Hello, my name is Kayleigh Wain, and I am currently joining NATH as Occupational Therapy (OT) Degree Apprentice student whilst completing an 8-week extended scope placement as part of our second year of learning. The purpose of these types of placements are a way to expose us as students to non-traditional placements that are outside the current established role of an occupational therapist. 
 
My background in healthcare developed whilst studying for my (BA) Hons in Health & Social care, and then a (MA) in Public Health. Whilst studying I gained experience in identifying and running student health promotion campaigns and improving staff retention rates with NTU’s Health & Wellbeing Team. These experiences flourished an interest in holistic perspectives in health, before securing my current role on the OT degree apprenticeship route, support by Nottinghamshire NHS Foundation Trust whilst studying at Sheffield Hallam University. 
 
So, what is an OT? We aren’t to be confused with occupational health, or jokingly referred to as basket weavers! In a nutshell Occupational therapist follow a holistic perspective to health, being dual trained in physical and mental health. A key role is to assess and provide interventions to maintain or promote independence through a variety of interventions including but not limited to equipment provision, anxiety management, graded exposure work, sensory work, trauma informed care, social inclusion and developing skills in activities of daily living. You can access NATH's New Roles webpage for more information about Occupational Therapist. 
 
The prevalence of completing a placement at NATH is a fantastic opportunity to embody a non-clinical placement with support from onsite supervisor Nicola Payne (Programme Lead), and a Long Arm OT Supervisor. Especially as OT is beginning to be accepted and supported by policies and pilot schemes in primary care as a way of reducing the burden on GP’s and providing a social investment on return. So far on placement, we have had the privilege to be exposed to the world of primary care and gaining insight into the current policies that are shaping the delivery of NATH’s 6 key functions. 
 
From this, it has identified key areas as OT students we can support NATH: 
To improve education and understanding on why Occupational Therapy should be considered and seen as a beneficial profession to be employed as part of the ARRs scheme. 
Identifying future OT student needs and promoting the value and opportunity for future OT students to consider placements in primary care delivered through NATH. 
Linking social prescribers with Occupational Therapy. 
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