Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Fame at last.................

Oh dear, can it really be nearly February?!! My good intentions to keep a more regularly posted blog seems to already have gone out of the window (or perhaps been buried underneath the frantic assessments of semester one and preparations for semester 2!).

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 (c.kenney@salford.ac.uk).

4 comments:

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Matthew occupational therapist said...

Hi,

Not sure if you can offer some advice.....we are a small private Occupational Therapy company and are thinking of ways we can help grow but more importantly offer learning opportunities and experience for people wanting to get into the profession or gain some private OT experience. We have been thinking about offering a short / part time internship with a mix of visits / OT experience and helping us with our blog, etc......

Do you have any thoughts around the practicalities of this....would it help students get onto courses, how could the CRB issue work, what kind of experience do you look for from perspective students, etc?

Any advise or thoughts would be great?

Thanks

Matthew Box
Http://www.inclusion.me.uk

Angela said...

Hi Matthew
In terms of looking at experience before joining a pre-reg programme we look for potential students that have a basic understanding of occupational therapy in a variety of settings. We would encourage them to spend some time with an occupational therapist if possible - but this can be increasingly difficult in some areas.
Some gain experience on placements from school/college courses. You may want to link up with your local FE college that offers Access courses and similar to see if there is any potential for such placements.
The other suggestion would perhaps consider offering placements for OT students?
Your concern re CRB checks is understandable. School/college students would only be obseving your work and therefore would not require these checks, OT students should have these in place.
Your idea of an internship is interesting - and I think perhaps would require more stringent plans as you suggest in terms of CRB and insurance if this person were engaging in therapeutic practices as an aide/helper.
Hope this is of some help?
Angela

matthew Occupational Therapist said...

Thanks for the advise Angela,

We've put a post on our blog to try and get things rolling and we are also in contact with various local colleges / schools, etc.....anything you could do to help promote the opportunity would be great (I don't suppose you would consider adding us to your blog roll / list??):

http://www.inclusion.me.uk/blog/want-to-work-with-us-want-to-become-an-ot-or-get-back-to-being-an-ot-after-some-time-out-get-in-touch/

We have thought about the option of placements but I can't see how we could offer enough variety and experience to students as at present we are a very small operation and have limited time available to give the students sufficient support, variety, etc....not sure if you would have any more thoughts on this? We are going to look at offering a back to work opportunity though for OT's returning to work after a period off.