What University where you at and which course were you studying when you completed a placement with Breathe?
I studied a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy at London South Bank University, and completed a placement at Breathe when I was in the final year of my degree.
What did you do on your placement?
My placement was spread over 10 weeks and I was involved in the Breathe Magic programme, which offers a fun alternative to rehabilitation for children with hemiplegia. The programme combines Occupational Therapy and magic to create an unique way of restoring movement, developing coordination and building strength in an individual’s affected upper limb. My role on placement was to support the clinical team to prepare for the magic programme that we were running in Cheltenham over Easter 2019. I was involved in the screening of referrals, clinical assessments, and supporting the wider team in preparing for the programme. Over the magic camp, my role involved working with the children in their rehabilitation programme; helping them learn their magic tricks, work on functional goals, such as tying shoe laces, and prepare for their wonderful end of camp magic show. After the programme, I worked alongside the clinicians in completing assessments and writing reports on the children’s progress.
Why did this placement appeal to you?
I always aspired to work with children once I graduated from university. Paediatric placements are often hard to find for Occupational Therapy students, so I jumped at the opportunity to complete my final placement with Breathe. I had heard of Breathe Arts Health Research before, and knew a little bit about what this programme involved. I was interested in their unique way of providing therapy for children and thought it would be an amazing learning opportunity.
I felt a real connection with the kids on the programme and was genuinely proud when they persevered and succeeded.
What were your highlights whilst working at Breathe?
There are many highlights from my time working with Breathe, but working with the children has to be number one for me. It is rare for a therapist to get to spend such an intense period of time with their patients. Often in community teams, children with upper limb difficulties may be seen for a block of sessions, once a week, for approximately one hour at a time. These time constraints often make providing therapy challenging. However, being able to spend 10 days with the children on the Breathe Magic programme was extremely special. By day two, the children are already achieving their goals that they once thought were unattainable. I felt a real connection with the kids on the programme and was genuinely proud when they persevered and succeeded.
What are you doing now?
I recently graduated from university with a first class honours, and now work as an Occupational Therapist for a community Paediatrics teams in Central London. My placement at Breathe gave me a wealth of experience that I was able to use in my job interview and regularly apply to my role today. Thank you for such an amazing opportunity!