Niki Roberts was the first occupational therapist (OT) at Oak Valley Health’s Uxbridge Hospital in 2010. “I really enjoy helping people and as an OT I was able to help patients through their diagnosis, treatment and journey to recovery with a holistic approach,” says Niki.
As the only OT at the time, she had the opportunity to develop and expand her role. After five years, Niki was looking for new opportunities to make a greater impact not only for her patients but for her colleagues as well. Her passion for helping others led her to take on a new opportunity as the Corporate, Interprofessional Practice Lead for Allied Health.
“In this role, I support clinical practice onboarding, I facilitate ongoing professional development and educational opportunities, and identify gaps in knowledge and skills for allied health professionals which includes occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, dietitians and therapeutic recreation specialists,” says Niki.
“I am also the lead for corporate projects including the Patient Education Committee that is working to make educational materials available and accessible to our community and I also train staff on gentle persuasive approach (GPA), an evidence-based, best practice way to deliver compassionate care to people with dementia.”
Although Niki’s background is in occupational therapy, she had to learn a lot about the different professions she works with and their roles to be able to better support them. “All the teams I support are all so caring and diligent about their work, and so helpful in teaching me about their scope of practice. They have been really generous and I feel so grateful,” says Niki.
One of the best parts about Niki’s job is seeing those ‘aha’ moments when staff are learning and supporting new initiatives and processes that have a positive impact on patients. “As much as I’m teaching them new skills or processes they are teaching me too!” says Niki.
Niki has been in this role for about five years and says that each day brings something new, it’s constantly changing and she loves it.
“The people I work with make all the difference – we’re like a family. All the teams I support are all so caring and diligent about their work.”
When Niki isn’t working, she enjoys taking her two sons to hockey. “My husband, kids and I are all very sports-minded, I always played baseball and hockey,” says Niki. With two bachelor degrees, one in Science and Biomedical Physics and the other in Occupational Therapy, Niki is currently also completing a Master’s of Science in Healthcare Quality degree.