapy could offer within these services. 

Our 2018 cohort finished their final placement just before Christmas and it was lovely to have them back in university for placement debrief where they reflected on their learning over cups of tea and chocolate. This debrief really highlighted they are all now ready to be qualified Occupational Therapists. They will be presenting their research projects at the end of January in a student conference, and this will be their final academic assessment on the programme. We will be encouraging the 2019 cohort  and the third year BSc students to come along and watch these presentations too. It is always a bit sad to say goodbye to students we have worked so closely with, but this is mixed with being proud of their achievements and excited for them for their future careers.

Here’s to 2020! 

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A day in the life of an occupational therapy student on placement

Our latest blog features MSc Occupational Therapy student Jo Johnson, who takes us on a typical day in her life whilst on placement on surgical wards and ITU.

Hello, my name is Jo and I am a final year MSc Occupational Therapy student, currently undertaking my final practice placement on surgical wards.

The purpose of occupational therapy is to facilitate the client or patient to engage in the occupations that are meaningful to them. There is an endless range, as this can include everything from going to the toilet, brushing your teeth and eating, to things like painting, playing a musical instrument, or mountain climbing.

In a hospital no two days are the same. The surgical wards where I am on placement mostly have patients who have had surgery on their gastric or urinary system, or else have a health complaint related to these areas.


I arrive at placement early, and use the first half hour to check my paperwork is up to date, or to look up any unfamiliar terms that I wrote down in my notebook the day before. I am currently getting to grips with a lot of new language!

At 8:30am the team, which is made up of Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Rehabilitation Assistants, heads up to the Intensive Treatment Unit.

It is quite unusual for an occupational therapist to be based on the ITU, but it is an emerging area of practice.  Research has shown that helping people who are very unwell or immediately post surgery to complete activities of daily living for themselves aids recovery. It can also help to reduce ITU related delirium.

I accompany my educator to see a patient who had a major surgery the evening before. He is awake, and consents to attempt sitting out of bed and doing some personal care for himself. We have to manage various drains in his body and different lines coming from his arms and neck which are monitoring his vital signs. The patient does really well, managing to get himself into a sitting position on the end of the bed. His blood pressure remains stable so he progresses to standing and then transferring into his chair.

We set him up with a bowl of water, his toiletries and some towels so that he can wash and clean his teeth for himself. We put clean bedclothes on his bed, which is lucky because after he finishes washing his blood pressure starts to drop very low, so we assist him back into bed and document all this in his notes. Once this patient is more stable he will come down to the surgical ward, so he will have the same therapists throughout his time in hospital.


We head down to the wards and get a handover from the nurses about the different patients. Some of them we know already and others are new. I do a couple of initial interviews with patients. These interviews are to gather information about how they manage with their various occupations at home, such as personal care, domestic tasks and their hobbies. This can help to find out if a patient needs further rehabilitation or extra support at home, so we can plan our interventions or make the appropriate referrals onto rehab placements or to social services for a package of care to be put in place.

I file these interviews in the patients’ notes, and document this. One of them told me that he normally mobilises with a zimmer frame, but it isn’t here so he can’t get about. I take a zimmer frame over and adjust it to the correct height before assessing his ability to go from a sitting to standing position and walking with the frame. He is independent with both, and so is now able to mobilise safely, get to the loo on his own and spend time away from his bed, which is much better for him! I document this assessment in the patient’s notes.


We don’t see patients over lunchtime, so use the last half hour before our own lunch break to get up to speed on notes and plan for the afternoon. Following lunch the team meets briefly to figure out workloads before heading back to the wards.

1:30pm – 4:30pm

One of the patients on our caseload has been showing signs of confusion on the ward and during our initial interview. The patient was admitted with signs of self-neglect. My educator instructs me to go with one of the rehab assistants to the occupational therapy kitchen and assess the patient making a hot drink for herself.

Observing the patient engaging in an occupation like this gives us the opportunity to assess various motor and process skills. We notice that the patient struggles to remember information and requires a lot of prompting to get started, though once she does start she completes the task without further problems. She also appears confused several times during the conversation to and from the kitchen. We document all of this on the functional assessment pro-forma and in the patient’s notes. My educator makes a plan to do a cognitive assessment with the patient to provide further evidence that she may need support at home when she is discharged.

After meeting a couple more patients for initial interviews and mobility practice and documenting all this in their notes, suddenly the day is over.


Over a much-needed cup of tea at home I write a reflection on the kitchen assessment I participated in earlier and also write in my journal everything I did over the day. These reflections inform learning and help me to figure out how to improve for next time.

What appeals to me most about occupational therapy is that the focus is on making sure people have the opportunities to do the things that are important to them. The underpinning philosophy of occupational therapy is that every person, no matter their background, has a right to engage in occupations that are meaningful to them. The occupational therapist’s role is an analytical one. The chosen activity and the client’s performance is broken down into components so that we can identify the barriers to participation, be they physical, environmental or structural, and to help the patient or client to remove or overcome them.

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Celebrating Student Success: Graduation 2019

Congratulations to the Class of 2019. Well done! You did it!


A time to celebrate….

On Wednesday 20th November 2019 @YSJOT students will be graduating in the historical building of York Minster.  There is a lot to celebrate this year.  Our 1st Cohort of students from the MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) programme graduate alongside their colleagues from the BSc Occupational Therapy programme.

Through steely determination, motivation and resilience you have all achieved your ambition to become an Occupational Therapist; a very proud day for yourselves, your family, friends and tutors who have supported you along your journey. Graduating at York Minster is a truly special and memorable day.  A moment in your life that “takes your breath away”; one that you will cherish and reflect upon.


To all of our graduates…

The Occupational Therapy staff will be seated on stage.  We will all applaud you along with your friends and family as you walk across the stage to collect your degree certificate from the Archbishop of York and Chancellor of York St John University.

We look forward to catching up with you after the ceremony and hearing about what you have been up to since the summer.  Karen has arranged for a professional photographer to take a photo of you all in your gowns.  Please meet in front of the Minster at 12.15pm.  Have an amazing day!  Please share your photos with us on Twitter @YSJOT #YSJOT19 and the university #WeAreYSJ or on our Facebook page.

To all of our current students…

The ceremony will be filmed and streamed to the York St John University Facebook Events page and York St John University YouTube channel. You will find it an inspirational watch!

This post was created by Karen Wilson

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