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In light of Occupational Therapy Week, we are celebrating one of our amazing employees – Elysia (pictured above, third from right) who makes a significant difference to the lives of Brightwater clients every day.
From a young age, Elysia was passionate about working as an Occupational Therapist (OT). She took part in dancing as a child and attended Occupational Therapy sessions for management and prevention of injury. Elysia looked up to her OT as a kind, gentle, knowledgeable and creative professional, who enabled her to do what she loved to do most.
“I always wanted to follow in his footsteps. I did think that OT was very much like physiotherapy, until I started the degree! However they are very different and it is these differences that made me fall in love with OT. I enjoy a ‘get up and go’ lifestyle, and being around a diverse range of people.
I fell in love with the idea that I could enter into a job, where science and creativity could come together and allow me to make a difference in others’ lives, no matter who, where, or how. It is a job that keeps me on my toes, and I love it,” said Elysia.
Completing her OT studies in 2015, Elysia started her first job in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia in 2016. She worked in a vocational rehabilitation role, packing up all of her belongings on New Year’s Eve, driving out to start her career as an OT on New Year’s Day.
However, said Elysia, “I’ve always had a passion for neurology, and when the opportunity came up to work at Brightwater Oats Street Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre, it was an opportunity I knew I had to go for. It was a dream of mine since University. I applied, and was fortunate enough to get the job! I quit my job in Kalgoorlie and started right away.”
Elysia has been with Brightwater since October 2016, and has worked across the Oats Street site, from low to high care clients. When asked what gets her out of bed every day to come to work, she said…
“The people that I am fortunate enough to work with. Don’t get me wrong, it can be challenging to work out ways of doing, achieving and supporting goals.
But my client’s goals are my own goals.
Their barriers we work on together to overcome. And the wins - the increased independence, the engagement and enjoyment in everyday life, no matter how big or small … they are completely worth it. They are what get me out of bed every day.”Elysia pictured centre, with Oats Street residents at this years HBF Run For a Reason.
When asked about one of the biggest highlights of her career, Elysia found it hard to pick just one. From supporting someone to walk for the first time after a significant injury, to the first time someone has completed their morning routine independently, having a client release a book about their lived experience with an acquired brain injury and supporting someone to sit out of bed for the first time in several months. There are so many rewarding prospects of a career as an Occupational Therapist.
“Completing the HBF Run for a Reason with some extremely motivated people, both ambulant and in wheelchairs. Being present with someone who was previously a wheelchair user while they walked across the stage at their University graduation independently, having worked with them for years. The list goes on. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to share in these experiences,” said Elysia.
This Occupational Therapy week, we would like you to spread the word on the invaluable job of Occupational Therapists. As you can see from Elysia’s story, it is extremely rewarding to help individual’s achieve their goals and bring a smile to their faces.