Providing non-traditional support to occupational therapy students
We are honoured to have been presented with an award for our work supporting students through placements in our Wizzybug occupational therapy team at Designability.
The judges remarked that we ‘include the occupational therapy process with a clear occupation-centred focus’.
Learning about the clinical delivery of the Wizzybug Loan Scheme
Over the last three years, the occupational therapy team have supported three first year students on placement from a nearby university. The placement has focussed on the delivery of our Wizzybug Loan Scheme to very young children with disabilities from all over the UK.
The students were supervised by two occupational therapists who are responsible for the day-to-day clinical work which has enabled hundreds of children to receive the Wizzybug, a small child-friendly car which still manages to encompass a class B powered wheelchair with all necessary seating support.
Each student was embraced as a temporary member of Designability’s staff with a full induction programme and the chance to understand the collaborative working of our communications and fundraising team, designers and clinical engineers, workshop technicians, administrators and occupational therapists.
Giving students the opportunity to access wider learning
We recognise that students must take responsibility for their own learning and so, during each placement, we asked them to study the foundation subjects of child development, childhood conditions, posture, seating and mobility. These were ‘tested’ at weekly supervisions by discussion and presentations.
Since students need a slightly wider learning experience than we can provide, we actively encouraged each of them to participate in extra activities such as day visits to occupational therapy departments in children’s hospitals, special needs schools, paediatric equipment exhibitions and other mobility charities. We were also able to send students on internal and external safeguarding, manual handling, resuscitation and COPM training courses.
Our first student now works for us!
Our first student (Kat, pictured left) went on to write her final year dissertation on early years powered mobility and occupation and, in July of this year, we actually appointed her to a full-time role at Designability, in charge of the clinical day-to-day delivery of the Wizzybug Loan Scheme.