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Posts Tagged ‘Australian Occupational Therapy Schools in Australia’

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

6 interesting things about studying occupational therapy

The University of Sydney followed second-year Bachelor of Applied science (Occupational Therapy) student Clement Lim around on a typical day on campus to ask him 15 questions about studying occupational therapy—why he chose it, what he likes about it, and what surprised him most about university life.

Here are six things interesting things about studying occupational therapy at the University of Sydney from Clement.

1. Why he chose an occupational therapy degree

Studying occupational therapy can make a genuine difference to people’s lives. When why he chose an occupational therapy degree, he said his main reason was “to empower others in the best way I can.”

Sydney occupational therapy students learn to help people with disabilities and those recovering from injury or with ongoing conditions to overcome barriers that may be preventing them from participating more fully in life. Students also learn alternative techniques that help people to achieve a given task and facilitate skill improvement.

2. What he learns in the practical classes

Occupational therapy students participate in practical classes in the OT Annex at Cumberland campus.

“The OT Annex contains some of the mobility equipment and assistive devices that we will prescribe to our clients should they require it,” explained Clement. “These include wheelchairs, crutches, hoists, slide sheets, transfer boards, walkers, over-toilet aids, and modified utensils (just to name a few), which essentially allow clients to be able to live independently and safely in a dignified manner.

“In our lessons, we learn about the functions of the equipment, how to operate them, what are the safety considerations, and what are the conditions that may require the use of this equipment.”

3. What surprised him about being at university

Studying occupational therapy offers students a supportive environment in which to learn. They are taught by leading academics, clinicians and researchers who play an important role the healthcare community. The student experience at university is a time to learn, change, grow and for recent high school graduates, and it’s often an opportunity to become more independent. Clement said that he was most surprised by the autonomy that he now has as a university student.

4. How quickly he was able to undertake a placement

Clement has already been able to gain real-world experience during a clinical placement at Liverpool Hospital’s cardiology ward.

“As it was my first placement, I was involved in doing the initial assessments of the clients, where we find out information that is pertinent to the care of the client, so that we can be better informed and gain a holistic understanding of our client to provide the best form of care that is tailored to their needs.

“My placement also provided me with further insights onto the different cardiovascular diseases and their impacts, which are often devastating, and can be insidious at times. Notably, I also learn about the wider healthcare system in Sydney, and what are the different policies implemented that support both clients and healthcare professionals,” said Clement.

5. What is his favourite subject

Clement’s favourite subject is neuroscience—the study of the nervous system of the human body, which includes learning about the structures involved (anatomy) and their role in our daily life (physiology).

“Essentially, we learn in greater depth about the brain and the spinal cord, and how these structures contain many other smaller structures and pathways that are crucial for life and functioning, which when damaged, can lead to disastrous effects.

“We also learn about the different structures and organs in our face and how they work; namely the eye, the ear, and the vestibular system. It is interesting to see first-hand how our daily subconscious actions involved so many intricate and delicate operations within our nervous system, especially since they are often done without much conscious thought and may even be unbeknownst to us!” said Clement.

6. How much he loves studying with different people

As highly trained and valued professionals, occupational therapists work with a diverse range of people, including other healthcare professionals and clients from all walks of life. Clement has loved that he has been able to study and work alongside people from a diverse range of backgrounds from around Australia and the world.

“My classmates are awesome! Everyone helps and supports one another in our learning; which makes the learning environment a conducive and optimal one.

“It is always interesting and exciting to talk to them and hear their ideas during class participations, which contains many thought-provoking and novel perspectives. Consequently, the class becomes spirited and learning becomes lively!” said Clement.

6 interesting things about studying occupational therapy

Learn more about Sydney occupational therapy degrees

About Occupational Therapy Degrees at the University of Sydney

Students at the Faculty of Health Sciences learn how to thrive in complex health environments and build an understanding of how to work with other health professionals to provide the highest quality patient-centered care.

The Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy is very popular among Canadian students. During this two-year degree, you will cover a wide range of topics including theories of what people do in daily life and why; knowledge of the development of human capabilities (e.g., cognitive, motor, psychosocial) and the ways in which injury and illness typically disrupt them; activity and environmental analysis; and theories and techniques for promoting participation in daily life. As part of your studies, you will complete more 1,000 hours of clinical placements, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and gain hands-on experience with real clients.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Semester intake: March each year
Duration: 2 years

The Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) program covers a wide range of topics including theories of what people do in daily life and why; knowledge of the development of human capabilities (e.g., cognitive, motor, psychosocial) and the ways in which injury and illness typically disrupt them; activity and environmental analysis; and theories and techniques for promoting participation in daily life. Professional practice is an integral part of the program, and fieldwork education consists of block placements and other guided learning experiences.

Program: Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) Honours
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Semester intake: March each year
Duration: 4 years

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Do you have any questions about studying occupational therapy at the University of Sydney? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Heather Brown at heather@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

What is the difference between occupational therapy and physiotherapy?

There is often confusion between physiotherapy and occupational therapy. There are significant differences between the two professions, but also many areas where they overlap.

What is the difference between occupational therapy and physiotherapy?

OT can help kids with various needs improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills

  • Physiotherapy (or physical therapy) is a health care profession with a focus on assessing, improving and restoring physical function.
  • Occupational therapy also looks at physical function, but extends this to consider how this affects your ability to engage in occupation such as daily activities, leisure and work.

Occupational therapy also addresses the range of requirements for the patient including their mental and emotional well-being. Occupational therapists also have the knowledge and training to work with people with a mental illness or emotional problems such as depression and/or stress. Occupational therapists are also trained in adapting the environment or prescribing special equipment to help people reach their full potential.

OTs often work alongside physiotherapists, as part of a team of health professionals. While some areas may seem to overlap, (for example hand therapy), occupational therapists use and adapt occupations to treat or prevent occupational dysfunction due to physical, mental or environmental factors.

You will find occupational therapists working with patients across the human lifespan from infants to aged care and end of life. OTs work across the spectrum of services from mental health to acute medical and surgical services in various areas:

  • Aged care
  • Child health services
  • Community health services
  • Disability services
  • Independent living centres
  • Mental health services
  • Non-government organisations
  • Private practice
  • Public and private hospitals
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Research and development
  • Schools and tertiary education
  • Workplace health

Bond University Master of Occupational Therapy

Bond University’s Master of Occupational Therapy degree will take just two years full time to complete because of Bond’s unique accelerated three-semesters-a-year structure.

The program is the first occupational therapy master’s degree in Australia to provide the opportunity to complete a clinical research project or undertake business electives in preparation for an occupational therapy career in health management or private practice.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Intakes: May and September each year
Duration: 2 calendar years (6 semesters)
Application deadline: No set deadline. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Apply to the Bond Master of Occupational Therapy program!

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Do you have questions about studying at Bond Occupational Therapy School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Heather Brown at heather@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, May 19th, 2017

About the Bond Master of Occupational Therapy program

Are you looking for a rewarding career in health care?

About the Bond occupational therapy program

Learn more about studying OT at Bond University

The Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine at Bond University is recognised for the excellence of its education and research in the medical, health and sports sciences. Bond offers the two-year graduate-entry Master of Occupational Therapy, which is designed to produce highly competitive graduates with comprehensive clinical skills as well as solid business acumen and research experience.

It is the first occupational therapy master’s in Australia to offer you the opportunity to complete a clinical research project or undertake business electives in preparation for a career in private practice. You will engage in research training before specialising in one of two elective pathways:

  • Clinically-focused Research Pathway – the clinically focused research pathway culminates in an individual research project that may be eligible for publication. This pathway prepares you for entry into higher research degrees and careers in research and academia, as well as bolstering research networks; or
  • Business-focused Research Pathway – enables you to undertake business electives that will enable you to undertake management roles, and better prepare you to work in the growing private sector. The pathway culminates in an industry research project where you will apply both research and business skills.

