How to be a Happy Health Practitioner – by optometrist Carina Trinh

Carina Trinh

So, there’s this talk that I feel extremely passionate about that I give to the new graduate optometrists who enter the workforce in NSW/ACT each year as part of Young Optometrists Inc. NSW/ACT that covers the importance of self-care for optometrists. But really, it applies to all health care practitioners.   Being a Health Care [Read More…]

Mindfulness for health professionals – by Dr Kathryn Choules (PhD) and Dr Samantha Clarke (PhD)

Kathryn Choules

Due to my own developing interest in mindfulness in my own practice as an optometrist, and for the wider community of health practitioners, I thought it was worth asking mindfulness teachers and psychologists about how health practitioners can be mindful in their practice and interactions with patients. I was fortunate enough to receive responses from [Read More…]

Opportunity to join WOFT international reviewer team

volunteering in WFOT education review

If you are an occupational therapist and care about entry-level occupational therapy education, the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WOFT) invites you to volunteer on an International team to review occupational therapy entry-level educational programmes. The review is part of the WFOT educational programmes approval process. Those who nominate are expected to: Have at least [Read More…]

Robot revolution: why technology for older people must be designed with care and respect

robots for dementia care

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Nola Ries, University of Newcastle and Taro Sugihara, Okayama University Many countries around the world have ageing populations and a growing prevalence of dementia. Japan, in particular, is a “super-ageing” society, with a population getting older faster than anywhere else in the world [Read More…]

Mental health OTs overlooked in mental health management

blind spot around mental health OTs

According to a news item published by Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA), most mental health occupational therapists found that they are being overlooked when clients need mental health intervention. Instead of considering mental health OTs as part of the client management, other OT colleagues tend to refer their clients to a psychologist. According to OTA, Mental [Read More…]

Feedback sought on Parliamentary inquiry into mental health services in the NDIS


As part of the Joint Standing Committee inquiry into the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) scheme, the committee will inquire into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with a mental illness. This parliamentary inquiry has been welcomed by Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA). They are concerned about the needs [Read More…]

Is losing vision the worst possible health outcome? Research says perhaps it is……


A study in the US has revealed that for Americans, losing vision is equal to or worse than losing hearing, memory, speech, or a limb. However, although vision was a priority, many Americans were unaware of important eye diseases and their behavioral or familial risk factors. The study involved 2044 survey respondents in an online [Read More…]

Becoming a provider in the NDIS


Registration for individuals or organisations to become a provider of support or products to a participant in the NDIS is open. Key points for consideration for becoming a provider are: So far 17,300 people are benefitting from the NDIS across seven trial sites with over $950 million invested in services and equipment The roll out [Read More…]

Dental care for people with dementia


The Australian Dental Association and Alzheimer’s Australia has partnered to support dentists treating people living with dementia through a series of videos, Partnership in Practising Care. The series aim to educate dentists and their team on best practice care for people living with dementia, with emphasis on the importance of continuity of care, using preventative [Read More…]

Funding for preventative health initiatives reduced: Australia’s Health 2016 report


The Australia’s Health 2016 report has revealed that funding for prevention initiatives has reduced from 2.2% (2008) to 1.4%, contrary to the belief that prevention is better than cure. This goes against the expectation of 76% of Australians that investment in preventive health should be one of the top ten priorities. Public Health Association of [Read More…]

Do you need mentoring after graduating?


CovalentCareers has shared a video featuring Steve Flathers on mentorship as a new occupational therapist. Steve talks about one of the important things to keep in mind when looking for jobs as a new graduate, who makes the transition from a student in the protective shell to a workfield full of responsibility. Since not all [Read More…]

ATAR or OP for occupational therapy courses in Australia

raining ATARS

There are 19 universities which offer an occupational therapy qualification Australia, and the ATAR or OP required depends on the pathway you take to become an occupational therapist (OT). For entry into an occupational therapy course commencing in 2016, the ATAR ranged from 69 to 97.85. The following table shows the ATAR / OP scores [Read More…]

Progress on the revised competency standards project for OTs

progress on OTs revised competency standards

Back in March, we published an article about revised competency standards development project for occupational therapist. More recently the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (the Board) has released its communique, announcing that significant progress on the project has been made. Together with Carramar Consulting and members of both reference group and advisory panel, the Board [Read More…]

Exhilarating! My week with the Royal Flying Doctor Service – by Rebecca Irwin – medical student and NRHSN Chair

Rebecca Irwin RFDS week

The unique exhilarating experience of flying to remote communities and stations to provide health care is unparalleled by anything I have experienced thus far. I loved flying with the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) to remote locations, hopping from station to station, community to community, providing health care as we went. Occasionally we were diverted [Read More…]

