Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Fame at last.................
So, I hope all our readers are ready to face the challenges and delights of another year. Here in the Directorate of Occupational Therapy we are busy making plans for the year ahead with some very interesting projects and innovations on the table for further discussion - watch this space for more info as we move forward with some of these. Of course we are watching the government agenda closely both for the future of Higher Education and Health and Social Care. We are quietly pleased with ourselves that we are ahead of the game in terms of widening access to potential students and in the flexible delivery utilising principles of e-learning and of course the work that myself (Angela) and Sarah are doing in terms of using virtual environments for education in health care. We are intending to complete the report on our qualitative research very soon and are well underway in moving forward with a piece of quantitative work over the next year.
One very successful arena is the role-emerging/non traditional placements that all our full time and part time students experience in Level 6. This last placement period just before Xmas last year found us in the news - fame at last!!
Credit must go to the students involved (Jason and Lauren) and to Chris Kenney our colleague here at the university for all the hard work and creativity involved. In a nut shell Jason and Lauren were placed in the Manchester Health Academy in Wythenshawe and engaged with students to beat bullying by involvement in trust exercises, anger management and grooming etc. This enabled the Academy students to consider issues of self-esteem and communication which resulted in them reaping the benefits in terms of their occupational engagement (reported that there was improved behaviour and improved communication). Chris has been experiencing more than her 15 minutes of fame as she fields calls from a variety of media sources both local (Manchester Evening News) and national (Sunday Telegraph, Daily Star).
A mention must also go to our students Anna and Maureen who were placed in Refugee Action. It was reported by managers of this organisation that the students offered a choice and collaboration with the users that no other worker had previously addressed (they introduced a role checklist amongst other things). Managers have indicated that they see a definite role for occupational therapists within their organisation but unfortunately government cuts of up to 60% of their budget will make this difficult in reality.
Of course, I cannot mention these types of placement without acknowledging the role that many practitioners play in supervising our students whilst they are out on placement. Any one wishing to be involved should contact Chris Kenney (email@example.com).