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A Year In The Life Of A New Graduate Occupational Therapist

By Caleb Galea

26th October 2023

Being a new grad at Apricus Health has been a big learning experience both personally and professionally. Learning the skills necessary to be a hand therapist and still having time to enjoy activities outside of work has been a challenging experience and something that has taken time to develop, but ultimately, it’s a rewarding experience that gets easier over time. I found developing a routine and maintaining a healthy work-life balance was the key.

As a new grad I have enjoyed broadening my knowledge and understanding of the occupational therapy sphere through the highly experienced therapists in the team, who were always on-hand to answer my questions. With their guidance I have been able to sharpen my skills as a clinician and started developing my own therapeutic treatment style.


Something I didn’t expect to learn as a new graduate is my own personal limitations, knowing when I am able to push myself and when I need to take a step back and reflect on what I have learnt to cement my skills. It has been an important lesson and something that takes time to understand but I have found to be a critical part. This allows me to bring the best version of myself to work in the morning, ready to learn, treat and retain as much information as possible which is essential in a specialty field. 

I am most proud of the progress all my clients have made throughout their therapy sessions; however, one standout recently has been being able to help a client make a fist for the first time in 4 months. The pain in their hand was immense, causing them agony when gripping and holding objects. During their treatment, they were able to make a full fist and will continue to work towards maintaining their new active range of motion.

Some advice I would give for the next cohort of graduates is to follow your gut and not rush any decisions. Ultimately, loving what you do comes from your own desire to expand your knowledge in a field, and if you don’t enjoy what you do it will be harder than it needs to be. Pick something that excites you and makes you want to go the extra mile for your clients because helping people is a rewarding experience and only allows you to get out of it what you put into it. Occupational therapy is a diverse field and provides many opportunities so if there is something you enjoy, follow the feeling.