As part of #loveyourcareer week, we asked occupational therapist Jordan Balfry for her perspective on her profession. This is what she had to say….
What I love most about healthcare is having the opportunity to work with a diverse population in a holistic manner. This way we get to know the children we work with but also their families and support network. I love coming to work and being greeted by the lovely Chandler…our therapy dog in training!
Tell us about your most memorable client.
I was working with a young boy as his paediatric OT for a long period of time, mainly focusing on the development of his fine and gross motor skills. I had witnessed huge progression in his motor skills thanks to the team he was working with and input from his family. One weekend while on a hike, I happened to bump into him and his father on the top of a mountain! A great example of a leisure-based occupation that he could participate in thanks to all of his hard work.
How do you motivate yourself to move forward and keep the passion burning for your chosen career if you experience burnout?
For me it is about looking at the bigger picture. There will always be days where things don’t go to plan and burnout can be a common experience in healthcare. I believe sometimes we need to give ourselves some OT intervention and ensure we are participating in a proper self-care routine and engaging in activities outside of work that we find meaningful. In essence I think it is important as an occupational therapist to practice what you preach. This way we can continue to provide the best service to the clients that we work with during work hours.
What is something that can be improved that would make you love being an occupational therapist even more?
As an occupational therapist, we examine people’s care needs from a holistic perspective. This can include one’s physical performance but also aspects such as their sensory processing and overall mental health. We believe that through participation in occupations that are personally meaningful to us, we can live life to the fullest. I think further acknowledgement within healthcare on how occupational therapists can be recognised as a unique profession that supports both the physical and mental care needs of a person can continue to enhance the growth of the profession.
I also believe further support for high quality studies into sensory processing will continue to grow this important area of occupational therapy intervention, where such practices can be guided by evidence based.
Jordan Balfry, Occupational Therapist, Fired Up People
Jordan is an Irish occupational therapist living and working in Melbourne since 2018. Having studied an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology, she then pursued a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, graduating in 2016. She has worked primarily in paediatric settings across both public and private complex disability services. Her passion lies in assisting children and their families/caregivers in maximizing their full potential in a creative and enjoyable way.
More articles on My Health Career: