- Course: Psychology BSc
I decided to complete my placement year as an Assistant Psychologist at a rehabilitation hospital in Warrington. I worked with male patients with a brain injury, resulting in mental health difficulties such as personality disorder, schizophrenia depression etc., within medium, low and locked rehabilitation settings as well as male and female patients with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC). In order to secure the placement I filled out application forms, emailed CVs and covering letters that were personal to each institution to demonstrate that I had researched their hospital beforehand and attended interviews. Going through this process was a good way of helping me to prepare for my future job applications.
I believe my placement year was a success as I learned many transferrable skills which will make my CV stand out. I believe I have gained better insight into the symptoms and complications that individuals with mental health difficulties face. Moreover, this placement has increased my understanding of the treatment process and all the different assessments (e.g. HCR-20s, RSVPs, neuropsychological assessments) that contribute to the formulation for patients.
During my placement I worked closely with other assistant psychologists, a trainee clinical psychologist and a chartered clinical psychologist. This was beneficial for me as I gained a better understanding of the process required to become a clinical psychologist. I also had the opportunity to work alongside consultant forensic psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses and support workers. My key responsibilities were to help facilitate different group therapies (DBT and Addictions Treatment), as well as to attend weekly multi-disciplinary team meetings. Moreover, I was regularly supervised by the clinical psychologists which was highly beneficial as I could better reflect my performance and challenge myself during the placement. My biggest accomplishment was executing a focus group to devise a questionnaire regarding patient satisfaction of groups and running a mindfulness programme on the ASC ward, both alongside the trainee clinical psychologist.
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year and would definitely recommend it to all undergraduate students. It has definitely challenged me in many different ways but it was undoubtedly worth it!!