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Anna Duncan – Occupational Therapy student

Allied Health Professions

Anna Duncan is a 21-year-old occupational therapy student at Queen Margaret University.

Anna always wanted to work with people and following work experience with an occupational therapist decided to pursue it as a career.

“During my time at school, like many young people, I was unsure about what I wanted to do with my life. My A-levels were English Literature, Religious Studies and Drama. I always thought I would end up becoming a teacher as I love to work with people. Science related subjects were never my favourite in school, so a healthcare course never crossed my mind.

“I did some work experience with a speech and language therapist. She spoke about the role of an occupational therapist which I had not heard of at the time. But this discussion immediately struck an interest for me as she spoke of how they worked closely with patients to help them with their independence and function.

“I spent a day’s work experience with a community occupational therapist where we visited older people in their homes to assess if they were able to function independently in their environment. I thoroughly enjoyed my day and decided it was the career for me.

“The main thing I love about occupational therapy is how broad it is. Looking at the different placements I have done from working with children and young people to working in a stroke rehabilitation ward just shows how an occupational therapy degree can be utilised in many ways. We make such a huge difference, helping people re-build their lives.

Anna’s advice to anyone considering working in healthcare

“One piece of advice I would give to someone starting out in occupational therapy is to have an open mind as so many opportunities exist. If you enjoy working with people and learning about what is important to them then you will love occupational therapy.

“Also, you are hugely supported on your placements and learn so much. I love that I’m constantly learning and building my skills in this job, the opportunities are endless.”