Apprentice Occupational Therapist - Janice

Janice undertook an apprenticeship to become an Occupational Therapist

I was a Bank Support Worker for three years, working in Acute Female Mental Health and Psychology at NICPM. I found this role rewarding, but I realised that I had much more to offer.

While doing this I took the opportunity to start some activity groups on the ward, I wanted to do this because there was a lack of engagement through activity. The service users were enthusiastic, and it brought them together socially.

I did groups on poetry, knit and natter, and crafting, which proved very popular. This was my Eureka moment.

I then heard about the apprenticeship to become an Occupational Therapist. To do this, I had to have a contract. I approached the ward Manager, and he agreed to support me with a contract as a Support Worker.

From there, I was offered a full-time position as the ward OTA, which I accepted. I then applied for the apprenticeship, which I was also accepted for.

I chose the apprenticeship pathway because I like the idea of working while gaining my qualification. I am also based on the ward where I work as an OTA, so all the ingredients were in place for me to begin my journey.

I went back to education as a mature student after working many jobs, from cleaning to working in a bakery, while raising my son as a single parent.

I decided to go to college, and I did a two-year Diploma in Health and social Care, then went to night school to study English. These qualifications got me into university. I graduated with a 2:1 in Criminology.

Covid hit, and that is where my story begins on the path to becoming an Occupational Therapist.