Clinical Education Leader, Queensland Health, Australia
What was your role at YSJ and when did you attend/teach?
I am proud to say that I have been both a student and a lecturer at YSJ. I studied at what was then the University College of Ripon and York St John and graduated as an Occupational Therapist in 1998. I worked in various clinical roles in Peterborough, Oxford and Reading in adult physical settings and managing Occupational Therapy and interprofessional allied health teams.
I returned to York and York St John University in 2004 as a lecturer. I had the pleasure of working with experienced occupational therapy lecturers, some who had supported me as a student and who were equally equipped to provide invaluable mentorship in my new role. I have fond memories of day to day work with students as well as sharing in YSJ’s special events, often marked with a ceremony held in York Minster.
Tell us about your current role?
I moved with my husband to the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia in 2009. Since then I have worked for Queensland Health as a Clinical Education Leader. I work within an Occupational Therapy Clinical Education Program which supports students on placement and new graduates in their first 2 years of practice. My position is a Queensland wide role developing student placement innovations to build the number of student placements across differing OT clinical areas whilst facilitating quality education practices.
The role offers clinical education and professional advice and support to a team of 20 OTs across the health service jurisdiction and produces a range of evidence based strategies and resources to assist OT’s within local health services to educate, assess and supervise students and new graduates. I also contribute to Griffith Universities Occupational Therapy Program as an Adjunct Lecturer involving teaching, mentoring and assessment. I engage in qualitative research projects associated with my roles.
How has OT changed since you were at YSJ?
Recent years has seen the establishment of clinical education as a speciality area within occupational therapy. This is informed by knowledge and experience related to how people develop their clinical reasoning and expertise in clinical settings. This area of practice is also supported by a greater focus on supervision practices, including the use of reflective practice as a method to learn from experience and promote professional development.
An appreciation for support requirements of novice occupational therapists is another area of growing professional interest within Occupational Therapy. Literature assists us to be informed about recommended support strategies for the initial years of practice as students make the transition to practitioners.
When I was a student we were encouraged to refer to literature to support our learning. However, an increasing focus on evidence based practice and knowledge translation over the years has increasingly underpinned developments within the profession.
What was your favourite aspect of OT at YSJ?
As a student and as a staff member I enjoyed the sense of community and ‘can do’ attitude which enables staff and students to trial new ideas with learning and development which leads to more interesting outcomes and innovation. I also loved those ceremonies in York Minster and the sense of history, tradition and occasion that York St John did so well.