Collette Dixon

Patient Support Worker and Occupational Therapist Apprentice

Trafford Community Neuro Rehabilitation Team

Collette is currently a patient support worker within the Trafford Community Neuro Rehabilitation Team (CNRT) and is also completing an occupational therapy apprenticeship. Collette was inspired to take on these roles while working as a home care assistant, which involved a lot of interaction with occupational therapists and assistants who regularly sought her feedback and insight on service users.


“I love learning about OT… and I love spending time with different people, different therapists. I love how versatile [the role] is, it’s applied in so many different sectors.”

Collette Dixon's story

From then on, Collette knew she wanted to pursue a career in occupational therapy and applied for jobs within the NHS, successfully landing a Band 3 role with the CNRT which she stayed in for two years before applying for a Band 4 role with more responsibilities. With this experience under her belt, Collette is now completing an occupational therapy apprenticeship which is funded by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and takes up 20% of her role.

Currently in her first year as an OT apprentice, Collette has her own case load within the CNRT, where she can support therapies provided by a qualified member of staff, as well as taking up new learning opportunities relevant to her degree, such as shadowing colleagues, completing training and watching new interventions be delivered. Every five to six weeks, Collette also goes to university for a full week which includes a study day and going on placements, of which she is on her first in Adult Rehabilitation.

For Collette, as a support worker you can learn so much and get to spend time with different types of practitioners to expand your knowledge, and there are so many areas within health care that you can grow.

Next steps

Collette is focusing on completing her degree, which will guarantee her a Band 5 role, and is enjoying meeting new people and continuing her learning and development within occupational therapy.

Collette’s Top Tip

Don’t worry about what you don’t know – there is a lot of training, support and knowledge to be gained from your colleagues and managers.