You will be taught by academics and industry staff who are current practicing clinicians with up-to-date industry knowledge.

Bond University Master of Occupational Therapy

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Next intake: September 2017
Duration: 2 calendar years (6 semesters)
Application deadline: No set deadline. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Entry requirements

The minimum academic entry requirement is an undergraduate degree in health sciences or other related degree with

  • one semester of anatomy,
  • one semester of physiology, and
  • two semesters of psychology or sociology or behavioural science.

Apply now to Bond Occupational Therapy School!

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Do you have questions about studying Bond University’s Master of Occupational Therapy program? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

UQ occupational therapy graduate shares how his unexpected hobby helped his career

UQ occupational therapy graduate Lachlan graduated in 2016. He recently commenced working with the RISC Association, where he assists people with severe and multiple disabilities to develop independence and belonging through socialisation and recreation in the community. In the future, Lachlan hopes to pursue further opportunities for occupational therapy research, particularly in the area of sensory modulation. Here is Lachlan’s story!

“Finishing my occupational therapy degree was not the most important thing that happened to me last year.” Perhaps not the best opening line to use at my first professional job interview, but I stick by what I said.

Last year I took up piano lessons, which turned out to be the most valuable learning curve during 2016. This was something that I had wanted to do for years; however, only recently had I plucked up the courage to become an adult beginner—which was slightly terrifying for me.

UQ occupational therapy graduate shares how his unexpected hobby helped his career

UQ Occupational Therapy graduate Lachlan K (Photo: UQ)

I like to think that my lecturers at UQ would not have been disheartened by my claim because the piano lessons proved to me exactly why occupational therapists are so crucial in our community. My love of practicing and wanting to improve really showed to me how important it is for individuals to have the freedom and physical ability to follow our passions, hobbies, and daily tasks. This is exactly what underpins the core value of what we as occupational therapists strive to achieve through our profession.

For me, the significance I place on my weekly piano lessons is a reflection of what I learnt as an occupational therapy student. The activities each of us participate in on a regular basis express who we are. I learnt, as an occupational therapist, that we have the opportunity to help our clients participate in activities that are uniquely important to them. By working together, we can draw on their strengths to overcome barriers and help them create meaning and purpose in their everyday lives.

To be honest, when I first started my degree I assumed that studying occupational therapy meant I would basically be a physiotherapist with a more confusing title. However, within a few short weeks, I realised I was training in exactly the right profession.

When I graduated, I had a wealth of theoretical knowledge (primarily in the form of frameworks, definitions and models) and a growing body of clinical experience. I have countless memories from my two years studying my Masters, but there is one in particular that encapsulates what I love about this profession.

Last year, I was on a ten-week placement at a rural hospital, where a key component of my role was working with adults undergoing rehabilitation following a stroke. Together, we set goals and worked towards re-engaging in the activities they found important. In a hospital this can be challenging, we tried to find ways to simulate a home environment to practice cooking and a supermarket environment to practice shopping. One of my older clients was experiencing a homonymous hemianopia following his stroke—in other words, he could not see anything in his left field of vision. While talking to him, I found out that he was a musician and playing piano was extremely important to him.

His hemianopia presented many challenges for piano playing as it meant that he would often read only the right side of the sheet music (which lead to some abstract interpretations of classic songs) and he was prone to ignoring the left half of the piano. We worked together with my supervisor and developed strategies to support his playing. For example, by drawing a line with a coloured highlighter on the left side of the page, he found it easier to remember to scan all the way to the left before reading the next line of his music.

On the ward, we were lucky to have an electric piano in the dining room and each day we would practice just before lunch. When he was playing, we would often have nursing staff stop by the room simply to watch and listen as he played and sung. After we finished our sessions together, I would often walk past the dining room to see him still playing 20 minutes later, still surrounded by a small crowd. He expressed how much it meant to him to be able to do something “normal” after such a challenging event, not to mention the effect that his playing had on the collective mood in our ward. It clearly had an effect on me too, as here I am a year later on my own piano journey.

