Occupational Therapy Students at Sheffield Hallam University
Students from occupational therapy programmes at Sheffield Hallam University belong to either the 3 year BSc programme or a full time 2 year MSc programme, both of which enable them to qualify as occupational therapists at the end of the course. Occupational therapy is a profession which aims to enable people who have been affected by illness or disability to participate meaningfully in everyday life as a component of healthy living. Occupational therapy students study anatomy and physiology, mental health, aspects of disability, research skills and learn to practice various forms of treatment which might be used in both physical care or mental health care, with people through the entire lifespan. Over their training they complete four clinical placements in different hospital and community settings, one of which will be with a voluntary or charitable sector organisation. Most of these will be at hospitals around South Yorkshire – there are two very large teaching hospitals in Sheffield. The majority of students live in and around the city of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, which is more or less in the middle of the UK. Some will have come to the course straight from school but a number are mature students with families and previous work experience and studies. There are around 50 students in each year of the BSC and 15 in each cohort of the MSc programme. Occupational therapy tends to be a female profession, around 90% of the profession are women. Sheffield is a city of 550,000 people, 50,000 of whom are students at the two universities. It is a very diverse and cosmopolitian city with many different cultural communities, and while it has some of the wealthiest people in the country living in it, it also has some of the poorest. For students there is a rich variety of social life, outdoor activities and sports facilities, so it is a good place to be.
Nick Pollard teaches occupational therapy students at undergraduate and post graduate level. He is team leader and research co-ordinator for occupational therapy. Most of his teaching concerns social contexts for occupational therapy and community based interventions; he is on the placement team and also teaches research methods and interprofessional modules. His MA explored internal migration and mental health; his MSc explored occupations in creative writing groups, and his PhD the political implied in occupational therapy. He has written and presented extensively on community based rehabilitation and on critical explorations of occupational therapy. Outside of his professional work Nick is interested in community writing and publishing, history, cooking, music and railwayana.