Working online from Canada! Julia – Occupational Therapy (OT) Graduate

Hi, this is Julia! I have been working behind the scenes with bOunceT on an exciting new project to develop our new product – Meaningful Moments. I wanted to share the story of how I came to work with bOunceT all the way from my home in Canada, what remote working has been like for me, and what you should keep an eye out for with our new products and services!

Like so many others, this past year and a half has felt like some sort of deranged roller-coaster ride you cannot get off. I began 2020 living in Glasgow city centre, exploring new places on the weekend and cheap flights booked for wherever I could fit them in between coursework and placement.

You know how the story goes, things changed quick. Seemingly overnight. Before I had time to think I had gathered what I could and left Scotland to return to my hometown in Atlantic Canada where lockdown was relatively brief and COVID-19 cases were limited (for the first waves anyhow). There was a lot of fear and uncertainty about how this might impact my degree, but I was lucky to have the support of family and friends nearby. I completed my Dissertation, my final placement, and ultimately my MSc at GCU. … thanks to AirMail for my parchment delivery!
I was disappointed that my time in Scotland had ended so abruptly and with the pandemic spreading quickly into 2021 it was ultimately too complicated to return.

Canada

When I applied for the Play Resource Officer (PRO) role at bOunceT I was amazed by how accommodating the service was willing to be. I felt very fortunate to have found an opportunity that would allow me to put my OT skills and experience to work, whilst meeting my own needs to work flexibly.

Working from home has been a great fit for me and the work itself is incomparable to anything in my local area. I heard about bOunceT while studying at GCU and respected how the service championed play and took an innovative approach to occupational therapy practice. I really value the “non-traditional” way that occupation is promoted. Since joining the team I have not been disappointed. I have enjoyed working on many different aspects of the service, and getting familiar with the evidence base that supports play as an occupation!

Working remotely has given me a unique opportunity to develop my clinical reasoning skills. My experience with flexi-time so far is that it has helped to improve my own creative thinking and productivity. Although no two days look the same, I have a gotten into the routine of waking up early to accommodate the time difference and ensure I can make the most out of the time available to communicate and work collaboratively with the team. After all, there is not much of a commute from my bed to my desk! Then when the rest of the team is done for the day I typically continue with work independently. I still end up finishing my day earlier than most in my local time zone, which is especially nice as the weather is getting warmer. Other days I go for walks or run errands mid-day and return to work until late afternoon. I’m really enjoying the unique & flexible work style that isn’t often available!

The most exciting part of my work is the lead role I have now in developing our Meaningful Moments activity cards. We’ve been developing this OT resource so that you can have quick but purposeful play ideas to do at home (or out and about!) AND it will give you ideas about how to adapt these activities or games to meet your child’s needs. There have been various quality checks of these resources from multiple OT’s from within bOunceT, and from external/outside of bOunceT (for example Elizabeth & Fiona from Occupational Therapy Scotland…and Sharon from Chattersense)!

One of the great things about this new product is that we are going to follow a #BuySocial model, being a registered Social Enterprise (Community Interest Company) –

When you buy a pack, we donate a pack to a family, or service, in need of support!

We continue to follow our ‘Physical, Social & Sensory Model’ at bOunceT, so naturally we wanted to reflect this across the first ‘decks of cards’ we released. So, we are excited to be launching our ‘Flagship’ packs from the end of July! This will be a Physical pack, Social pack & Sensory pack.
We might have been a little ambitious, bur we are aiming to have 20 activities in each pack!
I have been working hard with other OT staff, and OT students on placement, to put lots of details in each card…for example:

-what the activity is

-how to change or adapt the activity to make it easier/harder

-what this can help with functionally (e.g. at home or school)

-QR code to link you to a video to see one of the bOunceT team actually completing the activity………………..AND lots of other fun, interactive things!

All of the team and I are constantly coming up with new ideas for new packs – e.g. School pack, Home pack, Halloween pack, Christmas Party pack!! I hope the range of ‘Meaningful Moments’ therapeutic play cards that we can produce this year will be as fun and engaging for as many people as we hope!

Keep an eye out on what is to come – Meaningful Moments – bOunceT

Thank you for reading my journey, and about my role. I hope to keep working with bOunceT for as long as I can!

Julia 🙂

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