21 March 2022

Introducing: Nikita Kumar

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Tell us about your professional life to date?

I graduated from Auckland University of Technology in 2015 with a Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy).

After I graduated, I was lucky enough to work as an inpatient occupational therapist for Auckland’s two largest public hospitals in the acute medical, stroke and trauma wards. I loved it and it is where my initial interest in upper limb therapy came from.

From there, I made the move to Melbourne after being offered a role as an occupational therapist in the community and aged care sector. For two years I worked with lots of different age groups and conditions. My youngest client was three and the oldest – and loveliest – was 105!! It was so rewarding, and I learned so much about disability, neurological disorders and upper limb conditions. At the same time, I worked at one of Melbourne’s main hospitals carrying out neurological assessments and equipment prescription.

In early 2020, when Covid hit, I made the really difficult decision to leave Melbourne and return home to New Zealand. It was a crazy time for everyone. But it was when I was back in New Zealand that I decided to make the transition to hand therapy. I then spent 18-months working in a private hand therapy practice while also completing my Postgraduate Certificate in Health Science in Rehabilitation. This role involved working alongside one of New Zealand’s leading hand, wrist and elbow surgeons, Mr.Michael Boland. It was with Michael Boland where I really honed my skills in treating acute, chronic and post-operative conditions. Now I’m back in Melbourne with Melbourne Hand Therapy. Can’t believe my luck.

Tell me what it is about being an occupational therapist that you love the most?

I love meeting and talking to people!! I love to chat. For me, being an OT is incredibly rewarding, because it allows me to be with people, to problem solve and to make a difference. I love building a relationship with all my patients and personalising their care and goals to help them achieve the best possible outcome for their lives.

Tell us about your studies

I completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational therapy) at Auckland University of Technology in 2015. I have also recently completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Science in Rehabilitation. This involved developing skills in rehabilitation, goal setting and upper limb and hand therapy.

Since qualifying as an occupational therapist, I have completed multiple courses in different areas. Most recently, I completed courses that focus on the upper limb including splinting and casting upper limb conditions. These courses involved static, static-progressive and dynamic splinting.

What do you like about working with MHT?

Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. I am very grateful to be working alongside so many experienced and skilled therapists.

What are the values that drive you?

I am very determined and motivated. I am a strong believer in giving everything your 100 percent. I try to apply these values in all aspects of my life.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with friends, being a “tourist” and exploring, going for walks and taking in nature and enjoying all the delicious food in Melbourne!!!

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