Paige Elmer credits working in a rotational post at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) with giving her the best possible start to her career.
Not only has it allowed her to develop her skills as an occupational therapist (OT) across multiple specialties, but has also given her a valuable insight into clinical care in almost every area at Colchester Hospital.
For since joining ESNEFT in 2016, Paige has completed rotations in orthopaedics, surgical, stroke, medical, oncology, care of the elderly and the integrated rapid assessment service.
“I really enjoy working in a rotational post as it’s a quick way to build up experience in a lot of different specialities,” said Paige. “It also gives you the chance to develop a wide variety of clinical and assessment skills and work alongside lots of different teams”.
“I have found it really useful for career development as you can take all of the positive elements from one rotation into your next role. It’s also a fantastic way to improve confidence and gives you a taste of working in lots of different areas so that you can decide if you’d like to specialise in the future.”
Paige has recently been appointed to a brand new senior role as the first dedicated OT to be aligned to the critical care and respiratory support unit. The post will give her the opportunity to play a key role in the recovery of some of the hospital’s sickest patients.
“All of the experience you build and skills you learn on rotation are transferrable to other areas, so it’s a great opportunity to develop,” added Paige.
“There are only two areas within the current rotation programme at Colchester I haven’t yet worked in – frailty and neuro-rehabilitation. But for now I’m really interested to see how my new critical care role develops. It’s the first time there has been a dedicated OT in the unit so I will get a real chance to shape the post, which is both exciting and a little daunting at the same time.
“I know it will give me the opportunity to do what I enjoy the most; building therapeutic relationships with patients and focusing on what is meaningful to them to support their rehabilitation journey and facilitate discharge from hospital.
“Working in rotation has given me the chance to do just that for a wide variety of patients and I would thoroughly recommend it.”
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