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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

Charlotte Brooks , 2015

Academic PhD student and band five OT in the integrated health and social care community OT team, University of Southampton and Solent NHS Trust

Charlotte Brooks's Photo

Hi, I'm Charlotte Brooks and I studied within Health Sciences at the University of Southampton.

What initially attracted me to this University was the opportunity to develop my clinical and academic skills simultaneously. Being an early career researcher here has already opened up a great wealth of opportunities.

Like many other occupational therapists I entered the profession to practice clinically and was eager to develop my skills.  Equally, I had a passion for research from an undergraduate level and did not want to regret leaving this path so early on in my career.

My PhD is funded by the Solent NHS Trust where I work clinically as an occupational therapist two days a week. The remaining three days are spent at the University.

My studies involve Doctoral-level research activity focused around falls prevention for older people and health literacy.  I attend training delivered by highly experienced researchers, immersing myself in intriguing literature and expanding my skills for conveying research.

Academically, highlights have included being involved in a Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) conference. As a result of this, I have been offered an eight-week internship in Chicago, USA, with Professor Michael Wolf, a health literacy expert.

A mutually beneficial relationship has been established from the role. Working clinically has facilitated making indispensable research contacts and development of clinically informed research questions. Accordingly, I have gained invaluable access to the falls clinics within the Solent NHS Trust. Meanwhile, academic study encourages innovative and evidence-based practice.

I aim to continue on the clinical academic pathway, further advancing the knowledge base for falls, health literacy and occupational therapy. I also want to share my interest in the importance of health literacy with undergraduate students, to assist with fostering more effective future healthcare communicators.

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