Senior Therapy Assistant
Name: Beccy Webb
Role: Specialist Therapy Assistant
Time as AHP support worker: 1 year
Where I work: Adult Community Health Team for People with a Learning Disability at South West Yorkshire Partnership Trust
What was your experience of education?
I enjoyed school and college and got the grades I needed to go to university. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I chose a degree that interested me and that would look good on my CV.
At university, I realised that I wanted a job where I would be working with people and making a difference. I went to a careers talk about working in the charity sector and was given some really useful advice: to think about what I am passionate about and to develop my skills in that area.
What has been your career journey so far?
After university, I began working at a specialist school for children and young people with autism. This is where I really found my passion. I loved working with the Occupational therapist and I really enjoyed supporting the learners I worked with on developing their self-care and leisure routines as well as during vocational sessions such as baking and gardening.
After a few years in this role, my partner and I moved abroad to Kyrgyzstan. Amazingly, we happened to meet a charity that supported families of children with autism. We began volunteering and sharing our experience before eventually working for the charity. Along with some visiting Occupational therapists, we helped the charity to develop the services that they provided.
How did you find out about a role as a AHP Support Worker?
Some visitors from the World Federation of Occupational Therapists came to see the charity in Kyrgyzstan. I mentioned that I was keen to gain more experience of occupational therapy back in the UK and one of them recommended looking at jobs in the NHS.
I began looking into therapy assistant roles and got my current job, working with Occupational therapists, Speech and Language therapists and Physiotherapists.
At university, I realised that I wanted a job where I would be working with people and making a difference
What is it about your role that you enjoy the most?
Definitely working with patients and their families and carers. I like that I see patients for an extended period of time so get a chance to build a relationship with them. I also like working within a multi-disciplinary team and I’ve learnt a lot about the different professions and how they work together.
What does your role look like day to day?
Every day is different which is another thing I like about this job.
An example day might begin with attending meetings with AHPs to discuss cases. After this, I might have some resources to work on or phone calls to make to patients.
Next, I’ll get ready for my visits that day. The visits could be for any of the AHPs I work with. For physiotherapy, it generally means supporting the patient with their mobility or to do their stretching programme. For occupational therapy, it might be observing the patient make a snack or supporting them to engage in different activities. For speech and language therapy, I observe and gather information about how a person communicates, interacts and makes choices.
Twice a week we provide hydrotherapy. During the sessions I might be in the water with the patient or assisting on pool side, which involves making sure that patients have the equipment they need to get in the pool (slings, tracking hoist, chair hoist), supporting the therapists in the water, and cleaning equipment down after it’s been used. At the end of the day, I write up my notes and feedback to the AHPs .
Any advice for those interested in this type of role?
If you are looking for a job where you can work with people and develop your skills, then AHP support worker roles are a great option. There are so many different settings and areas of healthcare that you can work in so it’s worth finding out about the different possibilities and seeing what interests you.
Take a look at some of our other AHP Support Workforce inspirational stories and see the vast variety of the roles they perform and the value they bring to the Allied Health Professional Workforce.