An Occupational Therapist is delighted to be making a difference to patients after being supported back into practice following a career break.
Miss Nikki Sanham had been out of clinical practice for seven years but is now working with the Stroke team at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital thanks to the Return to Practice scheme.
Nikki had been supported by the hospital’s Non-Medical Education Team and is recommending the experience to others who have taken a career break and eager to get back into the profession.
Return to Practice is a national scheme which helps Allied Health Professionals, such as Occupational Therapists, as well as nurses to work in acute, community and primary care.
She said: “I am over the moon to get back into practice and I’m really enjoying it. I am very grateful to the Stroke Unit and the Education team as they were both very supportive.
“I was inspired to become an Occupational Therapist as I like to help people and it is a very rewarding career. I am enjoying giving something back to the community.”
After working in administration and finance for seven years, Nikki, who had graduated from UEA in 2012, was inspired to get back into clinical practice.
She learned about the Return to Practice programme and was supported by Amanda Small, who is Head of Education at the hospital.
Nikki will undertake rotations in different departments, including working in the community, to help develop her skills and knowledge.
The Return to Practice programme enables those who have trained as an allied health professional but have since left the industry and the HCPC register to be able to regain their professional registration. The length of the programme is dependent on the number of years since the individual was last registered on the HCPC register.
She said: “It has been quite an easy process to follow and the whole therapy team has been very supportive.
“If a patient is finding a task difficult, I really enjoy thinking outside of the box to come up with a solution or a different way of doing things.
“I also get a lot of job satisfaction out of watching how patients become more independent during their rehabilitation. I like how we are able to personalize people’s care.”
More than 4,000 people have been supported by Health Education England’s Return to Practice Scheme.
For more information please go to: https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/return-practice or contact Amanda Small, Head of Education and Development Team on 01553 214583.
Picture: Nikki Sanham is enjoying returning to practice
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