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Deborah Lincoln

Career Path: Occupational Therapist, NHS
Location: Sunderland, UK

My career background is one of working in customer services, however I always felt that I wanted to help more. I was fortunate to meet a fantastic Occupational Therapist who helped me following surgery and he inspired me to follow the path into this fantastic profession. I went back to college part time and completed a pre-access course, then an access to nursing course and was eventually was accepted to study at Northumbria. It all started with a 5 year plan and a determination to succeed. 

What are you doing now?Deborah Lincoln

I’m am now working in the NHS as a qualified Occupational Therapist in a permanent position. I work with older people in the community.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

Northumbria was always my first choice, not only does it have a wonderful reputation for NHS courses but it also close to home for me and as a single parent it was very important that I had a local commute to both university and placements.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

The course itself was excellent, it provided lectures, seminars and lots of practical sessions. Placements were spread evenly throughout the three years and the support given by tutors was outstanding.

How connected was your course with industry?

The course was ran in line with the profession's code of practice, you learn the theory of Occupational Therapy and how this is transferred into practise. During placements you are able to develop your skills and are guided to becoming an Autonomous Practitioner by others within the profession. Your practise hours are in line with your registration requirements.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

Placements helped to prepare for working-life in the NHS and competencies are achieved whilst working alongside an educator who is normally an Occupational Therapist. Regular supervision is available to help you build on your skills such as clinical reasoning. These hours on placement enables you to see the theory you learn at university come to life and assist learning while gaining experience which help you when preparing for interviews once qualified.

What was the best thing about your course?

I enjoyed every aspect of the course and the learning opportunities that are provided. Staff were very supportive. There is a healthy work-life balance and as a mature student who also worked part time while being a parent I found that although challenging at times I was able to complete the course with the support of tutors, educators and peers.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

The course itself prepares you for becoming a qualified occupational therapist and you are trained to work in many areas. The skills learnt are transferable to mental health, physical health, and you can work with any age group.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The whole course is dedicated to becoming a qualified Occupational Therapist, you will leave with a lot of knowledge with regards to policies that affect therapists in practise, clinical skills, and the skills needed to enable you to register as an allied healthcare professional.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The University is a friendly environment, the facilities for learning are outstanding. I have made lifetime friends who I now see in practise as qualified Occupational Therapists. My time at Northumbria was a time I shall never forget and I will always be grateful for the life changing opportunities that were offered to me.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Be yourself, enjoy every aspect of university life, enjoy the social life Newcastle and surrounding areas have to offer. Use the support available to you and just work hard .. it’s worth it!!

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Life changing Positive Enjoyable

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