Three young women who were top achievers in their matric examinations have joined UKZN’s 2017 Occupational Therapy class.
They are Ms Daniella Duggan of Eshowe, and Ms Erynn Scholms and Ms Kayle Becker, both of Durban.
‘I am excited to be part of the Occupational Therapy Class of 2017, our class is small and we have all bonded and that makes our class more interesting and enjoyable,’ said Duggan.
She says her love for children is what drew her to the Occupational Therapy discipline. After she completed matric in 2015, she took a gap year, volunteering her services at John Wesley, a children’s home in her hometown of Eshowe.
‘My gap year afforded me a chance to figure out where my passion in life lies – I now know this is exactly where I should be,’ she said.
Schloms, proud to represent Danville Park High School, says she didn’t know much about Occupation Therapy until she was inspired by a family friend who practised in the field. ‘In this profession, clients trust you with their lives and a therapist-client bond is generated. That is why I am determined to change lives for the better and make a visible impact within my community.’
Top matric achiever at New Forest High School, Becker is looking forward to obtaining her bachelor degree that she hopes will open doors for her to become an Occupational Therapist.
Becker, who wants to work in a State hospital after she qualifies, says her parents are proud of her achievement while she is extremely grateful to her school exchange programme which enabled her to study in Texas in the United States during her Grade 11 year. This remarkable opportunity gave her an overview understanding of how psychology meets physical rehabilitation.
Welcoming first-year students, Academic Leader Professor Kitty Uys said ‘The tragedy that occurred in Gauteng, Esidimeni, leading to the deaths of at least 94 mental health care users, is a warning sign to all health practitioners.’ All our first-year students have taken an oath, which states that when you enter occupational therapy you will respect clients’ rights to dignity, always endeavour to provide equitable and appropriate services, not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, politics, gender, social standing, sexuality or personal gain to adversely influence therapy, not become involved in unacceptable professional practices, maintain the highest level of personal and professional integrity, strive to attain the best standard of professional practice and ethical conduct, and uphold the values of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Uys detailed.