Pavlov's Couch

A Psychology Student's Mental Experience

Archive for the tag “placement”

Nothing Goes Quite To Plan

I need a third reference before I can start my placement, so my placement start date has been put back. I am also having to request some training I have been put on be rescheduled (not the easiest thing in the world considering it’s a three month training in a group. And my exam for my level 2 NVQ in Mental Health Work was rescheduled at last minute too!

There’s one thing I’ve learned in life: That I have to be flexible!

I have also decided to withdraw my application to be Course Rep for the new academic year. After giving it some serious considering I’ve concluded that seeing as I am on placement for the first term of the year and have so many other things going on that I would not be able to dedicate the right amount of time or energy to being course rep this time around. It is a pity as I have really enjoyed my work as a course rep this year, however in the best interests of my degree and for the best support for everyone else it is the best decision.

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Begin the Countdown!

I finally have my references in, my enhanced CRB has been returned (all clear!), and now I have a start date for my placement: 1st Sep! I just need to rush my placement approval form through then I can begin! 🙂

I will be working in a secure forensic ward, however it looks like my work will be centred mainly around drug and alcohol dependency. My role will include
-Assisting with coordinating and running group therapy sessions in a mixture of therapeutic approaches.
-Attending and contributing to meetings at the team and service level.
-Using research and analysis skills to monitor, evaluate, and improve services.
-Producing reports which summarise information, using Office and statistical software.
-Literature research to assist the psychologists.
-I will receive an hour of clinical supervision a week

I am really incredibly excited to start this placement! There is a lot that scares me though. I have never worked with offenders before, or with substance abuse, so I am very nervous about that because it is a whole new area that is so far completely unknown to me! I also have quite deep fears along the lines of: what if I can’t do it? What if I’m not good enough? Will they expect me to know more than I do? Will I end up making a fool of myself and looking stupid?
I know that I am being silly. I Will just have to box up those emotions and fears and put them on a shelf – I can come back to them after I have been in the role a few weeks.

I have finished working at the canteen now. In many ways it is a pity, I met some fantastic people there and really enjoyed working with them. Hopefully we will all stay in touch, and I am looking forward to working with them again next year. Here’s to the “More massive”!

I have almost finished my level 2 qualification in mental health work in the community. I have about three more tasks to write up and hand in then, providing I don’t need to do any more work on any of my assignments I’ve handed in so far, I can hand my completed folder in to be sent for assessment. Also on Tuesday evening I have the exam, a multiple choice online exam. Of course I’m nervous, but after doing a mock exam in class (and acing it) I am confident in my ability to pass the exam first time.

My level three course should be starting in the next week or two. While the level two has been very vocational, with lots of reflective work, observed interaction with service users, and so on, level three is much more academic and involves more university-style research and essay writing.

I had the first part of a two part training this week. This session was about the NHS and mental health (particularly the borough of Camden where the training was held), where it is now and what the future changes are. Unsurprisingly this meant discussing mainly about the financial cuts, and the Personalisation scheme that is being rolled out in the mental health sector. I Will be writing an article about this for the next Psychology Newsletter so watch this space! The second part of the training was all about mental health legislation, including a very quick dummies guide to Section 2,3 and some others (parts of the Mental Health Act which give legal rights, for example, to detain a patient against their will if they are a danger to themself or others). I found it very useful to be taught these in such a simple way.

Placement Interview Take: 2

I have an interview tomorrow for another placement. This one is even better than the last one -ideal in fact! Maybe my lack of success in the last one was for the best. I have heard that they didn’t employ anyone for that role, so I don’t feel so bad about it now!

This placement is at Collingham Child and Family Centre, based in Kensington. The centre provides day and residential care to children between the ages of 5-14, who have severe and/or complex mental health issues. The multi-disciplinary team at the centre employs a number of different approaches and tailors the care plan to the individual, as well as involving, supporting, and educating the child’s family. I am very excited about this because this is exactly the kind of work I want to ultimately go into!

So I have been doing my interview preparation work, and learning from my mistakes last time in the progress. I have been researching the organisation, how it fits in with its parent organisation (CNWL NHS), read the annual reports, looked up key players in the company (although I immediately forgot them thanks to my poor memory!), and have been preparing my answers to the likely questions, as well as a few questions of my own. This time I am going in confident that if I don’t get the role, it won’t be my performance in the interview that has let me down.

Wish me luck!

Keep Moving Forward

Unfortunately I did not get the placement I applied for. It upset me quite a lot when I first found out. But now a bit of time has passed and I am able to view things in a much more constructive way. I have been able to learn a lot from the experience, and have done more research into how to succeed in interviews (the best of which I have crammed into an article I’ve written for the next PsychNews, so keep your eyes peeled!). I know now that I will do even better in the next interview I face thanks to this experience.

I have also found a back-up placement. It is at where I volunteer, which is why ideally I would like to avoid it for the sake of widening my experiences. But it is there as a fallback, which takes the pressure off somewhat.

I have finally managed to get myself in gear and start revising. I am tackling statistics first since I missed almost all of the lectures. There is an awful lot that I don’t understand, but I am getting there slowly. MS OneNote is proving to be a real godsend for my note-making/revising despite its many flaws, thank you Gil for insisting I try it out!

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