Year of the Health and Care Worker: Meet Julia

31-03-2021

Occupational therapist, Julia Douglas, joined The Wesley in 2018 after providing care in the community for some years. It was her mum’s own admission to The Wesley which inspired her to apply.

Julia is passionate about her area of healthcare and enjoys participating in quality improvement projects designed to improve the services and experience we provide for patients.

Most recently, Julia has been a part of a project to ensure inpatients at The Wesley are provided with appropriate feeding aides when needed to increase their independence at meal time.

Julia Douglas

“Across our Allied Health team, we often meet patients with decreased fine motor, dexterity and coordination who would benefit from adaptive feeding aides, such as built-up cutlery and plate guards,” Julia explained.

“In the past, occupational therapists have been creative in this area and provided patients with foam tubing to slide onto their cutlery to help them maintain their independence. While this was helpful, we wanted to improve and provide a long-term sustainable solution.”

With the support of our food services team, in March 2021 the project was successfully launched and a range of adaptive aides are now available for patients who have difficulty using standard cutlery.

“This means our nursing and allied health staff can alert the kitchen when a patient requires adaptive feeding aides, and our food services team will include the aides on the patient’s meal tray when their meals are delivered. They are then returned to the kitchen, sanitised and used again,” Julia said.

“We are especially grateful to our food services colleagues who have come on board to support and champion this project.”

Fast five with Julia Douglas

1. How would you describe your role and what’s the best part?

Occupational therapists (OTs) provide support to empower people to facilitate recovery and overcome barriers preventing them from participating in activities that matter to them. This support increases people's independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life. We really take a ‘whole person approach’ to care.

I currently work in the Acute Neurological, Respiratory, and Intensive Care Unit caseload. I also work as an Accredited Lymphoedema Therapist in our Lymphoedema Outpatient Service. For me, it’s the variety of my work that I enjoy most – you never know what your day has in store for you!

2. What does a typical day at The Wesley look like for you?

Like most of the allied health team – busy! Following handover from the nursing staff, my day could involve completing initial assessments, neurological and upper limb assessments, functional assessments also known as shower and ‘tea and toast’ assessments, cognitive screens, equipment and home modification prescription and recommendations and home visits among many other tasks. We also work closely with our multi-disciplinary team, community service providers and our patients and their families as part of discharge planning.

3. What’s one thing about your role that surprises people?

The breadth of what OTs do in a hospital setting – we have a wide skillset and are involved at all stages of the patient journey.

4. What did the year 2020 teach you?

Appreciate the simple things in life.

5. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Heading over to North Stradbroke Island and spending time with my family and friends.

Occupational therapist, Julia Douglas, joined The Wesley in 2018 after providing care in the community for some years. It was her mum’s own admission to The Wesley which inspired her to apply. allied health Remove Occupational Therapist Remove Year of the Health and Care Worker Remove