I am currently the Head of the Department of Occupational Therapy within the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Malta. I have spearheaded the introduction of the undergraduate programme in occupational therapy, B.Sc. (Honours) Occupational Therapy, in Malta in the late 1990s, after a period of coordinating entry-level occupational therapy education in Malta from the mid-1990s. Previous to my career in tertiary education in occupational therapy, I had worked in all the major hospital-based clinical services. The last post I held in health care was managing an occupational therapy service for older adults in long-term residential care.
My Doctoral studies have afforded me much opportunity to develop my research skills through my reading, data collection, much reflection and the guidance proffered by my esteemed supervisors. The PhD qualification would enhance my personal academic profile and that of the department that I lead; it would also give me a freer hand with the development of alternative prospective avenues for the development of occupational therapy education in Malta.
I have unfortunately suffered major personal and professional set backs, which I have amply documented in previous correspondence and official documents. These have acted as major impediments for my study. I am hoping that with a judicious extension of my deadline I will be able to complete my studies successfully.
I am in the final concluding part of my research and have reached the last part of my data analysis. I am conducting a qualitative case study looking at professional identity of occupational therapists in Malta. The title of my study is: “Exploring professional identity and competence in the Maltese occupational therapy milieu”.
I am interested in looking at the theory practice gap, professional knowledge and professional identity in health care professions, most specifically in the occupational therapy profession.