Angela Skrabania

My name is Angela and I am the Clinical Development Lead at Enabled Living. Enabled Living is a publically owned private company that runs three services in Newham, East London – Community Equipment Service, Wheelchair and Specialist Seating Service and the Sensory service.

I am an Occupational Therapist and qualified in 2007. I came to Occupational Therapy later in life, having previously worked in both strategic and executive roles amongst other things. Prior to finding Occupational Therapy I had completed a personal development course to work out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. This helped me focus on searching for the right career for me and also gave me the motivation to approach Occupational Therapists and request for shadowing opportunities to really get a view of what it was all about. In the end I shadowed 5 OTs in different settings!

So eventually I left my full time job (eek!) and set off on the journey of retraining to become a qualified Occupational Therapist. I chose to do a 2 year post graduate diploma at Southbank University. This was a hard slog including placements and lots of academic work but I really enjoyed going back to studying and testing my brain. I also felt being a little older really helped me as I was able to bring my life experience to help me understand and support people I worked with.

I think to be an effective Occupational Therapist you need to be a great communicator, a people person, open minded, a creative problem solver but also someone who can understand that everyone is different and one size does not fit all. That is the joy of our work – working with people to discover a solution together. The work can be stressful or feel relentless sometimes, but what will spur you on is the knowledge that you have made a difference in people’s lives. It may not be a big piece of work you have completed, it may be just giving the time to people to listen – however you do this – this is what makes the job fulfilling.

Over the years since qualifying I have been able to progress and develop in my career from starting off on a rotation to being a field worker OT in Social Care to a more consultative, training role and onto Team Management and beyond. There is so much scope for Occupational Therapists to work in different sectors, so I’m sure if you decided on a career as an Occupational Therapist you would find the right place for you.