Can you tell us about your role and the difference it makes to patient care?
I work as a therapy assistant practitioner in the paediatric neurology and oncology team in a children’s hospital. I work with physiotherapists and occupational therapists. My role is to help with recovery, rehabilitation and safe discharge of the patient to home. For some patients, I also provide a block of therapy sessions to help bridge the gap while patients are on a waiting list to see local therapy teams.
I work with the team and with families to assist with bespoke rehabilitation programmes: exercises, games, hydrotherapy, developmental play, sensory work, baby massage instruction, positioning programmes. I also support activities of daily living: getting dressed, making a snack, completing a craft activity. No two days are the same!
I implement follow up therapy with children and young people at home to help them return to school and to participate in everyday activities. The specialist outreach rehabilitation intervention involves travelling to the homes of patients all over the region. I provide help for patients to continue to make progress once they are discharged from hospital. I support problem solving in the home, for example- what is the safest way to get upstairs, or into the garden? I also support trips to the local swimming pool, parks, and soft play. Sometimes, I may also provide therapy at school.
There is a large amount of physical activity in this job as we encourage patients to move more!
I order and set up equipment that is needed along the patient’s recovery pathway, provide toys and games, reward charts and reward stickers.