Telemedicine: A Fundamental Addition to Contemporary Medical Curricula – by Christopher Lemon

Christopher Lemon

“Medicine and technology are intrinsically linked. Many advances in health have been contingent upon synonymous advances in technology. This has become particularly clear in recent times when considering the extent to which to technology has helped to substantially improve not only understandings of disease processes, but also the ways in which they can be managed. [Read More…]

Health industry voices its opinions as the #healthelection2016 looms

health funding around federal election

Health organisations around the country have been lobbying for a greater share of the health spending dollar in the lead up to the election tomorrow. Federal Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, claims to have put patient outcomes at the centre of health reform in the Federal Budget released in May 2016, but many associations are [Read More…]

We’re frozen, there’s no provision for preventative health and it will be difficult for the poor to stay well – the aftermath from the 2016 Federal Health Budget

2016 health budget

The Minister for Health Sussan Ley has said that the 2016 federal budget puts patient outcomes at the centre of health reform, but there doesn’t seem to be much agreement from the health industry. One of the main reasons why the industry hasn’t supported the health budget is due to the freeze on the Medicare [Read More…]

Physio sets up not-for profit exercise club for men with prostate cancer – a Q&A with Jo Milios

Jo Milios

You know you’ve stumbled upon someone pretty special when you come across a PhD candidate who’s doing the “research translation bit” BEFORE finishing their PhD. That’s exactly what Perth physiotherapist Jo Milios has done in setting up PROST! for patients with prostate cancer. You set up PROST! Exercise Club 4 Prostate Cancer in Perth. Can [Read More…]

The UK’s first one day national conference for Occupational Therapists Working in Diverse Settings

OT conference on diverse practice

At My Health Career we love to celebrate the diverse range of things practitioners do to to enhance people’s lives. So when we came across details of a one day conference specifically for occupational therapists working in diverse practice, we thought it was something we could’t help but mention! If you have attended a similar [Read More…]

Aged care facility with a palliative care committee, dementia program and open heart program

SVL AT14 201

We did a callout looking for inspiring workplaces, and Scalabrini Village Chipping Norton manager Fiona Kendall answered, letting us know that there’s something pretty special happening at this aged care facility……. Q: The lead up to and death of a resident is obviously a very emotional time. What do you do for residents and families? [Read More…]

Quadriplegic Barney Miller’s personal journey to walk again with exercise intervention

therapy after spinal cord injury

At the age of 20, northern NSW resident Barney Miller was a promising surfer who, after a car accident refused to believe what his doctor said. That his brain could not communicate with the rest of his body. Barney didn’t accept that as a quadriplegic and will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest [Read More…]

Are you really listening? A view from the other side. By Gitte Backhausen – patient

Gitte Backhausen profile

Okay, so I know it’s practitioner month on My Health Career in May and that most of what we’re doing is sharing stories about the inspiring things health professionals are up to. When I got this article through from Gitte, I literally felt a bit sick in my stomach reading about everything she’d been through. [Read More…]

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is welcoming providers from July 2016

how to be a provider with the NDIS

Participation in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will soon become available for every health professional interested to become a provider. Over 460,000 Australians with disability will enter the NDIS in coming years. There are growth opportunities for providers who respond to this new demand. Providers will be given the resources and tools to adjust [Read More…]

Antibacterial soap and regular soap: which one is more effective?

does antibacterial soap work

Antibacterial soap containing triclosan (0.3%) was no more effective than regular soap at reducing bacterial contamination when used under ‘real-life’ conditions, as concluded by research from Korea published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. The researchers aimed to examine the in vitro and in vivo bactericidal effect of triclosan (the most widely used antiseptic agent [Read More…]

The first national approach to supporting children with developmental delay or disability

early childhood early intervention NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has marked the first nationally-consistent approach to supporting children with developmental delay or disability by the release of the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s (NDIS) Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach. Under the ECEI approach, a child and their family will be referred to a specialist early childhood access partner [Read More…]

New competency standards for occupational therapists are in development

new competency standards for OTs

The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia is developing new competency standards that will define the minimum expected competencies of everyone applying for registration as an occupational therapist. The new standards are expected to be a useful assessment tool for regulatory purposes, as well as being used in professional and educational contexts. The Board has established [Read More…]

The 10 commandments of patient-centred care

the ten commandments for patient-centred care

A team of UK researchers has transformed their paper, published in the British Journal of General Practice, into a website fully dedicated to covering the 10 commandments for patient-centred treatment. Although it is about general practice, the principles are similar for any health profession, particularly where the profession involves disgnostics, prescribing medications or giving medications [Read More…]

The enhancement process to the Better Access to Mental Health endorsement for OTs

