Occupational Therapy Week – rebuild, recover and reengage 

This week is Occupational Therapy Week – a great opportunity to celebrate the contribution our occupational therapists make to the health, wellbeing, engagement and quality of life for our patients at all stages of their healthcare journey. 

This year’s theme is ‘Resilience: Supporting our communities to rebuild, recover, and reengage’, which highlights the importance of individuals being supported to reengage in disrupted occupations such as daily routines, activities and employment. This aims to optimise their recovery and rebuild health, wellbeing and resilience, which is particularly important in light of the challenges that this year has brought. To meet some of these challenges, the Occupational Therapy team at Monash Health has adapted the way they deliver care to their patients. 

Occupational therapists by their very nature are innovative and adaptive. Never has this been more evident than over the last few months. We have adopted new ways of practising which include assessing the suitability of a patient’s home environment virtually, transitioning 60% of our hand therapy appointments to telehealth, and providing novel and innovative solutions to clinical education to ensure our future workforce is skilled and work-ready,” says Sarah Brown, Head of Occupational Therapy, Hand Therapy & Equipment Services at Monash Health. 

“We’ve also been supporting our most vulnerable and isolated members of our communities to maintain engagement in the occupations that provide meaning and purpose to their lives – all from behind our masks and shields.”  

Each year, the Occupational Therapy team across Monash Health comes together to celebrate improvements and achievements through the Occupational Therapy Research and Innovation forum. This year, the interactive online event ran over several sessions during Occupational Therapy week. The event featured presentations from a selection of leaders and clinicians across Monash Health bed-based, mental health and community services to highlight the great work that occupational therapy has contributed to the lives of our patients, consumers, and colleagues throughout this unprecedented yearwith a particular focus on resilienceA key highlight was an inspiring presentation from Donna Markham, Chief Allied Health Officer (Safer Care Victoria) sharing her reflections on self-care and resilience during the pandemic. 

Well done to our Occupational Therapy team on their creative thinking and hard work during this time! Happy Occupational Therapy Week! #OTWeek2020 

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