About the UQ Occupational Therapy program

The UQ occupational therapy program program equips graduate-entry students with the theoretical knowledge, clinical skills and professional attributes necessary for a career in occupational therapy.  In addition to a focus on clinical occupational therapy practice, emphasis is placed on the use of prior skills and knowledge to enhance the effectiveness of occupational therapy practice; and the development of advanced adult learning skills for ongoing professional development.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next available intake: July 2018
Duration: 2.5 years
Application deadline: February 27, 2018

Apply to the UQ Occupational Therapy School!

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Do you have any questions about studying at UQ Occupational Therapy School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com for more information!

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Exploring occupational therapy as a career option


What exactly is occupational therapy and how does it differ from physio?

Exploring occupational therapy as a career option

UQ offers a Master of Occupational Therapy Studies program! (Photo: UQ)

Unlike physiotherapy, which evaluates and helps to maintain and restore physical function, occupational therapy helps to solve the problems that interfere with a person’s ability to do everyday things, like dressing, bathing, washing dishes, eating, and other tasks most of us take for granted. Occupational therapy can also help to prevent a problem or minimize its effects.

When do people see occupational therapists?

Usually, occupational therapists are sought when a disability, injury, illness or other problem limits someone’s abilities to care for himself, participate in work, or just enjoy regular leisure time or hobbies. These skills and regular activities are so important to us as people that they often describe how we view ourselves—we identify with our jobs and activities. When disability or injury prevents someone from being able to accomplish a simple, everyday task such as buttoning a shirt, it can affect how he or she feels about himself.

That’s where an occupational therapist comes in.

What do occupational therapists do?

Occupational therapists are highly trained health-care professionals, and they define an occupation as much more than a chosen career. Occupation refers to everything that people do during the course of everyday life, including feeding and dressing themselves. Everyone has many occupations that are essential to our health and well-being.

According to the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, “occupational therapists use a systematic approach based on evidence and professional reasoning to enable individuals, groups and communities to develop the means and opportunities to identify, engage in and improve their function in the occupations of life. The process involves assessment, intervention and evaluation of the client related to occupational performance in self-care, work, study, volunteerism and leisure. Occupational therapists may assume different roles such as advising  on health risks in the workplace, safe driving for older adults, and programs to promote mental health for youth.”

Depending on the particular situation, an occupational therapist will check

  • what one can and cannot do physically (including strength, coordination, balance, or other physical abilities);
  • what materials are used in the occupation (e.g., cooking utensils, clothing, tools, furniture, etc.);
  • what one can and cannot do mentally (coping strategies, memory, organization skills, or other mental abilities);
  • the social and emotional support available in the home, school, work and community; and
  • the physical setup of the house, school, workplace, classroom, or other environment.

Occupational therapists are also trained how to help others cope with their disabilities. OT can help with coping strategies, strength, coordination, and confidence, and recommend changes to environments that will be helpful. Community support may also be available, and the occupational therapist will also assist with finding specialized transportation, support groups, and funding agencies.

Where do occupational therapists work?

Occupational therapists are generally employed in community agencies, hospitals, chronic care facilities, rehabilitation centres and clinics, schools, social agencies industry or are self-employed. While some occupational therapists specialize in working with a specific age group, like the elderly, others may specialize in a particular disability such as arthritis, developmental coordination disorder, mental illness, or spinal cord injury.

Australian Occupational Therapy Schools

If you are finishing high school, the following Australian universities offer a four-year undergraduate occupational therapy degree:

The following Australian Occupational Therapy Schools offer two-year graduate-entry OT programs for those who have already completed an undergraduate degree:

Rehabilitation Sciences Information Sessions

If you’re curious about studying occupational therapy and other rehab sciences degrees, don’t miss the upcoming seminar at Western University. Enjoy refreshments and the opportunity to speak with Australian uni representatives and alumni to learn more about how you can study in Australia and practice in Canada! Be sure to RSVP to save your spot.

