Supporting stroke patients through occupational therapy

30/Oct/2020     Health

Each year OT Week sets out to recognise the pivotal contribution occupational therapists make within communities, providing innovative and tailored support to help people reach their full potential. 

The theme for this year's OT Week is 'Resilience: supporting our communities to rebuild, recover, and reengage' and this is exactly what the Occupational Therapy Team do the Mater Centre for Neurosciences Stroke Unit.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Anna Sing is passionate about supporting stroke patients to recover and rehabilitate themselves, she has a special focus on upper limb strength and recovery.

“I enjoy working with patients to perform strengthening upper limb exercises as part of their rehabilitation, this can be challenging as after having a stroke a patient can often be tired and unmotivated, I work hard to reengage them in their recovery,” Anna said.

“Before COVID we would work with the Mater Pet Therapy Team which was great fun, the patients were so engaged with the therapy dogs, we would practice patting with their weak hands, walking with the dogs, clippings pegs onto their leash, and speaking about what the dog is doing, it would really brighten their mood for the rest of the day.

“The part of my job I love the most is working with patients to reach their own personal goals, even if I am able to make a small difference in someone’s recovery I know it has been worth it. I have great mentors and guidance from my peers especially my clinical supervisor Aleysha.”  

Occupational Therapist Aleysha Martin mentors Anna and has recently won an Allied Health award for her work in the Stroke Unit where she is completing research projects and initiating quality activities to enhance the patient experience in Neurological Services. 

“Over the past 12 months, I have led the Research Project for the Transdisciplinary Initial Neuro Screen (TINS), obtained a grant and successfully implemented a therapy garden for neuro patients and significantly developed our neuro therapy resources,” Aleysha said.

“I have also obtained a scholarship to complete a PhD on the development and implementation of the TINS. I am using evidence-based research in my practice, assessment and therapy of stroke patients.

“Anna has done an exceptional job in the Occupational Therapy Assistant role, she receives constant praise and recognition from her peers on the ward who have been so impressed by her dedication to her patients.”

Director of Occupational Therapy Ray Kopeshke, said Aleysha and Anna truly embodied the Mater values and made a real impact on their patients helping them to rebuild, recover, and reengage after having a stroke.

“They are a wonderful example of clinical excellence in practice for the benefit of their patients and they are both assets to the Mater and the Allied Health Department. Their determination in seeking out best practice and best outcome opportunities is an ongoing example to all,” Ray said.

Pictured: Anna Sing. 

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