The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary has helped me not to struggle with the costs of travelling from home to Buckland Hospital in Dover and the Rainbow Centre in Ashford in my first few weeks of placement. I am lucky enough to be working with a Clinical Psychologist for my Sandwich year on the Applied Psychology course. This means that I get a chance to take part in graduate level work as an undergraduate!
My day to day role is to sit in on clinics run by the Clinical Psychologist – meaning I get to see their job in action and meet the patients that they work with – as well as doing admin work and organising and helping run group sessions for children with mental health difficulties. Excitingly, I even get to work with my own patients, which can involve working through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as building relationships with children affected by mental health issues. The most seemingly mundane tasks, such as scoring questionnaires, is even interesting in this work experience role, as I can get an insight into how disorders such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder and ADHD are diagnosed and the criteria used to do this.
Furthermore, in this role I work alongside many other medical professionals such as Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Paediatricians, Nurses, and Physiotherapists. This has enabled me to witness first hand how different teams work together, as well as any challenges that they may face in effectively doing so. I have also been given the opportunity to shadow all of these professionals and get a feel for what their job involves!
Another great thing about my placement is that I am not always in one place. Alongside being based at Buckland Hospital in Dover and the Rainbow Centre in Ashford I have also been able to visit lots of schools in the Dover area and go on many visits to patients homes. I also have the chance to visit other sites in the NHS, such as when I help run a Diabetes clinic at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.
All of these amazing opportunities have built upon and provided me with skills like time management, organisation and team work. Moreover, I have gained independence and assertiveness through interacting with professionals and patients as well as through going to different sites on my own.
Through my experiences shadowing many different jobs I am now better able to make informed decisions about which career path I want to go down, as well as gaining valuable knowledge about how best to get to where I want to go! Through meeting all these people I have also been able to build up a network that I can contact in the future if I need advice on how to proceed down a certain career path.
So overall, this placement year will not only look great on my CV, but it will also have provided me with many skills that are invaluable, as well as many amazing experiences!
– Naomi is an Applied Psychology student, currently on her sandwich placement.