Western University
Date: February 9, 2017
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: UCC, Room 210

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Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh krista@oztrekk.com if you have any questions about studying occupational therapy at an Australian university!

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy students gain practical experience on placement

A group of Master of Occupational Therapy students recently completed an eight-week placement in Broken Hill, a mining town in the the New South Wales outback.

The students worked with local children as part of the placement experience required for the two-year graduate entry master’s program.

University of Sydney OT students gain practical experience on placement

Sydney OT students found their placement on Broken Hill extremely rewarding (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

Lydia Tu, who took part in the placement, said that being a part of a program that makes a difference in children’s lives is an experience she’ll never forget.

“Often children in Broken Hill can have developmental delays because of factors like exposure to lead in their environment. When this is coupled with a shortage in the health workforce, it can be very difficult for these children. It was great to work with the children and see immense improvements in them at the end of the program.”

“Fieldwork provides hands on experience with real clients in a supervised environment allowing students to combine academic study with the practical abilities required of the occupational therapy profession,” said Dr Merrolee Penman, Senior Lecturer of Workplace Integrated Learning at the Faculty of Health Sciences.

“The best part of the placement experience was working with the children,” said, Sharon Yi Heng. “It’s great to be able to watch the children develop the skills required for school performance, achieve their goals, and grow in confidence. It was such an amazing feeling and very rewarding.”

The focus on peer supervision throughout the placement period encouraged leadership skills and the opportunity to put their learning into practice in real-world situations.

“One of the most valuable experiences I had was the peer supervision. We had lots of autonomy, meaning we had to be very independent in making clinical decisions. I definitely learned how to think on my feet and be flexible in my therapy session plans,” said Sharon.

Occupational therapists work with their clients to overcome barriers that may be preventing them from participating more fully in life. This might involve teaching alternative techniques to achieve a given task, or facilitating improvement of skills. Occupational therapists collaborate with family and carers where needed, and typically work in teams with other health professionals.

“I had the opportunity to practice my clinical reasoning, and develop my own style of practice and approach which is really great,” said Lydia. “I have definitely gained some paediatric skills which include understanding some of the underlying factors that contribute to difficulties with handwriting, how to be creative and make things interesting to engage children, and how to communicate and be firm with children when needed.”

University of Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy

The Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy is very popular among Canadian students. During this two-year degree, you will cover a wide range of topics including theories of what people do in daily life and why; knowledge of the development of human capabilities (e.g., cognitive, motor, psychosocial) and the ways in which injury and illness typically disrupt them; activity and environmental analysis; and theories and techniques for promoting participation in daily life. As part of your studies, you will complete more 1,000 hours of clinical placements, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and gain hands-on experience with real clients.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2017 intake, the application deadline was September 30, 2016.

Apply to Sydney Occupational Therapy School!

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Rehabilitation Sciences Information Sessions

Interested in rehabilitation sciences? Then don’t miss the upcoming OzTREKK Rehabilitation Sciences Information Sessions. Enjoy refreshments and the opportunity to speak with Australian uni representatives and alumni to learn more about how you can study in Australia and practice in Canada!

Simon Fraser University
Date: January 31, 2017
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Blusson Hall, Room 9655

Western University
Date: February 9, 2017
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: UCC, Room 210

Don’t forget to RSVP for the OzTREKK Rehabilitation Sciences Information Sessions.

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Do you have any questions about studying OT at the University of Sydney? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

UQ research students recognised for documenting “amazing work” of occupational therapists

Two Queensland research students have been recognised for documenting the “amazing work” occupational therapists do to help child asylum seekers in Australian detention facilities.

UQ research students recognised for documenting “amazing work” of occupational therapists

Find out more about studying OT at the University of Queensland

Kelly Mitchelson and Hannah Begg of the UQ School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences earned acclaim at the Occupational Therapy Australia (Northern Territory/Queensland) annual conference.

“The well-being and rights of child asylum seekers are things I am very passionate about,” Ms Mitchelson said.

“We sought the perspectives of occupational therapists on what they saw as the needs and challenges faced by children in detention.

