I have the TimeHop app on my phone which updates every day to show me any posts on social media or photos I took ‘on this day’ however many years ago. And today I got a notification saying that a year ago today, I was starting the first day of my first ever clinical placement! Today was the third to last day of my 4th clinical placement, and weirdly, I was wearing the same top today as I did on this day last year!!!
Anyways, back to the main point of this post…
Thinking back to this day a year ago, I cannot believe how much I have learnt and how much I have improved my clinical skills and abilities. My confidence has grown rapidly and I have learnt that being pushed out of my comfort zone is the best thing for me. My placement a year ago today was paediatric (my comfort[ish]) zone, and also it was classed as an observational placement, so the majority of the time I was present in sessions that speech therapists ran, and I occasionally helped out.
Fast forward a year, and I am on an adult acquired placement, working within a community team of speech and language therapists. This involves seeing patient’s with progressive neurological conditions that are affecting their speech, language, communication or swallowing. When I got the placement details through, I was so apprehensive and really did not think that I would enjoy it… how wrong could I be?!! I have absolutely LOVED every minute of it, and feel I have now been converted to wanting my SLT career in the adult side of speech therapy (for now… this could probably change again!)
But thinking back to this time only ONE YEAR ago, I would never ever have thought that within the year I would have begun to take the lead on sessions, taking a case history, completing an oro-motor assessment, completing a swallow assessment, completing a communication assessment, writing letters and reports to GPs and care homes and patients, allocating and booking in appointments, ringing other professionals to find out more information about patient’s… the list seems to go on!
I am so happy with the progress I have made and am hugely grateful to all the speech therapists, speech therapy assistants and admin staff who have taken time out of their days to make me feel welcome and show me the ropes and give me advice throughout all of my placements. Each placement has provided me with little anecdotes that will stay with me for life and help me through difficult times to remember how worthwhile and rewarding the job is.
I love being a speech and language therapy student!