Occupational Therapy Placements: A Case Study

Occupational therapy student Sam Brockington undertook a 10-week placement with South Lincoln PCN. Read on to find out more about her experience.

LTH: Sam, where did you undertake your placement?


Sam: I undertook my final 10-week placement with South Lincoln PCN. I did half my placement with Heather as my educator and the other half with Jill.  I had a proper induction when I started where I got to meet most of the team and see the work that goes on across the team and how it all fits together.  There have been many interventions and assessments which have been new to me and lots of information and conditions for me to research to build my knowledge base.


LTH: What were your expectations of this placement?


Sam: Knowing that I was going to have 2 educators filled me with dread.  Starting off as a new member of the team and as a student, I didn’t know how this was going to work or what the expectations were.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Both Heather and Jill are very different in their practice.  They complement each other really well.  So whilst I was nervous about splitting half way through, I feel that it gave me a much better variety of learning, styles and skills.


LTH: Can you tell us a little more about the placement itself?


Sam: Having been in the NHS for nearly 20 years, I have seen a lot of broken teams and low morale.  It doesn’t feel like that in this team.  I have been challenged and put out of my comfort zone, but on reflection I know that this has been key to Heather and Jill getting the best out of me and giving me so many learning opportunities.

I have had wobbles, highs and lows throughout my placement, as we all do with life in general.  However, every single member of this team has supported and encouraged me.  I’m thinking of one specific visit where I couldn’t park a complex situation.  I was in the office and Jo had me blubbing and fretting that I had let Jill down at an initial assessment.  Jo was so supportive and provided me that reassurance that it’s ok to feel like that, in fact it’s quite normal to feel like that but also to recognise that it doesn’t go away.  I am not always going to know the answers straight away or be comfortable in every situation.  But that’s okay, because it gives me things to reflect on, learn and develop my skills as I progress when I qualify.

It has been an amazing placement.  I thought it was an area that I wouldn’t enjoy working in.  I was quite nervous, but I have loved every second of this placement.  The team all provide such holistic patient centred care and I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to have felt part of this.


LTH: What are your plans now?

Sam: I return to university next week where I have my final week of learning and preparing for the final interview.  I have just received my final Capstone interview date and then all my university learning will be over.  However, I believe that this will be when my true learning needs to start developing when I join a team and start to work independently as an Occupational Therapist.  This placement has really made me question my future and where I want to be – so lots of thinking and decisions to make.

Thank you everyone, it has been FAB!!  Sean – you have an amazing team which shows what a great leader you are because the team seem so happy in the work they do and put their patients at the heart of everything they do.

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