When I was a little girl, I loved to dance. I loved seeing dancers who were so physically fit and trained hard to create something so beautiful. It just so happened that my dance teacher was also a soft tissue occupational therapist and after seeing her put a patella back into place, I knew I wanted to work in the field.

I idolised her and being about 14 years-old, in high school and good at science, it just made sense. I still love to dance, but training for hours every day and only being able to do something so special for such a small window of time, I needed to look at something I could do more long term. I had some fantastic placements while studying occupational therapy and even had the opportunity to go to South Africa. With no intention of working with children, all my placements were in paediatrics. In South Africa, I worked at a day care centre for kids with disabilities and also a tuberculosis hospital. The kids there were very unwell and it was all about doing small things to enrich their lives. The resilience they showed was amazing and it was great to make such a difference in their lives.

So as a result of these experiences I decided I wanted to work with kids after all. Joining Therapy Focus’ specialist continence team, PEBBLES, was like joining a whole new world. I’m the only full-time permanent OT on the PEBBLES Team, so I kind of go everywhere and do everything. I work out of five metro locations and also travel to regional areas, so I’m on the road a lot, blasting my favourite deep-house music or listening to the latest science podcast. Not having kids myself, when I sit down with the parents I’m always really honest. I tell them that I have no idea how hard their challenges are and what it feels like, but I’m going to sit and talk with them for as long as they need.

The most exciting part of my day is getting a text from a parent saying their child has pooed in the toilet not just once but multiple times. That really makes my day. Continence changes everything. Being able to make a difference and the flow-on effect that can have, is an amazing thing.

Tabitha Poole
PEBBLES Occupational Therapist at Therapy Focus

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