“The research also sought to understand how occupational therapists practice in this unique context.”

Ms Mitchelson noted that previous literature about occupational therapy and asylum seekers in Australia was limited and did not include research about services for children seeking asylum.

UQ research was gathered from interviews with 10 occupational therapists who had worked in Australian detention facilities. Their feedback included experiences of fear, deprivation and perceived insensitivity.

“One of the therapists said their main observation was detainees being stuck in the mindset of ‘Am I allowed to do this or will I be yelled at?’” Ms Mitchelson said.

Ms Mitchelson and Ms Begg received the Kryss McKenna Award from Occupational Therapy Australia for the best student presentation.

Featured in their presentation were drawings made by children before and after they engaged with occupational therapists, highlighting “a dramatic difference in content.”

Supervisor Dr Emma Crawford was full of praise for the UQ duo.

“They demonstrated extraordinary professionalism and sensitivity in their research project,” Dr Crawford said.

“Researching asylum seekers can be a sensitive area when discussing trauma, working within government legislation and policies, and balancing relationships with different stakeholders.

“The students have been outstanding representatives of UQ and have bright futures.”

Fellow UQ researchers Tim Barlott and Dr Merrill Turpin also featured in the study which the conference presentation was based upon.

UQ Occupational Therapy School

Master of Occupational Therapy Studies program equips graduate-entry students with the theoretical knowledge, clinical skills and professional attributes necessary for a career in occupational therapy.  In addition to a focus on clinical occupational therapy practice, emphasis is placed on the use of prior skills and knowledge to enhance the effectiveness of occupational therapy practice; and the development of advanced adult learning skills for ongoing professional development. In second year, management, research, and advanced clinical practice is covered.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next semester intake: July 2017
Duration: 2.5 years
Application deadline: February 27, 2017

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Would you like more information about studying occupational therapy at the University of Queensland? Please contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Bond University Master of Occupational Therapy career pathways

The beauty of undertaking a graduate degree is the opportunity to truly specialise in your field of interest. No longer are you required to register in seemingly pointless classes. Instead, graduate school can really sharpen the focus on what you are passionate about, offering research projects and elective pathways aimed at producing competent and work-ready professionals.

Bond University Master of Occupational Therapy pathways

Study occupational therapy at Bond University

Bond University’s Master of Occupational Therapy program is designed to produce highly competitive graduates with comprehensive clinical skills as well as possessing a solid business acumen and research experience.

It is the first Master of Occupational Therapy in Australia to offer you the opportunity to complete a clinical research project or undertake business electives in preparation for a career in private practice. You will engage in research training before specialising in one of two elective pathways:

  • Clinically focused Research Pathway – The clinically focused research pathway culminates in an individual research project that may be eligible for publication. This pathway prepares you for entry into higher research degrees and careers in research and academia, as well as bolstering research networks.
  • Business-focused Research Pathway – Enables you to undertake business electives that will allow you to undertake management roles, and better prepare you to work in the growing private sector. The pathway culminates in an industry research project where you will apply both research and business skills.

Students are taught by academics and industry staff who are current practicing clinicians with up-to-date industry knowledge.

Bond University Master of Occupational Therapy

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Next intake: May 2017
Duration: 2 calendar years (6 semesters)
Application deadline: No set deadline. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Apply to the Bond Master of Occupational Therapy program!

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Do you have questions about studying at Bond Occupational Therapy School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Sydney OT students work with remote Aboriginal communities

Four students from the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences have embarked on an opportunity to work with Aboriginal communities in the state’s far west.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the university and the Murdi Paaki Region Assembly (MPRA) in far west New South Wales which will see the Master of Occupational Therapy students develop innovative aged care service models for remote communities in the region.

Sydney OT students work with remote Aboriginal communities

Occupational therapy students arriving in Bourke (Photo: University of Sydney)

“Traditional models of aged care service delivery have had limited success within these communities,” said Master of Occupational Therapy student Rachel Brunker. “We need to find a feasible way to utilise and develop local services to allow elders to age on country and not be sent far from their families and community,” she said.

