Staceyc1990
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Hi there

I'm looking into doing OT and gathering more information about the course and job. I have to do a access course so it'll be a while before i can do it.

Could any students tell me more information on their placements - what kind of places they go to and what they actually do there especially in first year? Also someone mentioned on another thread that the things they are doing arent particularly skilled, does anybody else feel the same?

Also if there's any other info you feel would be helpful to someone considering OT feel free to add.

Cheers


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Staceyc1990
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Anyone?


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Catherine_H
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I'm not at uni so won't be able to help that much, but am applying for OT this year. Placements really vary, from prisons to hospitals. Most uni's don't give you a choice of placement but do consider your preference. From what I've been told the first placement is basically just shadowing and getting a feel for the job. In the second and third years placements will be more full-on, having your own caseload and using the skills you have been taught.
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Staceyc1990
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(Original post by Catherine_H)
I'm not at uni so won't be able to help that much, but am applying for OT this year. Placements really vary, from prisons to hospitals. Most uni's don't give you a choice of placement but do consider your preference. From what I've been told the first placement is basically just shadowing and getting a feel for the job. In the second and third years placements will be more full-on, having your own caseload and using the skills you have been taught.
Thanks! I'm just not sure about the different areas they have such as hand therapy and what they actually do within that. I have so much more research to do before I apply


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Catherine_H
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Yeah there's so many different areas within OT, one of the reasons why it's so amazing! Hand therapy and paediatrics are reaally specialised, you may get a placement with one of them but I think the majority are with older adults. My cousin is a hand OT and makes splints and does hand excersies, that side of it doesn't appeal much to me as its too much biology involved!

(Original post by Staceyc1990)
Thanks! I'm just not sure about the different areas they have such as hand therapy and what they actually do within that. I have so much more research to do before I apply


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Staceyc1990
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I'm currently trying to organise some experience in a brain injury unit, think that would be good. I've already been to the OT unit at a special needs school, that was good aswell. I find things like addictions interesting too so if that's the kind of thing you can do with OT then that would be interesting but i don't know much about that side


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Catherine_H
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Yeah you can go into neurology with OT and support people who had strokes if that interests you Getting experience with OTs really helped me in deciding on what I wanted to do. I think addictions would fall into mental health OT, which is quite hard to get a job in but not impossible! I also find this really interesting. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do

(Original post by Staceyc1990)
I'm currently trying to organise some experience in a brain injury unit, think that would be good. I've already been to the OT unit at a special needs school, that was good aswell. I find things like addictions interesting too so if that's the kind of thing you can do with OT then that would be interesting but i don't know much about that side


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Staceyc1990
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Thanks! Did you find it quite difficult to get work experience? I've got a list of places to try. Fingers crossed!


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Catherine_H
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I was really lucky in finding work placements because my college helped me and I have family members in healthcare so they did too. I think the uni's understand that it's not easy to get experience with OT's though, especially in a hospital setting.
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Staceyc1990
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(Original post by Catherine_H)
I was really lucky in finding work placements because my college helped me and I have family members in healthcare so they did too. I think the uni's understand that it's not easy to get experience with OT's though, especially in a hospital setting.
Lucky you! My first one was really easy to organise but I didn't get to see that much because a lot of the children were off sick. Although I got to take part in a RDA session and ended up volunteering with them for a little bit. The brain injury place didn't phone me back today
Hopefully tomorrow. What uni are you planning on going to?


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Catherine_H
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(Original post by Staceyc1990)
Lucky you! My first one was really easy to organise but I didn't get to see that much because a lot of the children were off sick. Although I got to take part in a RDA session and ended up volunteering with them for a little bit. The brain injury place didn't phone me back today
Hopefully tomorrow. What uni are you planning on going to?


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Wow I'd love to see a RDA session, that's amazing! Make sure you talk about it in your personal statement. I think everyone exaggerates about their work experience in their PS really.
Even try nursing/care homes, even though you may not get to meet an OT it still shows that you are a caring person. And the skills you may learn there are all transferable and can be used through healthcare.

