My name is Helen, I live in the UK and I qualified as an occupational therapist in July 2014. I spent nearly 3 years as a rotational band 5 occupational therapist in physical health.  In April 2017 I became an OT in adult inpatient mental health.

This blog charts my journey from student to OT and also starting a professional blog with absolutely no idea whatsoever (the blog, not becoming an OT).  I use my blog as a place where I come to work through the challenges that I face on my OT journey. I must admit, at times its not been easy and I find writing these blog posts really helpful.  Trying to explain things to other people helps me consolidate my learning and reflect on my practice and if anyone else finds it helpful, well that’s the cherry on top!

Becoming an OT has been a challenging, life changing process.  I hope this blog helps other students and OT’s out there. Please bear in mind when reading the blog that  I am still learning myself. I do not  have all the answers or have the benefit of many years experience.

If you are linking to my blog, please can you let me know. It’s great to know I’m helping other students and it’s not too bad for my CPD file! Thanks.

The blog is written in accessible language to also be of interest to prospective students, other healthcare students, and members of the public.

I would love to hear your views and always respond to comments.

I support the 7 Cups of Tea Website which helps people look after their own mental health. Check it out.



All views on this site are my own and do not represent the views of my employer. Any information that I provide on my blog is accurate to the best of my knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. The information contained on this blog is for entertainment and informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as advice. If you rely on any info in this blog, it’s at your own risk. Even though I am an OT professional, my blog posts are for information purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as  advice. Consult with a professional before taking any sort of action.

I reserve the right to change how I manage or run my blog and that I may change the focus or content on my blog at any time. Disclaimer information has been written with reference to Jackie at Jade and Oak


43 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi! I’m starting an OT course this September and found this blog really interesting! Just wanted to leave a comment to say keep up the good work and I’ll definitely be following this in the future! And thank you for the placement tips too, I’m already nervous for those! 🙂

    • Hi Rachel, Thank you for your kind words. They came right on time as I was just starting to lose heart with my blog because I wasn’t getting much feedback from ‘the void’ so you have spurred me on to post more. I look forward to further contributions from you as your course goes on and good luck with it all.

  2. Hey I just stumbled upon your blog today. I going into my final year as an OT student in Kentucky. I have only read one blog, but will check out the rest of your page. Good luck in school!

  3. Hi Helen,
    I stumbled across your blog whilst researching for my interview at Salford on Wednesday to study OT, I have found your blog very insightful and really interesting to read and made me even more nervous about my interview as this is what I want so much
    Keep up the great work, fantastic reading!!

  4. Hey Helen I want to go the UK for my degree in OT (I’m from the US and it will be the Masters degree) How is the job market for OT’s in the UK. I’m having a hard time finding information about that. In the US it’s good I’m hoping it’s the same in the UK, thanks.

    • Hi Kyaira, thanks for reading the blog. Happy to help. I can only talk from my experience as a recently qualified OT. There are jobs out there but the competition is fierce, so far I have not been able to secure a post in the NHS.However if you are prepared to live anywhere in the UK you may have more luck. Good luck.

  5. Hi Helen,
    I am just about to start my access course with the hope of applying for occupational therapy. I came across your blog and have enjoyed reading it, granted not all of it. Have you got any tips for someone about to apply, any tips for my personal statement. I have had help from some of the OT’s i work with but i would appreciate any advice.

    • Hi Rachel thanks for reading and commenting. Thanks for the positive comments, thats nice of you. Perhaps you can send me another message about your background and experience which I will keep private so I cam advise you further.

      Best wishes

  6. Hi Helen,
    How lovely to see an OT writing about the importance of SDM! Well done on raising thiis important topic in your blog post. If you email me, I’ll send you some other resources on the topic which may be of interest to you.

    • Thanks Tammy, sorry for the delay in responding. I am very flattered that you have read and commented on my blog having read your articles and your chapter in OT and physical dysfunction. I will email you when I get a chance. Best wishes, thanks for reading.

  7. Hi Helen, I have really enjoyed reading your blog about your experiences. I am in the process of setting up a two day online event for OTs on a range of topics and wondered if you would be interested in speaking about your training and what’s next for you as part of this programme? Please do let me know if this would be of interest. Best wishes, Simone

  8. Thank you sharing your thoughts and experience, Helen! I am hoping to start the OT course in September this year. I currently attend my OT interviews, and I still have three more to attend. This week I have the interview @ The Uni of Salford, which will be my first choice if I am lucky and get the offer. Your blog is helping me to prepare for my interviews, and I just registered for the OT online event. I shared the link to the event in one of the OT groups on FB. Great job, thank you for your input and help! Best wishes, Dagmara

    • Hi, thank you for your lovely comments, I really appreciate you sharing the link to my forthcoming webinar too. I wish you every success with your applications. It will be great to have you there at my presentation. Thanks for getting in touch. Helen.

  9. Hi Helen, thank you for this wonderful blog. I’m a first year student OT and I am about to go out on my first placement. I just stumbled across your blog whilst googling for information on reflections! I’m going to really enjoy reading through your posts and finding out about all your experiences as a student/newly qualified OT x.

