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Meet the Team: Sarah

Meet Sarah, an Occupational Therapist at Royal Far West

Hi, my name is Sarah and I am an Occupational Therapist (OT) at Royal Far West (RFW)

Where’s your country? – Where do you feel most connected to?

I work in Manly, the land of the Gayamagal people, where I also enjoy spending time after work at the beach, and along the foreshore.

I also spend a lot of time in the lower Blue Mountains, where I have family. This is the land of the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples. There are beautiful walks, waterfalls, and parks in this area. I love being outside surrounded by nature.

What does your role involve?

I work within RFW’s Child and Family Services as an OT. This involves providing therapy sessions through telehealth to support children and their families to work towards their goals. I lead occupational therapy assessments and play based sessions in our Centre for Country Kids in Manly to observe, assess, and provide strategies.

As an OT, I support a child’s regulation, sensory processing, self-care, motor skills and play skills, so that they can engage in activities they need to and want to do. My role also involves working with parents and teachers to support the implementation of strategies.

How long have you been with Royal Far West?

Almost four years!

What led you to work at Royal Far West

A passion for supporting rural and remote families to access occupational therapy services.

The learning opportunities provided at RFW were also important to me. The opportunity to work within a supportive multidisciplinary team and learn from other OT’s and clinicians is amazing. As an OT there is also variety within the role including working across different programs, options for telecare, outreach programs to visit and work with communities, and face to face sessions with families in Manly.

Can you describe your typical day?

As an OT at RFW, each day brings variety!

A day may start by engaging in an OT professional development meeting online, followed by completing a carer only consultation to gather information on a child’s engagement in daily tasks. Next, I may complete a play based observation session in our OT room with a purpose of observing and learning about a child’s regulation and motor skills through play (featuring a rock climbing wall and swings), then run a group information session with parents focusing on understanding behaviour. As mentioned above I also have a caseload of telecare clients, where again we use play to work towards OT goals, with the telecare sessions usually involving theraputty, gym ball exercises and lots of movement!

What do you love about working with families from rural and remote Australia?

I love getting to know families, supporting them to access the right services and also enjoy learning about different areas of NSW and Australia.

What do you think makes Royal Far West unique?

The team at RFW, with their knowledge and expertise! As an OT, it has been amazing to work within a supportive environment, with so much knowledge to be shared between and across disciplines. The passion of clinicians at RFW to improve the health and wellbeing of children in rural and remote areas is demonstrated every day.

Can you give us an example of a family’s positive outcomes through working with Royal Far West?

As a clinician I work with many families in person and online. I recently touched base with a family following their assessment. It was wonderful to hear from the family that they felt supported, heard and empowered following their assessment in Manly, and now feel they have more of an understanding of their child and how to best advocate for their needs.

With a family that I have worked with via telecare, an ongoing goal for the family was supporting the child’s independence in their morning routine. Through OT, we identified the goals of supporting the development of motor skills and regulation including using visuals to support routines and building in body-based regulation strategies to their morning routine. The child is now able to engage in more self-care tasks in the morning including tying their shoelaces, feels more confident in their skills and the transition to school in the morning is easier for the child and their family.

Can you share some career highlights from your time at Royal Far West?

Some of my highlights include:

  • Going on outreach trips to Central West NSW, working with local preschools and schools to complete OT screening, delivering presentations and learning about communities.
  • Working with families in person and via telecare to provide intervention, support and strategies.
  • Access to learning opportunities and courses through RFW to continue to develop my skills and knowledge
  • Working within an amazing multidisciplinary team.

 

Read more about our Child & Family Services here

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