Danielle Verrall

Danielle works as an Occupational Therapist with patients who have had a stroke. Before this Danielle was working as an OT assistant and trained part time whilst working.

Tell us about your role and the impact it has on those work with

My role as an Occupational Therapist in stroke rehabilitation is to work alongside clients using assessments, interventions and goals to regain independence in the aspects of life that is most important to them.

What attracted you to a role as a support worker?

While raising my two children I attained a role working nights in a nursing home as a HCA to enable a balance of motherhood and working. I quickly realised that I loved working with people, supporting their health and wellbeing while considering various elements that would aid the provision of the highest quality care that people deserve. I considered furthering my career in nursing and sought a role as a HCA on an acute surgical ward. Within the hospital, I learnt about the roles of other healthcare professionals which evoked a keen interest in therapies. An opportunity arose for an Occupational Therapy Assistant in stroke rehabilitation.

Once in the role I learnt so much about supporting people to regain their independence and enabling them to participate in the roles in their lives that was important to them. To be a part of these journeys is so rewarding and fulfilling.

How has training/development helped you in your role?

Inservice trainings have broadened my knowledge and understanding about clinical roles, anatomy and physiology, services and equipment to name a few.

Supervisions and Personal development reviews have supported development and progression ideas.

The trust released a secondment opportunity for two people to train at Brighton University part time to become Occupational Therapists. I was so fortunate to have had this opportunity discussed with me and to have had the support and encouragement from my team to apply for and be offered this.

I am currently applying for funding to access a cognitive training course that will increase my knowledge in assessing for and treating cognitive difficulties following a stroke.

The availability of the above training and development opportunities has significantly increased my knowledge, my confidence and supported my career development.

What are you most proud of in your role?

I am so proud to be working with people to support them in regaining their independence, to live their lives the way they choose. Strokes affect people in so many ways, being part of the recovery and rehabilitation journey using patient centred goals to achieve what is important to them is special.

What would you say to encourage others into a role as a support worker with AHPs?

Support workers are so very valued by staff and patients. The day-to-day roles are varied and exciting with so much opportunity to learn and develop. The role of a support worker enables opportunities build positive professional relationships working within a team and to also organise your own working day with some support and guidance. The role is very rewarding.