Not sure if I'm honest, can't decide between Brunel Southampton and Oxford Brookes haha! You?
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Staceyc1990
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(Original post by Catherine_H)
Wow I'd love to see a RDA session, that's amazing! Make sure you talk about it in your personal statement. I think everyone exaggerates about their work experience in their PS really.
Even try nursing/care homes, even though you may not get to meet an OT it still shows that you are a caring person. And the skills you may learn there are all transferable and can be used through healthcare.

Not sure if I'm honest, can't decide between Brunel Southampton and Oxford Brookes haha! You?
Yeah it was good! The difference when they were on the horses was amazing. I've signed up to volunteer with a disability charity as a befriender and also with the girlguides so I'm hoping they'll like that too. I'm not sure, been looking at Brunel, oxford Brooke's or maybe just stay in Scotland.


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Catherine_H
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(Original post by Staceyc1990)
Yeah it was good! The difference when they were on the horses was amazing. I've signed up to volunteer with a disability charity as a befriender and also with the girlguides so I'm hoping they'll like that too. I'm not sure, been looking at Brunel, oxford Brooke's or maybe just stay in Scotland.


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I've participated in hydrotherapy, which probably had a similar impact on the service users as RDA! Really inspiring.
I'd love to do befriending. You can also volunteer with Samaritans working with people who may have mental illnesses, and they train you up as well.
They have lots of good unis for OT up north! I think whatever uni we end up at will be good because they teach practically the same course really.
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Staceyc1990
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I'll go wherever will take me basically lol. Scotland is four years though for some reason.


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Staceyc1990
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Hi there

Can anybody else tell me what sort of placements they've been on and what kind of things they do?

Just interested to hear people's experiences and it might help other people

Cheers!


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lorri94
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Hey.

I am a current second year at York St John. Placements really depends on the uni as they all expect different things at different times. But here are mine so far.

Chronic Pain and Fatigue - 1st year
This is a very specialised placement. Due to being my first I mainly shadowed OTs but also other professionals to get an idea of the MDT. It was 6 weeks and by the end I was doing assessment and also teaching some relaxation stuff.

Community Rehab - 2nd year
I really enjoyed this placement and ot was pretty much your standard OT. Involving mainly older patients and giving out equipment. To help prevent admission or facilitate discharge. I really enjoyed it but was limited to what I could do due to it being community based. I took the lead in a few assessments and fitted equipment. But was mainly discussion with my educator what I thought was best.

Community Mental Health team -2nd year
I am just about to finish this placement. This has been challenging due to the nature of mental health patients alot are not suitable or don't want a student. I have been involved with alot though and have my own caseload. I have also completed a number of assessment with supervision form my educator. I mainly have OT specific patients who I am doing interventions surrounding decreasing anxiety or assisting with increasing activity.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions.
The best thing to do is when you go to open days ask what is expected and where you can be sent.

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Staceyc1990
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(Original post by lorri94)
Hey.

I am a current second year at York St John. Placements really depends on the uni as they all expect different things at different times. But here are mine so far.

Chronic Pain and Fatigue - 1st year
This is a very specialised placement. Due to being my first I mainly shadowed OTs but also other professionals to get an idea of the MDT. It was 6 weeks and by the end I was doing assessment and also teaching some relaxation stuff.

Community Rehab - 2nd year
I really enjoyed this placement and ot was pretty much your standard OT. Involving mainly older patients and giving out equipment. To help prevent admission or facilitate discharge. I really enjoyed it but was limited to what I could do due to it being community based. I took the lead in a few assessments and fitted equipment. But was mainly discussion with my educator what I thought was best.

Community Mental Health team -2nd year
I am just about to finish this placement. This has been challenging due to the nature of mental health patients alot are not suitable or don't want a student. I have been involved with alot though and have my own caseload. I have also completed a number of assessment with supervision form my educator. I mainly have OT specific patients who I am doing interventions surrounding decreasing anxiety or assisting with increasing activity.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions.
The best thing to do is when you go to open days ask what is expected and where you can be sent.

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Thanks so much for replying, I didn't think anybody was going to lol!

Chronic fatigue sounds interesting especially being able to do relaxation techniques.

I'm really interested in mental health, I did think about doing mental health nursing for a while but I think I'm going to stick with OT because I want the option of working In different areas plus I'm not sure how I'd be with injections etc. I'd love a OT mental health placement. Hopefully get one but like you say - it's challenging and maybe harder to get one. York St. John is one of the places I'm applying to.

