04 June 2020
Occupational Therapy Assistant at Broadmoor Hospital, Megan Heaphy, features in the Daily Mirror today (Thursday 4 June) to talk about her role as an OT and how she has adapted her role during Covid-19. You can read the interview below. In the meantime, if you want to find a job at West London, we have lots of vacancies you can go for. Apply today.
MEGAN MAKING A DIFFERENCE AT BROADMOOR
AS the Covid-19 crisis goes on, we have been looking at the lives of our fantastic key workers and the army of grafters keeping everything going.
Today we talk to occupational therapy assistant Megan Heaphy, 25, who has been working flat out in lockdown. As well as holding down a full-time role at high security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor for the West London NHS Trust, she is also studying hard for her degree apprenticeship.
What is your job in ‘normal’ times? I work across the wards planning and providing occupational therapy (OT) treatment sessions.
These can be one-on-one or in groups to help patients look beyond any limitations they may have due to their mental health.
I help find out their interests and meaningful occupations that can be achieved within the confines of the hospital. This includes cooking, music sessions, creative projects and helping develop skills to attend work areas such as pottery, card making and gardening.
How has this changed during the pandemic? We are spending more time on the wards and still trying to incorporate parts of the OT role into everyday life. We wear PPE (mask, apron & gloves) all the time and everyone is very cautious. We are used to this new way of working.
What’s it been like working in the hospital in recent weeks? The feeling overall is positive. We are all just trying to do the best we can to make things as normal as possible for the patients. It can be difficult, but team spirit is high. We all try to check in with each other as regularly as possible while not working as closely together.
Has leaving the safety of home been scary? No. It has been valuable to me to keep my daily routine. I share my flat with two home workers so I feel I have had more freedom than most. I can drive to work and avoid public transport.
What do you like most about your job? I love being a part of a patient’s progress – it can be so rewarding. When you work with someone through very hard times because of their mental health, it’s amazing to see changes and developments.
How did you get into this line of work? I studied psychology at Lincoln University which peaked my interest in mental health. When I found work at Broadmoor in June, 2018, the team encouraged me to become a qualified Occupational Therapist (OT) – and an apprenticeship scheme started last year. Before lockdown I was commuting to Coventry to study one day a week. The uni work is now online.
Do your parents worry about you in this crisis? They’re really supportive of the work I do. They know it makes me happy and that it is valued, so I know they try to hold it in a little. If I’m honest I’m most likely more concerned about them.