40 Years of OT at York St John – Dr Jane Cronin Davis

Dr Jane Cronin-Davis studied Occupational Therapy at York St John from 1991 – 1994, first worked as a lecturer for the university for 2002 – 2003 and then returned in 2010. She has very kindly shared her memories of her time studying and working with YSJOT for the 40th anniversary.

Working in Bangladesh and visiting the University of Dhakar (Dr Jane bottom right)

Working in Bangladesh and visiting the University of Dhakar (Dr Jane bottom right)

When did you study at YSJ?

I moved from a career in mental health services (NHS) in sunny Clacton-on-Sea in Essex to study occupational therapy at the university. My cohort was approximately 60 and we were the second cohort of degree students, starting in September 1991. I had no idea what studying a degree would entail…but I knew I wanted to be an occupational therapist!

What was your favourite aspect of OT at YSJ?

Starting the day in the foyer of the Phoenix block with breakfast before teaching sessions started and catching up with the gossip, with those who best remain nameless.

I loved the friends I made, studying and being on placement. I really enjoyed the research project for one of my final year modules, perhaps this started my desire to be a researcher-who knows?

Studying occupational therapy was definitely the best career move I ever made-it has afforded me so many opportunities both personally and professionally. When I graduated I starting working in acute medical services, orthopaedics and paediatrics. I was drawn to work in mental health, particularly forensic mental health. I have had the absolutely best time working in this clinical area; and it was a real privilege to work with staff and patients.

I never thought I would edit a book, work on NICE guidelines or lead on practice guidelines – I am sure that my old teachers would not have thought so either.

What are you up to now?

I am just about to leave YSJ and the occupational therapy team with very mixed feelings. Overwhelmed at the thought of leaving the place that has been my ‘home’ one way or another since 1991, but excited to move on to a new occupational therapy programme at St George’s University, London.

My colleagues and the OT team are brilliant-I do not know what life will be like without them all, they are irreplaceable. I will miss seeing the year 1 and year 2 students graduate, but hope I can get to the ceremony for year 3 – one of the highlights of the year for us all in the Minster.

 Any favourite memories of your time at YSJ / with YSJOT?

YSJ and YSJOT have been like a home to me since 1991, first as an undergraduate, then as a lecturer (2002-2003), gaining a PhD and then restarting work here in 2010. I have been to lots of interesting places such as conferences in Canada, USA and Australia. I have been to work in Bangladesh and Singapore – none of this would have been possible but for my career at YSJ.

WFOT Conference – Australia. I did do more than watch beautiful boats!

WFOT Conference – Australia. I did do more than watch beautiful boats!

Great memories, great friends and colleagues, great students and a great place to work…(now if I was marking that would be too many greats!!!)

The YSJOT staff and students would like to thank Jane for her valued contribution to the programme and inspiring us all with her enthusiasm and passion for the profession. We wish her every success with her future endeavors.

The YSJOT team is aiming to compile 40 blog posts, one from each cohort for the 40th anniversary. If you are interested in contributing please contact us via email: George Peat – g.peat@yorksj.ac.uk , Maria Parks – @m.parks@yorksj.ac.uk or Kerry Sorby – k.sorby@yorksj.ac.uk

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