Early Thought on Practice Placement

So I have completed a my first week (which is actually only two days) on practice placement in acute stroke.

I wasn’t that worried beforehand, partly because I have had a lot of first days before, and with an education placement I guessed that I would spend most of the first week following people around not being expected to contribute too much. Which was the case, but I must remember that in order to get the most from the placement I need to contribute and ask questions.

However, at the same time I must remember ‘super Julie’ the student who worked with the mental health art project I volunteered with. ‘Super Julie’ was just too keen, trying too hard to impress, and just pissing everyone off in the process. I know I have a tendency to appear smug, or as if I think I could do a job better, so even if I ever have these thoughts, I must try really hard not to voice them. But on the other hand I must not jeopardise my essay (which is on an assessment process in my placement), by not questioning why some assessments are being used and others aren’t.

Today’s lectures on MOHO and CMOP assessment tools have been really interesting and I spent the day trying to work out if they would fit into the acute stroke setting. I know that my ward has used COPM in the past but didn’t find it very helpful, so I was very interested to hear how our visiting lecturer had research the use of COPM in acute elderly ward, and discovered that it didn’t fit with working patterns, patient expectations, ward requirements and time/staff limitations.

In my reading in the library this evening I read the MOHOST users manual, and I think there is potential for this tool to be used in acute stroke. So it is definitely something that I’m going to follow up, esp for my essay.

Other thoughts on my placement…

I already feel like part of the team, which is good. I feel as if I could talk to any of them about cases and problems/ideas/questions I have.

I detect I slight tension with Physios but that could be in my imagination.

A lot of the patients are more able than I expected. I had a very stereotypical view of what stroke patients were like, and so far only one of the people I have met have been what I expected a ‘typical stroke’ person to be like.

I am very confused about the difference between my teams assessments and intervention, both seem to require the same things, i.e. washing, dressing, kitchen work. I’m sure this will become clearer with time and if it doesn’t it will indicate that something somewhere is wrong.

The OT team spread patients between the whole team and they all see each patient at least once if not more. I’m trying to work out the benefits and limitations of both this way of working and the alternatives. I suspect that there are pro’s and con’s to both. Not sure what they are yet, will it have an effect on the outcome measures, and assessment process? And what is the implication for the therapeutic relationship?

Overall I am most worried about my interactions with the patients. What will they think of me? Will I have the confidence to carry out the assessments? What will my practice educators think of me? What will happen if I’m not good at it will I have to reconsider my career in OT?

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