THE RE­TURN HOME

Dalby Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Ebony Graveur [email protected]­by­her­ald.com.au

FOR many young grad­u­ates, mov­ing to the coun­try is a rite of pas­sage from univer­sity to ca­reer.

But, for 22-year-old Hay­ley Cuzens, liv­ing in Dalby was noth­ing she hadn’t done be­fore so when the newly-grad­u­ated oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist was of­fered a po­si­tion at Dalby Al­lied Health, she took it in a heart­beat.

“I grew up and went to school in Dalby and then went to the Univer­sity of Queens­land in Bris­bane,” she said.

She said work­ing in a ru­ral area pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to learn things she’d other­wise miss if she con­tin­ued to work in the city.

Af­ter six months work­ing in aged care in Bris­bane, she made the move back to where she’d grown up.

“I think by work­ing in a ru­ral area you get a broad range of ex­pe­ri­ence. Ev­ery per­son who comes through the door needs help in a dif­fer­ent way.

“I think it’s be­cause ru­ral ar­eas don’t have spe­cial­ist health­care. Ev­ery­one comes to the one place be­cause there’s only a cou­ple of op­tions avail­able,” she said.

Ms Cuzens, who’s worked at Dalby Al­lied Health for about six months, de­scribes her job as chal­leng­ing but re­ward­ing.

“Be­ing in a ru­ral area is the first chal­lenge. Be­cause I’m a new grad and I’ve just started off in my ca­reer, and be­cause my caseload has such a va­ri­ety, I feel like I have to know all about dif­fer­ent types of dis­abil­i­ties and dis­or­ders and know how to treat them in the best way pos­si­ble.”

She said she didn’t have any qualms in go­ing ru­ral af­ter city liv­ing and that mov­ing to Bris­bane in the first place was more of a com­mit­ment than mov­ing to her job in the coun­try.

“The move from Dalby to Bris­bane was scary at the start.”

While mov­ing back to Dalby made sense to Ms Cuzens for more than one rea­son, she said she missed her friends from uni.

“It’s taken a lit­tle time to ad­just, to be hon­est. But I still have some friends I went to school with in Dalby and I go to Bris­bane to catch up with uni friends. Bris­bane’s not too far to drive to.”

Ms Cuzens said hav­ing her fam­ily around her made the move less daunt­ing.

She said she al­ways knew she wanted to pur­sue a ca­reer in health.

“I found I was in­ter­ested in OT be­cause it seemed very unique to me but to be hon­est I didn’t know much about it.

“What they re­ally re­it­er­ated at uni was that we look at the per­son holis­ti­cally. Not just look­ing at their in­jury but look­ing at other fac­tors like their life­style or en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors.”

Ms Cuzens said she loved the job and that she had sup­port not only from her fam­ily in Dalby but also the staff.

“Ev­ery­one’s re­ally friendly and sup­port­ive,” she said.

“Liz Forbes, the other OT, has been an amaz­ing men­tor to me.

“She’s re­ally knowl­edge­able and al­ways happy to help me as is my boss.”

While she’s happy with her cur­rent role, she said she wanted to spe­cialise in the fu­ture.

“In a ru­ral com­mu­nity, the role is very broad; you see lots of dif­fer­ent clients. But I think in the fu­ture I’d like to fo­cus on one area,” she said.

PHOTO: EBONY GRAVEUR

OC­CU­PA­TIONAL THER­A­PIST: Hay­ley Cuzins re­turned to Dalby af­ter get­ting an ed­u­ca­tion in Bris­bane.

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