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Growing a Career at Optalis - Adam

Adam Bell, Senior Reablement Assistant for START, shares how he is achieving his career aspirations at Optalis.

Adam started working in care in 2014, when he joined a local support provider. Supporting adults with learning disabilities in their home, and to be a part of their community. Adam reflected how he enjoyed providing social support and companionship and helping people to reach their goals. Soon after, Adam took on more responsibility as a senior support worker. He said “In this role I would work with people to create their support plans, and liaise with different services to help the person achieve their outcomes.”

He started working alongside an occupational therapist (OT), who would help people find practical solutions to help improve everyday living skills. Adam explained 

“I was excited by the idea of how an OT works, and how it helped people to be more independent.”

Adam started to research routes into occupational therapy. He said “I looked at Occupational Therapy Assistant roles in hospitals and therapy centres. I knew of Optalis and came across a Reablement Assistant job on the website. I’d not heard of reablement, but after looking into it I could see how it aligned to occupational therapy. It felt like I could combine what I was doing as a support worker and what I was working towards.”

Adam joined the START service in 2022. He said “Starting out, it was great to have guidance and the input from Sameer (an OT by background). I looked at him as a mentor and a benchmark of where I wanted to be.”

He continued “An aspect of the role I really enjoy is the clinical reasoning. I would assess how people were managing with different day to day tasks. The feedback I would give to the seniors about a person’s progress, would determine whether they should step up or step down the support provided.”

Less than a year into the role, Adam was doing so well that he was encouraged to apply for the Senior Reablement Assistant role. He said “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to learn more and develop my skills. I recently did a training course to become a Trusted Assessor, which enables me to prescribe basic equipment and aids, whether that be grab rails, shower seats or bath boards, for example.”

Adam still had his sights set on an doing his Occupational Therapy training. He said 

“I sat down with Sameer and Ruth (the Learning and Development Lead) to talk through my options. In terms of being accepted onto the degree course, I was about 30 UCAS points short. Ruth spoke to the university and they recommended a bridging course in Human Anatomy and Physiology which I am now doing, funded through Optalis.”

Adam is well on track in terms of his career path; and hopes the next step into an Occupational Therapy apprenticeship is not too far away.

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