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Thinking of studying occupational health?

Do you want to improve your clinical practice and work with clients to better manage the factors that influence their return to work?

Did you know that the postgraduate certificate endorsed in occupational health at Otago’s School of Physiotherapy enables you to work with ACC clients for return to work?

Mark OvertonMark Overton works for Southern Rehab in Christchurch and has a special interest in occupational health.

He works with people who experience persistent pain and find it challenging returning to work after injury. He works within a multidisciplinary team of health professionals to facilitate people to achieve their return to work goals and improve their quality of life.

It was a placement with Southern Rehab, while an undergraduate student at Otago’s School of Physiotherapy, that sparked Mark’s interest in providing people with holistic rehabilitation to be better able to manage living with persisting pain and returning to work after injury.

Mark is currently completing his Master of Physiotherapy.

He commenced postgraduate study soon after graduating because he found occupational health both challenging and enjoyable and wanted to gain further knowledge to develop his practice. He is excited that he was “able to tailor assignments to my caseload as it meant I could develop skills and knowledge in my specific areas of practice.” For example, the occupational health paper enabled him to focus on an individual within the context of that person’s wider work environment.

Mark considers that the work undertaken in this paper has assisted him to better work with his clients so that they can manage the factors which impact on their health.

He is passionate about furthering physiotherapy knowledge and practice, particularly in the occupational health arena.

His recent research, undertaken for the research paper in his master’s degree, focussed on upper quadrant muscle activity in musicians with pain. He is keen on publishing this research. This will compliment research with an occupational health focus which he completed during his undergraduate degree. He was proud to see it published in the New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy last year.

Mark intends to continue practicing in his current field as well as participate in further research projects, thereby contributing to knowledge in occupational health for physiotherapists.

His advice to new graduates wanting to work in this field is to develop strong communication skills and to consider all factors that may limit someone from reaching their potential.

Find out more about Occupational Health papers at Otago by contacting the Academic Administrator

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