Occupational therapist Debbie Fletcher
I work with adults with a variety of rheumatological conditions including lupus and inflammatory arthritis. The work involves assessing the problems or difficulties people have with daily activities such as:
- self care
- leisure activities.
I help people find solutions to these problems, which could include using a gadget, exercising or doing things differently. The role of the rheumatology team is to help people manage their long-term condition and the OT plays an important part in that process.
I enjoy working with a multi-professional team. It offers support and we learn from each other. That team includes the patients, and they often offer solutions or information that I can share with others. I like the opportunity to have a mix of roles; for example clinical, education and research.
Being an OT incorporates very practical skills needed for making splints, or my Blue Peter skills as some patients joke, problem solving and the psychosocial aspects of care needed to support people adapting to living with a long-term condition.
Education is also very important and I have the opportunity to teach patients, medical students and healthcare professionals. So it’s a very varied job.