First OT graduates boost health industry

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First OT graduates boost health industry

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Published on 10 May 2012

10 May 2012

The first graduates of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Occupational Therapy degree are already having an impact on the health of the wider community.

Almost all of the 16 people who graduated in the University’s first OT cohort on 4 April are already hard at work in the industry both locally and beyond.

“Their work settings vary from medico-legal private practice to hospitals including Nambour,” said USC Discipline Leader in Occupational Therapy Professor Marion Gray.

The four-year program teaches students how to help people experiencing performance problems in daily living caused by injury or illness, psychological or emotional difficulties, developmental delay, or the effects of ageing.

The students finished the program in November and formally celebrated their achievements last month at the USC Graduation Ceremony.

Professor Gray said some students had been offered jobs through direct contacts made during placements as part of their degrees.

“The graduates are working in specialised facilities in locations from Nambour to Rockhampton and they’ve all reported how much they’re enjoying their careers,” she said.

“In addition, we received excellent feedback from practice educators across the state about this first cohort. They will contribute positively to the profession and the community.”

Almost 220 more students are now enrolled in OT at the University.

“Having an OT program on the Sunshine Coast allows USC to actively engage with the community through having students undertaking their clinical training locally, collaborating on research and health initiatives of relevance to this community and producing graduates, many of whom will stay here and help build the health workforce here on the Coast,” Professor Gray said.

“This is particularly relevant given the development of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.”

Julie Schomberg

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