Better access to mental health occupational therapy

After reviewing the processes for endorsement and ongoing participation in the Better Access to Mental Health (BAMH) scheme, the Board of Occupational Therapy Australia introduced changes in respect to the application for endorsement process. The aim of the processes, which have been introduced in December 2015, are as follows: To enhance the pathway into the [Read More…]

Are you an OT wondering how to write a successful conference abstract?

tips for writing a successful conference abstract

The UK based College of Occupational Therapists has published a video about writing a successful conference abstract. According to the College, the abstract must present new or innovative thing, for example, research findings, an evaluation, dissertations, or literature reviews. It should have clear relevance to occupational therapy potential to improve practice.   General guidelines: The [Read More…]

$250 million for translating medical research into real benefits

Biomedical Translation Fund

The Australian Government will invest $250 million over two years to help translate Australian health and medical research into commercial reality as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). This investment will provide the funds to improve the quality of life of Australians. The Biomedical Translation Fund alongside the Medical Research Future Fund [Read More…]

Premature babies are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders

brain circuit abnormalities in premature babies

Babies born prematurely face a wide range of complications, and new research has suggested that this issue now includes a higher risk of developing neurological and psychiatric problems. The researchers found that some key brain networks linked to attention, communication and emotion were weaker in premature infants. This finding offers some explanation for why children [Read More…]

The role of allied health assistants in supporting occupational therapy practice

Occupational therapy allied health assistant

Occupational Therapy Australia has published a position paper defining the roles, scope, and operational and professional responsibilities of Allied Health Assistants (AHAs) in the delivery of occupational therapy in hospital and the community. The paper will assist occupational therapists in understanding the clinical governance requirements in facilitating the AHA role within an occupational therapy service. [Read More…]

10 year road map for Closing the Gap

ten year road map to close the gap

Minister for Rural Health Fiona Nash has launched an Implementation Plan as a further commitment to Closing the Gap. The Implementation Plan is a ten-year road map: a strategy to better health for Indigenous children, Indigenous youth and Indigenous adults. The Coalition decided to adopt and build on the 10 year National Aboriginal and Torres Strait [Read More…]

Occupational therapy and driver assessment and rehabilitation

driver trained occupational therapists

Occupational Therapy Australia has released a position statement on driver assessment and training fitting within the advanced scope of occupational therapy practice. Assessing and rehabilitation or training of drivers with disabilities, age-related health declines or acquired impairments must be performed by driver assessor occupational therapists—OTs with post-graduate driver qualifications from an Occupational Therapy Australia recognised [Read More…]

16% decrease in notifications – AHPRA 2014-2015 statistics revealed

AHPRA annual report 2014 - 2015

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National Boards has published the 2014/ annual report. The annual report outlines and highlights AHPRA and the National Board’s activities in 2014/15, as follows:   1.   Improving performance and services 637,218 health practitioners are registered from 14 different professions representing overall growth of 2.9% 16% [Read More…]

There is life after stroke

7 steps to stroke recovery video

Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia has released “7 Steps to Stroke Recovery” educational video to answer often asked questions about what’s next for stroke survivors. The video features stroke rehabilitation professionals such as doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech pathologists. They give detailed and helpful suggestions for each step according to their expertise.   [Read More…]

More than 155,000 health practitioners due to renew registration by 30th November

health practitioner registration renewals

Twelve National Boards have launched their registration renewal campaigns for health practitioners whose registration to practise expires on 30 November 2015. A news item about renewal of registration is published on each of the following National Board websites: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia Chinese Medicine Board of Australia Chiropractic Board [Read More…]

Two OT students create singing initiative to help patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

singing for patients with COPD

Two Occupational Therapy undergraduate students of the University of Northampton’s School of Health, Angela Prouse and James Wyatt, have taken the initiative to introduce singing sessions for patients living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Angela and James chose singing and COPD as the project for their second year Level 5 skills assessment, where they [Read More…]

Becoming a health practitioner – registering with AHPRA

AHPRA health practitioner registration fees

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has recommended that students who are about to graduate as health practitioners apply for registration 4-6 weeks before finishing your course. For many students, that is NOW!!! About to graduate as a health practitioner? Apply 4-6 weeks before finishing your course. More: — AHPRA (@AHPRA) September 4, 2015 [Read More…]

What is the ATAR or OP for occupational therapy courses in Australia?

occupational therary ATAR

There are 19 universities which offer an occupational therapy qualification Australia, and the ATAR or OP required depends on the pathway you take to become an occupational therapist (OT). For entry into an occupational therapy course commencing in 2015, the ATAR ranged from 70.00 to the mid-90s. The following table shows the ATAR / OP [Read More…]

AHPRA welcomes report of 3 year independent review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme which regulates 14 health professions in Australia


