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Volunteers' Stories





Occupational Therapy Internship in Auckland, New Zealand

1) What experience do you feel you are gaining?

From the placement I am gaining significant valuable experience. I have worked with children before but working with disabled children (both physically and mentally) poses a whole range of different challenges. From learning how to communicate with them so they understand to how to motivate them to engage with the task in hand.

I am also lucky enough to be working alongside other allied health professionals, being Occupational therapists and Speech and Language therapists so I am learning about their work here as well.

2) What is the best thing about your placement so far?

The children are amazing to work with - they are lovely. Although it is a tough job working with disabled children, both physically and emotionally, but I find that just seeing them smile or laugh is so rewarding!

3) Would you recommend this placement to anyone else?

Definitely - it's a great experience.

4) What type of person do you think this placement would suit?

Someone who is interested working with kids and as part of a team.

5) What, if any, improvements could be made to the placement?

Can't think of any!

6) Can you describe a typical day?

Start at 8.30am and the first jobs and as the kids are arriving its preparing them for the day ahead. I am involved in mobilising the joints of some of the more physically disabled children, before helping them into their walking frames and putting their splints on them.

It changes day by day which group but then one group of children we have an exercise/games session with where we have a range of sport based activities.

It is morning tea at 10.15 for the children and usually I would go into the a class and help with the children's eating programmes. (Break for me is at 10.30-10.50)

Block 2 runs till lunch and there would be either a music session or a fitness group. Again before my lunch break I would help with the eating program for the kids. Lunch break is 12.40-1.20.

On a Wednesday in the afternoon we take a few kids swimming and there I was involved with helping getting them there and undressed/dressed for that.

Every other day I would be spending time with the physio and an individual child doing their specific therapy. Then the day finishes at 2.45pm so I have the rest of the afternoon to do whatever :-)

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