Rebecca Lebler, who is in her final year of the Sydney OT program, said occupational therapy is based on the foundation of person-centred practice.

“We are in an ideal position to identify the expectations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Murdi Paaki communities in regards to culturally safe and accessible health services,” she said.

In August, the University of Sydney announced an ambitious service learning program offering students opportunities to engage in meaningful community service while applying the experience to their academic and personal development.

Through the program, local community leaders inform the university of the issues that they would like support in managing. Students are then engaged on working on these issues with the communities.

Mr Sam Jeffries, Chairperson, Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly said, “This is a unique opportunity available to us. We are happy to partner with Australia’s oldest university to deliver real gains for Aboriginal people in the state’s far west.”

Arriving in Bourke, Michelle Packham said the role in the first phase of the project will be to develop strong relationships with the community. “We want to ensure a long-lasting collaborative relationship between the University of Sydney and the Murdi Paaki communities,” she said.

Students Rebecca Lebler, Rachel Brunker, Michelle Packham and Janielle Jondral will be joined by students from the Faculty of Engineering and IT who will work on producing alternative energy solutions for remote communities.

Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy

The Sydney OT program offers a two-year, graduate-entry program. It is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in any field who wish to gain the requirements to become an occupational therapist. As the course leads to eligibility to practice, students will be assisted in achieving prescribed professional competencies through practical and theoretical skill acquisition and clinical fieldwork placements. Clinical placements are undertaken in both the public and private sectors. Students will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the career path they have chosen, and its place in contemporary health.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Semester intake: March each year
Duration: 2 years

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Find out more about the Sydney OT program. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com for more information.

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Sydney occupational therapy student advocates children’s rights to free play

“I chose the field of occupational therapy because I have always loved working with children with disabilities or physical ailments in orphanages and I could use play as an effective means and end goal in therapy,” said Mandi Mills, an international occupational therapy student from Colorado State University, speaking at a presentation earlier this month to staff and students from her home university, as well as those that hosted her at the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences.

Sydney occupational therapy student advocates children's rights to free play

Sydney OT student Mandi Mills (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

Mandi’s presentation focused on a child’s right to play that practitioners can use within any environment. She drew on her international experiences, including her involvement on the University of Sydney’s Playground Project, to working as a pediatric occupational therapist in Colorado, and a recent visit to Indonesia at an inclusive school for children with disabilities.

Working on the Sydney Playground Project as part of a 12-week rotation, Mandi says play is difficult to define and a difficult concept to study. “Researchers of all disciplines have come together on this team because they believe children have great potential to play.”

The Sydney Playground Project, begun in 2009, is a multidisciplinary research project that adheres to the principle that play should be an integral part of children’s daily activities and the value of the many benefits associated with outdoor, non-structured play.

“The project aims to increase children’s physical activity, social skills and resilience through a simple, low-cost intervention that is carried out on the school playground,” said Senior Research Associate Jo Ragen. “Rather than adults scaffolding and structuring interventions for children to play, we wanted to find out how much children can do on their own without adult interaction.”

The research has found that children became more imaginative, creative, and social in their play adults stepped back and they were given loose-part play material, including items such as car and bike tires, wooden planks, cardboard boxes, hay bales and long tubes.

“The items are delivered to the playgrounds of participating primary schools located throughout the greater Sydney region and children (both typically developing and those with disabilities such as autism) are able to make their own decisions on what, where, or how they want to engage with each other and the materials,” said Jo Ragen.

Mandi says the Sydney Playground Project has shifted her thinking into working with a community or entire population, versus solely an individual client in a clinical setting. “Here, I am out on the playgrounds or at parks watching children interact with materials or each other, and constantly thinking about environmental influences.”

“I cannot thank the research team enough for this opportunity. I have had an amazing twelve weeks exploring the city of Sydney through my involvement with the Sydney Playground Project.”

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Learn more about studying occupational therapy. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.