The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency recently welcomed a report following an independent three-year review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) and the Health Ministers’ response to its recommendations. ‘Such positive and constructive feedback reflects the focus and commitment to improvement of everyone who works at AHPRA, all members of national, state and [Read More…]

Six places where you might find an occupational therapist

where do occupational therapists work

The University of British Columbia’s Master’s of Occupational Therapy class of 2014 made a video titled “The Many Faces of Occupational Therapists” to illustrate what OTs do and where they work. If you are considering to becoming an OT, one of these locations might be where you’ll be working. 1.  Children’s Hospital The task includes [Read More…]

Allied health misses a guernsey in the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce – by Amanda Griffiths

Medicare Benefits Scheme Review Taskforce

It’s been about a month since Minister for Health Sussan Ley announced the members of the Federal Government’s Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce and the Primary Health Care Advisory Group (PHCAG). Although the PHCAG is made up of members from a number of health professions including physiotherapy, medicine and pharmacy, it is blatantly obvious [Read More…]

Grandparenting rule for occupational therapy registration has ended

grandparenting registration occupational therapists

According to the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia: “After 1 July 2015, the only way to become registered is by completing an approved program of study, demonstrating substantial equivalence or doing an exam or assessment as required by the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia.” From today, arrangements that allowed some occupational therapists to become registered [Read More…]

Do walking groups really have health benefits?

Are walking groups effective

So, do walking groups really have health benefits? The answer is yes. Researchers from Norwich Medical School in the UK have performed a systematic review of the evidence on outdoor walking groups, and have found that they have wide-ranging health benefits with good participant adherence. The review was of papers published in English, focusing on [Read More…]

#WhyWeDoResearch campaign – by Cheryl Prescott and Claire Gibbs

Claire Gibbs and Abby Greaves

“The #WhyWeDoResearch campaign was conceived and launched via Twitter by Claire Gibbs, Senior Clinical Research Nurse (@ClaireGibbsUK) and Abby Greaves, Research Administrator, (@JPUHResearch) at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in December 2014. Their intention was to use the hashtag #WhyWeDoResearch as a way to introduce core research team members to the public, [Read More…]

What does a 21.9% increase in the number of occupational therapists mean for the profession?

occupational therapy labour market

Data from the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia’s Registration Data Tables from September 2012 and December 2014 show a sharp increase in the number of occupational therapists with general registration during this time. There was an increase from 13,397 occupational therapists in Australia with general registration in September 2012 to 16,327 by December 2014. While [Read More…]

Call for health professionals to be more aware of signs of child sexual abuse surfaces during royal commission

child sexual abuse in institutions royal commission

The ABC has again reported on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. They recently published revelations by psychologist Terence Kirkpatrick that he was sexually abused by a psychologist at the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in 1967 when he had been referred to the clinic to be treated for what was [Read More…]

Advertising health services is about so much more than the AHPRA guidelines

advertising laws for health professionals

Health practitioners need to be aware that their advertising must comply not just with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) guidelines where appropriate, but also with national law. Consumer Law The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the authority who enforces the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The Act covers areas including false [Read More…]

Occupational Therapy Board of Australia requires practitioner member from South Australia

occupational therapy board of Australia SA practitioner member

The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia is seeking a practitioner member from the state of South Australia to fill a vacancy on its board. The appointment will be for a period of up to three years. Eligible practitioners must be from South Australia and hold a current registration as an occupational therapist, and may also [Read More…]

The health industry’s reaction to the 2015 Federal Budget

health industry federal budget

As usual, the federal government’s health budget has been a mixed bag for the industry. Professional bodies representing practitioners including podiatrists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, medical practitioners, optometrists, dentists, nurses and medical students have all had something to say about the budget. Here’s a summary……   Building a Healthier Medicare The Government has announced that they [Read More…]

My rant following the most recent round of careers expos….

The dark side of career expos

I have just returned from a series of 4 careers expos in the New South Wales towns of Young, Forbes, Dubbo and Bathurst. Although this website was started especially for high school students considering a career in health and has lots of resources such as videos from real health practitioners and pathways information, there are [Read More…]

Would you spend 30 hours a month with older folk to get free accommodation during uni?

