Our Story
A Dynamic, Rewarding Role as an Occupational Therapist
Siti Nameera Zahara Bte Johan
Occupational Therapist
Published on 06/06/24

As an Occupational Therapist working in a Day Activity Centre and Enabling Services Hub in SPD, Nameera uses her resourceful nature to support her clients, enabling them to participate in meaningful occupations, whilst maximising their health and well-being.

A Mother's Inspiration To Social Service

Heavily inspired by her mother’s role as an infant educarer, also known as an early childhood development practitioner, Nameera started on her journey in the field of social service after completing a diploma in Child Psychology and Early Education at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Intrigued by early intervention, she delved deeper into this field during her final year, setting the stage for her future endeavours. Recognising her dedication, she was honoured with the Ee Peng Liang Study Award, propelling her into a role as an early intervention teacher at an EIPIC centre. 

However, it was her firsthand experience in this role that ignited her passion for Occupational Therapy, prompting her to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Liverpool through NCSS’s Social Service Scholarship. Throughout her career, Nameera has continuously honed her skills through various courses, including Motivational Interviewing and Autism Certification, enabling her to make a profound impact on the lives of individuals with special needs at SPD.

A Different Day With The Same Purpose

Nameera collaborates with a diverse team of care professionals, including training officers, care aides, psychologists, social workers, physiotherapists, and programme managers, to deliver client-centred care. Together, they craft intervention plans, drawing on each other's observations, and expertise to ensure comprehensive support for clients, and giving her novel perspectives in each situation.

Her daily routine is dynamic, spanning various settings and clients of different age groups. From prescribing wheelchairs at the Day Activity Centre to assisting clients with volunteer work at a local library, Nameera adapts to meet the unique needs of each situation.

Throughout her three-year journey as an Occupational Therapist, Nameera's experiences have been enriching. Starting as a conditionally registered therapist, she received invaluable support from her supervisor, guiding her through diverse rotations in settings such as rehab centres, nursing homes, and day activity centres. These experiences deepened her understanding of her role and equipped her with essential skills.

Balancing emotional support and guidance across multiple settings posed an initial challenge for Nameera. However, she developed a workflow that allowed her to efficiently meet the needs of her clients, fostering adaptability and attentiveness.

Nameera finds her role fulfilling, viewing it as both a means and an end to improving her clients' lives. By prioritising her clients' needs and focusing on meaningful interventions, she empowers them to lead more fulfilling and functional lives. 

Supporting Mindset & Job Skills To Face Tough Times

Whenever Nameera feels discouraged or distressed about something in her life, she would fall back in a quote in k-dramas and k-pop: 할 수 있어요. Which translates to “You can do it!”. Nameera finds it applicable to her role as an Occupational Therapist since her job involves supporting clients to do something that they once loved or try something new. She adores the burst of positive energy this quote gives and it’s just something that she thinks about every now and then to help her in her role to help others.

Nameera also likes that her role as an Occupational Therapist allows her to explore various new hobbies as part of her self-care and apply what she learnt from her job for her well-being.

A Rewarding Experience as a Social Service Scholar

Nameera's experience as a Social Service Scholar has been fruitful. Through networking and engagement sessions with sector leaders and professionals, she forged valuable connections beyond her organisation, expanding her social and professional network and gaining insights into diverse perspectives. The financial support provided by the scholarship alleviated her worries as a student, allowing her to devote her energy to academic pursuits without distraction.

Eager to continue her journey of community inclusion, Nameera strives to raise awareness of her clients' challenges within their communities. With plans to pursue a master's degree upon completing her scholarship bond, she aims to enhance her employability as a therapist and broaden her advocacy efforts for persons with disabilities.

Nameera challenges the notion of limited career opportunities in social service, emphasising the sector's breadth and depth. She believes that professionals in social service play a pivotal role in effecting meaningful change across various settings. With her passion and dedication, Nameera exemplifies the potential for impactful contributions within the social service sector.

The role of a therapist is one of the many career options in Social Service. To find out more, read about a career in Therapy.

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