A day as an occupational therapy assistant

You work alongside an occupational therapist, assisting people in the community to live happy and fulfilling lives. Today, you're working the afternoon shift and at 2pm you drive to meet an elderly woman who has recently suffered a stroke. When you arrive at her home, the occupational therapist is already there working out a patient activity plan. You're given the task of taking the lady shopping - a real achievement for her, since she hasn't left the house in months. You report back to your occupational therapist, who asks you to arrange another shopping date with the lady next week. You love working in the community, and helping support and improve the lives of others. You also enjoy the training and career prospects that come with this role because in the future you could work in mental health services or a hospital trust.

Does this sound like you?

You're patient, have a keen interest in people from all walks of life. You're a great communicator, and can work both in a team and under your own initiative.

What's next after GCSE?

Although no formal qualifications are required, basic GCSEs (or the equivalent) are usually a good idea to demonstrate literacy and numeracy. Administrative computer skills are also very desirable, so consider taking an IT qualification.

What's next after A level and beyond?

You could apply for a job as an occupational therapy assistant/support worker directly, or consider a relevant healthcare support apprenticeship that could lead you into this type of role. A levels (or the equivalent) are less important than basic administrative IT skills, a driving licence and good communication abilities.