Practice placements are vital to the development of students as Occupational Therapists. In May Milnshaw House welcomed two Occupational Therapy students. In this article they explain why placements are so crucial to their professional development and what they learnt from their 8-week placement at Milnshaw House:
“We are Justine and Halimah. We are both Occupational Therapy students at UCLAN, Preston, and are in our second year. We have nearly finished our 8-week shared placement, this has been a great opportunity for us both to work together with the team to develop our planning skills and implement activities for residents at Milnshaw House.
We have seen that having an Occupational Therapist in supported accommodation greatly benefits the residents we support. We have been encouraging engagement and active participation to help residents work towards their goals. Providing fresh ideas and implementing activities through evidence-based practice.
Working with the residents and building therapeutic relationships has given us an insight into supporting a meaningful day for all and the different ways to embrace change and make a difference. We have been undertaking assessments and completing interest checklists, this allows us to plan person-centred therapy programmes utilising people’s likes and dislikes to work towards their goals.”
“Throughout our time at Milnshaw House we have organised events to encourage residents to join in with alternative activities. For example, on ‘National Cheese Day’ we encouraged residents to taste different kinds of cheese and it was lovely to see people happy and engaging in conversation. On ‘World Bee Day’ residents learnt how bees are vital to our environment and part of a healthy economy. We made a bee house from a block of wood and residents have enjoyed spotting bees coming and going. We have particularly enjoyed facilitating chair yoga and mindful meditation and have observed a reduction in anxiety and agitation. Seeing how small things can bring people together is really rewarding for us as Occupational Therapy students.
Overall, the placement has given us a good insight into the role of an Occupational Therapist in supported living. We are grateful for the opportunity to build practical skills and develop therapeutic relationships. Thank you to the Milnshaw team and residents!”
At Northern Healthcare our teams offer a range of expertise across a wide range of specialism including Mental Health Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to find out more about our enhanced supported living model click here.
(Photo by Meelan Bawjee on Unsplash)