In celebration of Occupational Therapy Month this October, Negin shares her story as a Primary Care Occupational Therapist who moved to Prince George last year to find meaningful work in the community and explore Northern BC with her partner and two dogs.
Tell us about your role at Northern Health
I work as a Primary Care Occupational Therapist (OT) in the community of Prince George. I see adult clients 19 years and older who have rehabilitation needs in the community.
Why did you move to PG?
We moved to Prince George so I could work in a new role that allows me to pursue my passion for building community connections. We found Prince George also offered affordable housing and many opportunities for outdoor activities with our dogs. We had heard about the wonderful and kind people of this city, and now that we have moved here, our neighbourhood experiences have proven this true!
What impact does your role have on patients?
In my role, I work to understand a client’s functional abilities and needs. I recommend equipment, strategies, and approaches to care to be able to promote their independence as much as possible. I strive to help them maintain optimal health in their specific community setting.
What excites you / what do you enjoy about your position?
I truly enjoy the community aspect of care. I can follow a client for a longer period of time from assessment, through to interventions and evaluation of services. I enjoy working with the awesome Primary Care Team 06, as well as our incredible leaders - Team Lead Jasmine J and Manager Shelley M. I also appreciate working with all the other great Occupational and Physical Therapists both in the hospital and with rehab colleagues in the community. The connections across the community that I’ve been able to make in the past year has made my transition to working and living in the North so easy.
What is something you wish everyone knew about occupational therapy?
Occupational Therapy is not only related to understanding an individual’s needs for going “back to work/profession”, but also about understanding the needs in their life related to personal care, life skills, and supporting their independence.
What would you say to someone considering moving North for a career in occupational therapy?
Do it!! Take the chance, the North is wonderful! What do you like most about working in Northern BC? The resilience of many of my clients, especially amongst the older adult population I work with, reveals a lot about the character of people in the North.
What do you do for fun in PG?
Most of my free time revolves around my two Australian Shepherd dogs. They need a lot of exercise, especially our 11-month-old puppy Astro, so we walk in our neighbourhood, go to off-leash dog areas like Moore's Meadow (our favourite), and then we all take time to relax together in the evenings once the dogs have finally crashed!