Live in aged care facility during uni

According to a report in The Journal in Ireland, a nursing home in Deventer in the Netherlands is opening its doors for uni students to live with the elderly as housemates. Why would any young free uni students wish to live with the pensioners instead of partying with fellow college roommates? The rent is free. [Read More…]

Polio Australia: Improving Health Outcome for Australia’s Polio Survivors

Polio Australia

Many thanks to Mary-ann Liethof, National Program Manager of Polio Australia for contributing this valuable information for health professionals. Acute Polio Australia experienced waves of polio epidemics throughout the 20th century. However, with the introduction of the Salk and Sabin vaccines, polio was an uncommon infection in Australia by the early 1960s. According to the [Read More…]

Announcement of successful applicants for Primary Health Networks

Medicare Locals to Primary Health Networks

Minister for Health Sussan Ley has announced the successful applicants to run the 31 Primary Health Networks which will replace the 61 Medicare Locals from 1st July. In a statement from The Department of Health, the Primary Health Networks will “replace Labor’s flawed Medicare Local system of 61 fragmented regions, which were found by an [Read More…]

Multidisciplinary care of chronic diseases for cost effectiveness and surgery prevention

multidisciplinary care of chronic disease

Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) have released a report revealing that surgery could be avoided if patients with diabetes, stroke, and osteoarthritis were seen by multidisciplinary teams of health professionals. Allied health professionals can provide effective treatment that improves outcomes and reduces costs for patients with diabetes, stroke, and osteoarthritis, thus [Read More…]

Occupational Therapy Australia and the 2015 Intergenerational Report

intergenerational report occupational therapy

Occupational Therapy Australia has said that there are three key areas of the 2015 Intergenerational Report affecting the profession and the broader OT community. These are health, ageing and social services. Health Ensuring that health expenditure is well spent on hospitalisation prevention, maximising community health programs, affordable and accessible allied health services to all Australians, [Read More…]

The effectiveness of tailored hand exercises for the rheumatoid hand

hand exercises for arthritis

The Lancet has published a study by the Strengthening and Stretching for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand (SARAH) Trial Team in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) on tailored exercises to improve the function of the rheumatoid hand. The study estimated the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of tailored hand exercise in addition to usual care for [Read More…]

APS, RACP, RANZCP and RACGP call for children to be released from detention

children in detention

In recent days the Australian Psychological Society (APS), the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) have all spoken out about the mental health of children held in detention. APS The APS President Professor Mike Kyrios stated [Read More…]

Polio resources for health professionals

polio resources for health professionals

Polio Australia has compiled a clinical practice resource module for health professionals as a broader information in support and health care for polio survivors, management of the Late Effects of Polio and/or Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS). The module has drawn from polio specialist, polio survivors, and evidence-based literature. On the website, there are also other resources [Read More…]

AHPRA to introduce further drug screening procedures for practitioners with substance related impairment

AHPRA drug testing for health practitioners

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will be introducing mandatory hair testing for all practitioners with a substance related impairment. Under the screening protocol, all health practitioners who have restrictions on their registration linked to previous substance abuse will have routine hair testing in addition to the urine drug screening as per the interim [Read More…]

Upskilling online made possible by Monash University

Monash Online courses for health professionals

The health industry is incredibly rewarding yet can be a mentally draining area to work in. Take it from Natasha Jennings of the Alfred Hospital’s Emergency and Trauma Centre, who shared her typical day online at Health Victoria. Her exhausting day begins at 5am and she is seeing patients as soon as she steps into [Read More…]

What’s the best diet? Free public event in Brisbane run by Dietitian Connection

Dr Joanna McMillan

Dietitian Connection has put together a world-class program of speakers so that your patients / clients and any member of the public can go along and hear about what they should REALLY be eating. With the theme “What’s the best diet? Paleo? Gluten-free? Sugar-free?” the event is sure to do some major myth-busting about what [Read More…]

Be My Eyes – the app that lets you lend your eyes to the blind – by Jeremy Chan

Be My Eyes app

“Many of us cannot imagine our life without being able to see. However, for blind individuals or those with low vision, this is the reality they are faced with. The ability to perform common, everyday tasks that we take for granted are often challenging. With Be My Eyes, we aim to make these daily tasks [Read More…]

No wonder occupational therapists and psychologists are busy….. with brain injury stats like these….

Acquired brain injuries

In 2012, there were 727,000 Australians whose acquired brain injury (ABI) means daily “activity limitations” and “participation restrictions.”   The statistics around the number of people with acquired brain injuries in Australia are staggering: 2 out of 3 Australians with an ABI acquired the injury before the age of 25 3 out of every 4 [Read More…]

Occupational Therapy Board of Australia targets for the coming year

Occupational Therapy Board of Australia targets

In the coming financial year, the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia is looking to do things differently, especially in terms of engaging with occupational therapists and the wider community. Stakeholder Engagement One of the projected measures is to run focus-group sessions with members of the profession and webinars to reach wider audiences. This includes: 1.   [Read More…]

What do patients think about digital health? By Cathie Reid – Digital Health Summit post 4

technology in health

This is the fourth and final post in my series from the Digital Health Summit at CES 2015, following on from posts on wearables, disrupting the doctor visit, and how pharmacy can avoid its own Kodak moment. It was fantastic to see the program include a session on the patient perspective, as all too often [Read More…]

Is it easy for graduate occupational therapists to get a job in hand therapy?

