Broaden your horizons with an Occupational Therapy career at Monash Health

Eliza Beattie stands behind a wooden occupational therapy tool with rings on it, holding it with her hands and smiling. She wears blue scrubs and her auburn hair is tied back.

Figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever have to make. 

For our very own Eliza Beattie, she thought it was a done deal between a nurse and a teacher – until she discovered the world of Occupational Therapy. 

“I decided on becoming an Occupational Therapist (OT) over the first two options because I didn’t want to just help people, but empower them to help themselves,” she said. 

“I really love getting to know people and the ins and outs of their lives, and being an OT is really about giving people choice, control and independence over their lives.” 

Having worked with Monash Health’s geriatric evaluation management team at the Kingston Centre since 2021, Eliza said she would have never imagined she would end up working in a hospital setting. 

“I’m really enjoying it – I help complete functional capacity assessments for new patients and help plan their subsequent rehabilitation and training across a broad range of areas, including the physical body, their cognition and supports and services that can be utilised to facilitate them going home safely,” she said. 

“I love seeing patients reach their goals and being really proud of themselves, because although it might not be a major goal, even something like being able to make a cup of tea by themselves can be really important for them.” 

An Occupational Therapist is an Allied Health professional who assesses someone’s ability to perform their daily abilities and occupations, and problem-solves ways to perform them more effectively or independently. 

“It’s a really holistic and functional profession, and we use a lot of domains of a person, including physical, cognition, mental state, spirituality and more and how these things affect their ability to perform their daily tasks like eating a meal or showering,” Eliza said.

Eliza Beattie holds a mirror and looks into it. The picture captures her reflection through the mirror.

Occupational Therapist Eliza Beattie never imagined she’d end up working within a hospital setting, but now can’t imagine doing anything else.

Before Eliza joined Monash Health, she worked in the private sector within NDIS and home care package services as a fresh graduate. 

“I decided to move to Monash Health because it has a really great Allied Health reputation, and I was looking for more opportunities to broaden my horizons, my scope of practise, and to build on my clinical reasoning skills,” she said. 

“I wanted a workplace that offered more support and better opportunities for career development and growth.” 

The OT said she’d noticed quite a few differences between working between the private and the public sector. 

“Clinically, there’s a much broader range of patients that come across the ward in the public space, it’s more fast-paced, and there’s a really clear patient flow and journey you’re a part of,” Eliza said. 

“Non-clinically, there’s a lot more supervision and support from the department you work in, and it’s a very team-based approach, not only within the OT team, but within the ward you’re on. 

“The support is really structured, and there’s a big importance placed on staff wellbeing and work-life balance, and making sure processes and procedures are followed – I feel safe going to work knowing I’m going to be looked after.” 

For any new OT graduates, Eliza said she’d encourage them to keep an open mind when considering what kind of role they’d like to start in. 

“Starting in the public sector really helps build your foundational skills and set you up for your career and clinical justification,” she said. 

“I’d encourage them to have an open mind about opportunities that arise and not have tunnel vision into one area of OT. Because it’s so broad, you might find yourself one day doing something you never thought you would and end up loving it, like I do!” 

If you’re interested in an Allied Health role at Monash Health, head to our careers website today to check out our current opportunities. 

Approved by Danielle Ryan

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