Hello! I am Roseanna, the newest team member of the Clinical Services team based in Sydney, Australia and thought I’d take the opportunity to introduce myself and share a little of what I have been up to this week. I first worked as an occupational therapist (OT) at multiple residential aged care facilities where I saw the needs of elderly residents firsthand and how important teamwork and communication was for positive outcomes – from care staff to RNs, doctors to maintenance teams, family to activity teams. It will be interesting to see what outcomes will occur through the recent and upcoming changes to the Australian aged care funding measures.
I have spent the last 4+ years working as a community OT, as well as in a Team Leader and then Manager role whilst continuing my clinical caseload; how vast and adaptable is the world of OT! What an interesting time it has been in the community Allied Health world with the NDIS, and virus which-must-not-be-named (COVID-19 pandemic). I know it has been a challenging time for all working in health, including those with health needs and disabilities, but it has also been a time for adaptation, flexibility and exploration for how we can support others even if we can’t see them in person. There were several participants I supported who were particularly appreciative of the continued involvement we were able to provide as Allied Health practitioners.
Despite this, it has been great seeing the general awareness and understanding of the OT role has grown, although my ‘Occupational therapy - don’t worry, nobody knows what we do’ T-shirt still brings people up to me in relief and curiosity to ask what the role entails. Throughout all my roles, learning and education has been a requirement to grow – and in some cases clarify – my scope of practice, as we can sometimes be left as the ‘everything else’ Allied Health practitioner. This has led to a passion for supporting other OTs in their learning and taking every opportunity with both hands to give those I support (both therapist and client) the best outcome I can. Having worked in a billable hours model, the vast amount of assistive technology available, let alone new products always being added, can be confusing and stressful when time for evidence-based practice seems to be a luxury and your client needs an outcome yesterday. I would encourage you though that supervision and your own professional development should not be put to the side as this is so important for keeping up-to-date, connecting with other therapists, and remembering why we do the amazing work we do. Making this accessible, relevant and worthwhile is why our role is clinical ‘services’ rather than only ‘education’.
Now on to ATSA!
The ATSA Independent Living Expo in Australia has been an event I had always sought to attend and encouraged my OT colleagues to as well due to the fantastic learning and networking opportunities it presents. I remember being so overwhelmed at the first Sydney ATSA Independent Living Expo I attended: planning how to divide the education sessions with my colleagues so we can share learning, whilst wanting to see and try every AT (assistive technology) item and collect all the goodies and brochures along the way. I can remember hardly being able to carry all the bags back to the car!
For those who may not have attended an ATSA Expo, it is a free 2-day event spread biennially across all Australia’s major capital cities, run by Assistive Technology Suppliers Australia (ATSA). If you are New Zealand based, check out the annual Assistive Technologies Suppliers New Zealand (ATSNZ) Disability Expo. These are expos where suppliers across Australia/ New Zealand bring their latest and greatest technologies for therapists and users alike to see, and in some cases try, and for various seminars of AT relevant topics to be presented. More than this, it is an opportunity for like-minded people with an interest in AT to connect, learn and consider what is out there to improve quality of life, from timers to transport to standing wheelchairs. Having been on the exhibitor rather than visitor side this week at Melbourne, Australia ATSA, I have an even greater appreciation of the time and resources it takes to put on such a great event, and the potential it has for the end user and their supports as well as therapists as people with disabilities were also coming to ask about what our product can do and to try them for themselves.
It's all wrapped up now ready for Perth ATSA next week, Canberra ATSA & ATSNZ in November 2023. Be sure to come say hi at the Permobil stand or make plans for the 2024 expos!
You can reach out to our Clinical Education team at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For any questions or if you are interested in learning more about our clinical services offerings including our free clinical pathway courses.
Roseanna Tegel Bio
Roseanna Tegel joined Permobil in May 2023 as a Clinical Services Specialist. She graduated from Western Sydney University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Occupational Therapy and received the Prize in Undergraduate Occupational Therapy for Overall Achievement and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance scholarship. Roseanna began working at residential aged care facilities where her understanding of the need for suitable, person-centred equipment commenced. From there, she transitioned to work in community disability and quickly developed an interest for complex seating and mobility outcomes to benefit both the end user and wider network. She then stepped into a Team Leader role due to her passion for learning and best practice; supporting the Occupational Therapists with their own clinical needs and outcomes, and progressed to also provide external supervision to Occupational Therapists. Roseanna is motivated to support clinicians with their confidence and clinical reasoning allowing them to provide the best outcome for each individual user. Outside of work, Roseanna enjoys time with her dog, playing the 'cello, horse riding and aerial sports.