Occupational Therapy Personal Statement
Personal Statement - The guiding principles behind occupational therapy – above all the idea that the best way to help individuals to restore their health is through equipping them with the skills and the confidence to lead full, rewarding lives – strike a chord with me. Being part of a profession that was based around these ideals would be both a privilege and an exceptionally rewarding experience that would satisfy my wish to help improve the lives of other people. I have an excellent capacity to communicate and empathize with others, in my opinion as a result of the diversity of my upbringing. Having been born in Afghanistan, I finally settled in the United Kingdom after my family and I spent time living in various other countries. The process of living temporarily in several different places, often having to overcome language barriers, has helped me to understand the importance of communication, and has caused me to value this skill and strive to develop it. Living in such a diverse range of places has also brought me into contact with people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
I believe that my aptitude for both higher education and suitability to work as an occupational therapist is demonstrated by my experience of completing a first year of a BSc in in Biomedical Sciences, ultimately leaving the course because I did not feel it suited my career goals or academic interests. I was a course representative for first-year students, a position that required me to communicate effectively with fellow students and help to formulate proposals that would help to improve their experience of the course; I see these skills as being a relevant part of an occupational therapist’s work. Furthermore, the experience of being enrolled in an unsuitable course has helped me to not make big decisions lightly and to ensure that I pursue a career in which I am genuinely interested. As a result, I feel certain that occupational therapy is the correct course for me, and I look forward to completing it with my fullest enthusiasm.
Shadowing an occupational therapist has been a rewarding experience that has helped me to better understand the nature of this fascinating profession. The experience of observing the work of the therapist and seeing how the central goal of everything that they did was directed at helping people to lead fulfilling lives, whether through coaching people on techniques to control issues such as anxiety or helping individuals develop goals for themselves, was inspirational. I was highly impressed with the therapist’s ability to understand people’s conditions through a combination of talking to them and keeping an eye on them as they went about their business, not to mention the importance that the therapist attached to assessing each individual thoroughly to ensure that the help that they offered would benefit the individual and their circumstances.
Recently I spent four weeks volunteering in a local school, where I worked with the children every day. I spent a significant amount of the time on the placement working with a disabled girl, in the form of helping her and keeping her company during breaks and lunchtimes. Being able to help children in this way was a great pleasure, and working with kids from a variety of backgrounds made me realise the importance of the role that occupational therapists can play in helping children who come from troubled families. Indeed, the rewarding experience of working with children has made me develop an interest in working as a paediatric occupational therapist one day. I was inspired to carry out this work experience through the sense of accomplishment I derived from helping to organise a Christmas party for a group of disabled children whilst I was at college. The experience made me realise that helping people was something that drives me to make the most of my skills and abilities. I believe that qualifying as an occupational therapist would be an ideal profession for me to be able to do this.