can graduate occupational therapists get a job in hand therapy

Recently I had the fantastic opportunity to interview Amy Geach, owner and founder of Riverina Hand Therapy, Riverina Kids Therapy and Maida Learning. Being a bit of a superstar in the world of hand therapy, I was interested to know how she landed that first job in hand therapy as a new graduate. Here’s what [Read More…]

Aussie blokes under 35 who play footy – the likely patients in hospital due to sporting injuries

sports injuries causing hospitalisation

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a new report “Australian sports injury hospitalisations 2011-2012.” It is estimated that 36,000 people aged 15 and over spent a total of 79,000 days in hospital due to injury sustained while playing sport. According to the report, around one third of all sports injury hospitalisations [Read More…]

Opportunity for Occupational Therapists to be a member of the OTA Research Foundation Committee

Occupational Therapy Australia Research Foundation

The Occupational Therapy Australia Research Foundation Committee (OTARF) as a research foundation has a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians by supporting occupational therapists to engage in research. To support this goal, the Foundation seeks and administer donations and bequests that will be used for various projects. Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) is [Read More…]

The Occupational Therapy education marathon…. 24 hours of OT presentations with OT24Vx!!

Occupational therapy 24 hour virtual exchange 2014

Since 2010, OT4OT has hosted a 24 hour Virtual Exchange (24Vx). It is a fee online continuing education event for occupational therapists. This year, the event will be run in partnership with the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). Held from 3 – 5 November 2014, the participants all over the world can adjust the [Read More…]

Where are the occupational therapy courses in Australia?

Occupational therapy courses Australia

For those of you who are looking for information about occupational therapy courses in Australia, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has published a list of approved programs. We have divided them into undergraduate and postgraduate categories. Undergraduate 1.    New South Wales: Australian Catholic University Charles Sturt University University of Newcastle University of Sydney University [Read More…]

Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge 2014….. and the winners are….

Team UQ

A couple of months ago I was asked to be the Master of Ceremonies at the Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge. Being offered such a great opportunity is a bit of a privilege, and although I was keen to take part in the day, I was also a bit daunted as it is such a full [Read More…]

Reminder about Therapy Choices for the NDIS

Therapy Choices

In 2013 Occupational Therapy Australia entered into a partnership with the Australian Government to produce Therapy Choices, a website which aims to help people with a disability to better understand the roles of the allied health professionals who are able to provide them support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The website lists the roles [Read More…]

Mental Health Services 2014 conference

Mental Health Services 2014 conference

The Mental Health Services annual conference is fast approaching. It will be held in Perth, with Tuesday 26th August marking the preconference day. The main conference will be running from Wednesday 27th to Friday 29th August. The MHS Conference 2014 is the largest and longest running multidisciplinary mental health conference in Australia. It attracts over [Read More…]

Website Packed Full of Resources for Paediatric Occupational Therapists

OT Plan

California-based occupational therapist Avital Shuster has created a website that is dedicated to providing resources for paediatric occupational therapists. It’s called OT Plan, and the website is OT Plan has a wide collection of activity ideas that is indexed via skills, materials, and the activities themselves. For each activity, the instructions are given in [Read More…]

Occupational Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injuries

Occupational therapy for traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when a person’s head is severely hit or shaken, or, when an object enters the brain. The range of injury may be from mild to serious and people who have experienced a TBI may have memory problems, fatigue, poor judgment, confusion as well as anxiety and depression. According to Synapse, [Read More…]

headspace – why are young people presenting for mental health care?

youth mental health Australia

headspace is Australia’s national youth mental health foundation. It provides young Australians aged 12-25 with mental health, general health, education, employment, and alcohol and drug services. It is expected that there will be 90 headspace centres throughout Australia by 2015. A recent article in the Medical Journal of Australia provided statistics about 21,274 headspace clients [Read More…]

Hand Therapy Awareness Week

Hand Therapy Awareness Week hands

Have you ever considered how much you use your hands? Everyday tasks such as typing, eating, holding your mobile phone and getting dressed involve using your hands. But what if injury or illness meant that you didn’t have the full function of your hands? Hand Therapy Awareness Week is being held from 2nd June to [Read More…]

How much do you know about palliative care – really?

National Palliative Care Week

Palliative Care Australia is conducting the National Palliative Care Week between Sunday 25 May, 2014 and Saturday 31 May, 2014 to raise awareness about this growing sector of the health industry. The theme for this year is Palliative Care Everyone’s Business: Let’s Work Together. Palliative Care Australia is inviting everyone, from doctors to specialists, nurses [Read More…]

South Australia’s first Aboriginal occupational therapy graduate

Indigenous occupational therapist Trevor Ritchie

As a Kaurna man from South Australia, Trevor Ritchie made history when he completed his Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) in 2013, becoming the first indigenous graduate of this course in South Australia. As a child Trevor suffered from health issues and struggled to keep up with the other kids in the classroom at [Read More…]

Patients with chronic diseases – which health practitioners are they being referred to?

Chronic disease referrals

The percentile statistics for the use of the allied health item numbers for patients with a chronic condition who are being managed by their GP under an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan have been released on the Medicare website. Under this plan, Medicare rebates are available for a maximum of 5 allied health services per [Read More…]

Allied health practice owners conference – Maida Learning

Cropped DL Flyer FRONT

Allied health professionals and practice owners now have access to education and professional development specifically for their unique business requirements with the establishment of Maida Learning and its inaugural Healthy Practice Conference being held at Canberra’s Hotel Realm on 16 and 17 May. Director of Maida Learning, Amy Geach launched the conference and her third [Read More…]

How much money do occupational therapists earn?

Occupational therapist salary

According to a profile on the ABC, the salary range for occupational therapists employed in Australia range from $45,000 to $80,000 per year. The Australian Government’s Job Outlook has published data from an Australian Bureau of Statistics’ August 2012 survey. According to this data, the median full-time earnings for occupational therapists in Australia were $1300 [Read More…]

Health Fusion Team Challenge registration open to uni students

Health industry report

University students studying a health degree in an Australian university are now able to register a team for the 2014 HealthFusion Team Challenge (HFTC). The HFTC is an award winning program aimed at educating students from different disciplines in the area of collaborative patient care. There are 4 basic steps to being involved in the [Read More…]

Advertising guidelines for health professionals changed… just waiting on official AHPRA documentation

AHPRA Action

AHPRA Action, a campaign led by Melbourne surgeon Dr Jill Tomlinson, to have the Guidelines for Advertising Regulated Health Services changed, has had some success, but is still looking for the guidelines document to be changed. The part of the guidelines in question is in section 6.2.3, where it states that: A practitioner must take [Read More…]

Want to fly to the Northern Territory to inspire the next generation of health practitioners?

NT Rural High School Visits

The Northern Territory Medicare Local is now taking applications for university health students to fly to the Northern Territory to connect with high school students to promote health careers. Participating uni students will have the opportunity to present workshops to high school students to demonstrate the challenges and rewards of health careers, and also share [Read More…]

The road from new graduate occupational therapist to employment!

Occupational therapy jobs market resume

Many thanks to Sophie Ellis, a new graduate occupational therapist for her account of what it’s been like finding a job after graduation. Creating my resume Whilst at Deakin University I attended workshops through the Career Kickstart program that I co-created along with two classmates and two academic staff. These workshops gave me the opportunity [Read More…]

Occupational therapy in the garden

Occupational therapy in the garden

In occupational therapy, there is an opportunity to combine your professional and personal interests. Amy Wagenfeld is an occupational therapist from the USA who has aninterest in horticulture, environmental psychology and green-space design. She applies occupational-therapy based ergonomic principles to gardening so that people can help to have the risk of pain and injury minimised. [Read More…]

An OT’s interest in occupational opportunities for refugees & asylum seekers


Not so long ago I interviewed Linda Rylands, and occupational therapist who graduated from the University of Queensland in 2002. Linda’s personal experiences of travel to Japan, and also of going to an English-speaking overseas country and noticing vast cultural differences made her wonder what it would be like for refugees and asylum seekers who [Read More…]

Occupational therapy – OT4OT network’s 24 hour virtual exchange

OT4OT 24 hour virtual exchange

OT4OT is a network of occupational therapy professionals who were connected together through Twitter, a website and a Facebook group. It is composed of occupational therapists who are strong supporters of online sharing of information and networking in the profession. Each year in October, OT4OT holds an online 24 hour virtual exchange meeting. The 2013 [Read More…]

Career kickstart for final year occupational therapy students

Occupational Therapy Australia Conference 2013 student forum

My Health Career is excited to publish a guest article from Sophie Ellis, Lauren Parsons and Clare Penny, who are in their final year of their occupational therapy degree at Deakin University. They have put together the Career Kickstart program and presented at the student form at the Occupational Therapy Australia conference in 2013. “We [Read More…]

Occupational Therapy Awareness Week and World OT Day 2013

World Occupational Therapy Day 2013

It’s all happening in Occupational Therapy in the month of October!! Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) is promoting national OT Awareness Week from October 20-26 with the theme “reach your pOTential.” You can check out the OTA resources here. OT Awareness Week is to promote the role of occupational therapists in the community. The World Federation [Read More…]