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for your comments. It made my day. I had considered putting an end to the blog but I’ve had a few nice comments recently which gives me the motivation to carry on. Good luck with your first placement.

  10. Hi Helen, I am so happy to have found your blog page, very inspiring indeed! I am in the process of writing my personal statement for entry onto an OT course starting in 2016. I have thoroughly enjoyed the posts I have read so far, such a warm and motivating tone to your writing. Thank you for for opening my eyes to all the fantastic opportunities available in OT. Sarah x

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for getting in touch. Thank you for your kind words and positive feedback, it really is encouraging to see that people are finding the blog helpful. If you are applying for courses, have you watched my webinar “The OT journey”?, hopefully, you’ll find that helpful and full of tips on applying to university. Good luck with your application! Best wishes, Helen.

  11. Hi Helen. Just wanted to echo the positive tone and feedback from others also reading your blog! I am an aspiring OT student considering entry for 2016, and I really like what you have to say about the world of OT! Many thanks for sharing your thoughts, ideas and experiences. Julie 🙂

    • Hi Julie, thank you too for reading the blog and your positive comments. It’s lovely for me to receive feedback from readers-just to let me know that people are liking what I am writing. If you are applying to university, have you seen my ‘OT journey’ webinar? Hopefully this will give you some insight on writing your personal statement, getting ready for interviews and an insight to the road that lies ahead. Good luck with your applications. Best wishes, Helen.

  12. Hi Helen

    I am currently in my second year at University studying OT, I am due to start a hand therapy placement (Outpatient), next month.You mentioned that your a hand therapist,
    I just wondered what should I expect? Do you have any for tips?

    Many thanks


    • Hi Sherika,
      Thanks for reading my blog and getting in touch. Just to clarify my level of expertise, I’m not a hand therapist, I think you need to have a certain qualification to call yourself that (BAHT, perhaps?). I’m just a band 5 OT on a rotation in hand therapy. What type of hand department is it? Burns and plastics? Ortho? Rheumatology? I’m sure other people may also want to know what to expect on a hand therapy placement and some tips. So, I’ll try to do a blog post for you. Thanks, Helen.

  13. Hi Helen , just a quick one to say I found your blog when researching kitchen assessments and as a OT student starting this September I have bookmarked it and will be reading more once I have finished that last couple of dreaded Psychology assessments for my Access course.

  14. Hi Helen, Your blog is fantastic, thank you for taking the time to write it.

    I am currently a student studying this fine art of OT (year 1) and am thinking about starting my own blog from a male OT perspective. If you have time to send me any pointers please do drop me an email.

    Great work again on your blog.

    • Hi Ryan, thanks for the lovely comments, it really does make it all worthwhile. I would definitely recommend blogging, it’s really helped me on my OT journey. I have done a few posts about blogging, which may be helpful to you, it’s difficult for me to hyperlink at the moment but they are earlier posts. Best wishes, Helen.

  15. Hi Helen,
    I’m an activities coordinator in forensic low secure and I want to start my OT training at Salford next year… your blog has been so useful, and made me even more excited and determined to be an OT.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Frankie, thanks for reading. I’ m really happy that you’re finding the blog useful. That’s part of the reason I do it. Good luck with your OT journey. Best wishes, Helen.

  16. Hello Helen, is there a way I may contact you? I’m currently on the process of developing a software to help Occupational Therapists on their daily practice, specially on what regards to documentation, and I would love to have chance to discuss the idea with you and have your feedback.


    • Hi Otto, thanks for reading the blog and reaching out to me. I have a lot going on at the moment and unfortunately don’t have the time to help you. Good luck with it though.
      Best wishes

  17. Hi Helen, just wanted to say how much I’ve found your blog informative and interesting. I’m a first year OT student and am really glad to have found your blog..am now following…best wishes, sarah

  18. I just started a band 5 rotation after a 9 year gap since graduation and feel daunted by it all. This blog is everything I have been looking for and more!! Thank you so much for sharing. You are getting me through my first week in my rotation 🙂

    • Thanks Claire, glad to be of assistance! I’m always looking for ideas, so let me know if there’s anything in particular you would want to see on the blog. Glad to know that you are finding it useful. Good luck with your rotation, don’t forget the OT process is here for you! Best wishes, Helen. X

  19. hey! could you possibly make a post about SOAP notes and how you would write one when its the first time seeing a patient and then a soap note if its the second session with the same patient?

    I find the analysis part difficult after watching their mobility and transfers, especially when having to recommend community OT or reablement.

    Love your website and everything has been so helpful! 😀

  20. Hi Helen. I’ve been following your posts and know that you decided to change from physical to mental health. Could you please tell me how it has been inpatient acute setting? I’m also in a similar boat and considering going from acute physical to mental health. Thank you!

    • Hi Priscilla, thanks for reading the blog and getting in touch. It was difficult to adjust at the start, especially if you’ve been focused on transfers, mobility and equipment. I felt like I was starting from the beginning again. I think it has been a good move for me. I see the bigger picture of OT and see function in a wider sense. It’s been great doing groups and community activities. Mental and physical health are not separate, they are closely linked. Us OTs are meant to take an holistic approach and I think it’s important to be able to do both.

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