I've still got quite a bit of research to do on OT, I know a lot more than I did ages ago but still lots to find out.

What's the workload like in first year - is it manageable? I'm doing a access course at the moment, I've not long started but I'm finding it quite difficult, mostly to stay motivated. However if I pass I think it'll help me loads in first year. Have for placements been Monday-Friday 9am till 5pm type ones

Thanks, your post was really helpful!


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lorri94
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I found chronic fatigue got a bit boring by the end but it all depends on what you do.

In terms of placements uni have to give you a balance of physical and psychosocial (mental health).

I love it in York. It is quite a small uni so you get to know alot of people easily and the lectures are great.

I found the workload ok. Obviously it will vary but we hace SOLs which are sort of like homework and an assessment at the end of each module.

Yeah most placements are 9-5 or 8.30-4.30. However some may be shifts like 7-3 or 12-8 but it depends on your educator and what they work
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Staceyc1990
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(Original post by lorri94)
I found chronic fatigue got a bit boring by the end but it all depends on what you do.

In terms of placements uni have to give you a balance of physical and psychosocial (mental health).

I love it in York. It is quite a small uni so you get to know alot of people easily and the lectures are great.

I found the workload ok. Obviously it will vary but we hace SOLs which are sort of like homework and an assessment at the end of each module.

Yeah most placements are 9-5 or 8.30-4.30. However some may be shifts like 7-3 or 12-8 but it depends on your educator and what they work
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Ah that's good, at least I would get some MH ones then. I just wasn't sure what kind of things students did on placements. People keep asking me and I still find it a little hard to explain and then they say "that sounds really boring compared to nursing". I don't agree but i can see what they mean a little bit just because nurses do a lot on placement but other than that I don't really agree.

I got to see some therapy sessions at a special needs school which was interesting. Yeah York looks quite pretty! I've heard good reviews about it especially the OT course.

I'm probably going to struggle with the workload more than most but I just want sure if it was constant assignments and lots of exams. Hopefully my access course should help a lot if I can make my way through it, fingers crossed! Placement times sound fine, i don't mind doing any hours. Even 8 is fine, not like public transport is going to go off.


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lorri94
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(Original post by Staceyc1990)
Ah that's good, at least I would get some MH ones then. I just wasn't sure what kind of things students did on placements. People keep asking me and I still find it a little hard to explain and then they say "that sounds really boring compared to nursing". I don't agree but i can see what they mean a little bit just because nurses do a lot on placement but other than that I don't really agree.

I got to see some therapy sessions at a special needs school which was interesting. Yeah York looks quite pretty! I've heard good reviews about it especially the OT course.

I'm probably going to struggle with the workload more than most but I just want sure if it was constant assignments and lots of exams. Hopefully my access course should help a lot if I can make my way through it, fingers crossed! Placement times sound fine, i don't mind doing any hours. Even 8 is fine, not like public transport is going to go off.


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The thing with OT placements and OT in general what you day vary greatly depending on the area you work in. Right now in MH i am doing a lot of vocational rehabilitation and improving functioning through reducing anxiety etc. However on a physical ward it would be assessing peoples function in daily tasks and providing equipment. On a MH ward it is running a lot of groups and helping with rehabilitation. On rehab wards you are doing more proactive activities with patients. That is just sort of hospitals it varies so much.

York is a really respected OT course however it is known as being quite theoretical although it is changing slightly. In terms of workload we have no exams. But we have assignments, which last year was 6 or 7 over the year and this year it is 3 plus 2 presentations. and in my thrid year I have 2 and a dissertation to do. In relation to other course we have a relatively low workload at home but are actually in uni more than most.

Yeah the thing with placements is you are probably going to have to travel out with your university town and you may even have to move. Placements are the best bit of uni but also the hardest purely because you end up being exhausted.

But one tip if you decide to go to uni, make sure you join a sports club or a society. It is the best wasy for you to meet new people and it helps when you are stressed to get away from people who are on your course. Assignment times and placements are really bad when everyone is stressed and it is nice to just spend time with friends who are not on your course. Making an hour a week to go to training is so helpful and well stop you getting too overwhelmed.
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