My career as an occupational therapist – by Nicole Grant

Nicole Grant occupaitonal therapist

Nicole Grant is a Brisbane-based occupational therapist who is currently completing a PhD. She is the founder of Gateway Therapies, which has a team of 6 occupational therapists, a speech therapist and social worker, who deliver mobile therapy services all over Brisbane. We are lucky to have such a great post about Nicole’s career on [Read More…]

Making connections at the Australian Occupational Therapy Conference

Tweeters OTA2013

At My Health Career we are excited to have a guest post from Clare Wilding, an OT who attended the recent Occupational Therapy Australia conference. With more than 20 years of experience as an occupational therapist and academic, Clare currently offers individually-tailored research, writing, professional development, and mentoring/supervision services. Clare’s business, Knowledge Moves, is a [Read More…]

Occupational therapy for Autistic Spectrum Disorder

OT for autism

Autism is a condition wherein the person is unable to communicate or interact well with his surroundings. According to the World Health Organization, autism affects approximately 5 out of 10,000 in Australia, and millions more worldwide. Because of the limitations in interpersonal and intrapersonal skills that children with autism possess, occupational therapy is a perfect [Read More…]

From occupational therapist to stroke survivor to inspirational speaker!!

Emma Gee

We think it’s awesome that Emma Gee has taken the time in her busy schedule to write a guest blog post!! Emma is an occupational therapist, a professional speaker and a stroke survivor. In a moment, Emma’s life changed from that of a professional health provider and long-distance runner to that of a stroke survivor. [Read More…]

Driver Trained Occupational Therapists

Driver trained occupational therapists

Driver Trained Occupational Therapists (DTOT) specialise in driver assessment and rehabilitation. This is to assist people with medical or disability related difficulties which impact on the client’s ability to drive a car. Some OTs also do additional training to assess the ability for clients to drive heavy vehicles such as trucks.   There are three [Read More…]

Occupational therapists on social media – anzOTalk

OT anzOTalk

Occupational Therapy is an example of a health profession in Australia which has an active social media base. A group of OTs have put together anzOTalk, a regular Twitter chat group for OTs in Australia and New Zealand. Allied health professionals, and people with a disability and their carers may be interested and want to [Read More…]

Occupational Therapy Australia resource to showcase allied health via the National Disability Insurance Scheme


Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) was successful in its grant application to the Federal Government Department of Families, Housing, Community services and Indigenous Affairs, which oversees the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). OTA will be assisting in the transition into the NDIS. OTA is currently designing and online resource which it will build to assist consumers [Read More…]

Why did I become an army occupational therapist?

The Army OT Guy

This month we have an occupational therapy guest blog post with an international twist. Army OT Guy Erik Johnson has allowed us to re-publish an article from his website called ‘Why did I become an army OT?’ You can follow Erik on Twitter: @armyotguy or check out his website:   “I initially enlisted in [Read More…]

What every student should know about backpacks

OT backpack

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has ‘National School Backpack Awareness Day’ every year in September. In 2010 alone, there were 28,000 visits to medical practices and emergency rooms in the USA due to backpack injuries. Here at My Health Career, we thought it was a better idea to talk about this in January, as [Read More…]

OT – The Professor made us think……

OT - Leo

Following is a guest blog by Leonora Coolhaas, a mental health Occupational Therapist working in multi disciplinary clinical education in regional Victoria. Leonora invites you to have a look at the anzOTalk blog that supports a monthly twitter chat for Occupational Therapists and Allied Health professionals in Australia and New Zealand.   “Over the past [Read More…]

OT and Hurricane Sandy

OT - Hurricane Sandy

  Hurricane Sandy…. how can OTs get involved and help people who have been affected?!?! The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) issued a feature story encouraging occupational therapists to help people to move forwards and rebuild their lives following the disaster. OTs volunteering during the disaster were told to affiliate with local and national organizations, [Read More…]

Occupation: it’s what we do

OT awareness 2012

Occupational Therapy Week will be celebrated in Australia from October 21-27, coinciding with World Occupational Therapy Day on October 27. This year the theme of national OT week is ‘Occupation: it’s what we do’. It’s all about celebrating and raising awareness about what OT’s do… who else is going to get you back on track [Read More…]

What’s the ‘occupation’ in occupational therapy?

OT - what is occupation

Occupational Therapy (OT) is concerned with improving people’s lives through involvement in daily activities. When people think ‘occupation’, they often think ‘work’. However, to a child, occupation is playing and learning, to an adult with cerebral palsy it may be based around living independently, and to a retiree recovering after a stroke, it may be [Read More…]

Parkinson’s Disease: What’s That Got To Do With Occupational Therapy?

Parkinson's Disease Michael J. Fox

Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. The most commonly known symptom is shaking or tremors in the hands/upper limb, but it also causes problems with posture, walking, speaking and swallowing. Well known people who have raised the profile of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) include actor Michael J. Fox and boxer Muhammad [Read More…]