Rebecca Unett. Student from Aston out on a psychology placement with the learning disability service within the nhs. I get the opportunity to work with clinical psychologists who help people with a range of different learning disabilities, specifically I work with the trauma and abuse team, and I work with the older adults team. As this is an honorary placement I'm also working at ALDI part time!
The importance of asking– If you don’t ask you don’t get, if you speak to the right people and ask questions and take an interest you never know what things you may get the chance to do. I got the experience to go out with a occupational therapist, but that is only because I asked, people are not going to do work for you, if you want to learn and gain experience… seek it out!
Collecting resources-it is important to remember the things you have done on placement, and yes you have a brain but you may not remember that 7th housing checklist you did and what you learnt from that day- so keep a record, your reflective log is tedious and annoying to do sometimes but really keep a record of what you have learnt, it will help one day. Also all the training and stuff you get to go to, keep something interesting from the day, make a folder of all the things you have done. IT WILL HELP.
Take time for you- Remember if you are working unpaid like me you will more than likely have a part time job. Luckily for me my new job is relevant to my career goals now (I am now a neurorehab assistant for a inpatient unit specializing in brain injury- part time- more on that later) but it means I now work a 57.5 hour week, which is ALOT!!! I am tired and I am stressed I wont lie to you, but you and myself need to learn to take time out a bit. Thats what annual leave is for… if that means booking one half day off do it because that recharge of your batteries is the boost which will keep you going and being positive, and getting the most experience out of placement as you can… and that is the most important thing.
initiative… A hard word to spell, well for me anyway- however so important on this placement.
As an assistant you have to be prepared to be told what needs to be done, and then get it done. However this isn’t the only role you have within your assistant role.
You have to remember you are a new pair of eyes, a fresh face, and an imaginative person. If you can see something which your work place would benefit from, talk about it, set it up… As long as your supervisor doesn’t say no.
This is exactly what I’ve done. Myself and the Research Assistant (Rose) have set up our very own “clinical reference and reflection group” (Basically a posh name for a group which meets weekly to talk about clinical things and topics and teach each other about them). This week I am preparing a pack on anger and anger management using resources such as self help guides to teach other people within the service about the topic, and in turn this could help a client! Positive!
Blue Monday is the one day a year where everyone is, well, blue. Everyone got fat over Christmas, and is now depressed they haven’t lost their weight by now. The smokers who said they would quit for new year have left the E-Cigarette behind, everyone is sad that the festive season is all over, again.
It’s difficult being an assistant in January because your supervisors are stressed because reality is back and this then impacts you. Everyone’s to-do list’s are getting longer and nothing seems to be getting ticked off.
Weirdly enough though, I’m still positive. I know this rut will be over soon enough and this is what placement is all about. there are going to be highs, like being able to go out and really help someone with a problem they are facing, and there are going to be lows, like crying in your supervisors office because the colour coded, graph covered spreadsheet you made needs to be redone because some statistician somewhere decided it should be presented in another format…but that’s another story.
I’ve been out on placement for nearly three months now. So writing a blog about it all and trying to tell you about all the things I have been involved in… in one post, is a bit difficult. so, here is what has been going on.
I am an Honorary Assistant psychologist…
I’m working with the psychology service, within the learning disability service within the Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust, which is part of the NHS… Russian dolls or what?
Which is a great metaphor for the service I am in, it is a specialist service!
I work with trauma and abuse two days a week and older adults the other two days a week, so i get to see specialist services… within the specialist service…