11 Jul My Placement with C&D: Shannon
Shannon is a first year speech and language therapy student studying at the University of Essex, who has recently finished a placement with C&D therapist, Natalie. Shannon was on placement with fellow student, Alice, whose blog we shared yesterday. Here are some of Shannon’s favourite parts of the placement, as well as her tips for future students.
Did you have any rewarding moments with a client?
Yes definitely! The most rewarding parts of this placement were seeing the tremendous progress that the clients we worked with made. There was one moment that stood out the most and that’s when a client who we were working on the sound /f/ with was initially struggling and unable to produce the sound in any words then by the end of the 5 weeks she was able to produce this sound in some CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. This was particularly rewarding because it made us realise that the 5 weeks of working on this sound had made a difference to her speech. Another particularly rewarding moment was when we were able to discharge 2 clients we were working with as they had successfully met all their targets. This was rewarding as I felt that in the short time I had been working with them I was able to make a difference.
What ideas for therapy did you get that you’d like to use again?
A therapy idea that we got from placement was the use of a sticker book for creating SVO (subject-verb-object) sentences. Additionally, the use of cued articulation, which I did not use a lot on my placement; however, I will take this away for future therapy sessions.
Did you have any worries or concerns when you started the placement and how did they turn out?
I did! Initially I felt quite nervous about working independently. I felt anxious as I did not feel confident in my abilities to plan and lead my own sessions. However, this was quickly alleviated when I began placement because of the support and guidance from my practice educator. Once I had begun leading my own sessions I was surprised at how quickly my confidence in my abilities grew, with the encouragement from my practice educator, and the vast amount of resources I was given access to, the idea of working independently no longer felt like it was something to be anxious about and instead I felt excited about taking on this independent role. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on placement.
Was there anything that surprised you about the placement?
I was initially worried that we wouldn’t be taken seriously as students or that the teachers would not understand our role or be very receptive to having us in the schools, but I was surprised by how welcoming all the staff at all levels were and how they were very receptive to us being there. They all respected our experience as students, and some were even asking us for advice on strategies to use in the classrooms.
Which client group did you enjoy working with the most?
I enjoyed working with speech the most. This is something I haven’t worked on previously and I felt that it was very rewarding to work on a sound with a client and then be able to see they progress within such a short space of time.
What are your top tips for students about to go on placement?
Don’t worry! The independence of this placement is very positive and will make you a better therapist in the future! The practice educators are very knowledgeable and are always around to offer you help if you ever need it! Also, be confident in your abilities and always be prepared for sessions with steps up and down, which will help you to have a backup plan If things aren’t working during sessions.
What types of assessment did you get to use?
- Test of Abstract Language and Comprehension (TALC)
- Renfrew Action Picture Test (RAPT) with Language for Thinking levels
- CELF-4 subtests; understanding paragraphs and recalling sentences
- Speech screen
What would you like to know more about or have more experience of since going on placement?
I think I would like to gain more experience with referrals and the referral process as I did not get to see a lot of this
How has this placement prepared you for future placements?
This placement has helped prepare me for future placements as it has given me the confidence to work independently and the confidence in my abilities to plan and lead sessions. The independence of this placement has been very good for me as it has prepared me for working as a speech therapist in the future.
What has been the most interesting part of your placement?
The most interesting part of this placement working with a diverse range of clients, which helped me gain a better understanding about how vast the range of abilities between your clients can be and how it is important to tailor each session to each individual client.
Would you recommend this placement to others?
I would definitely recommend this placement to others! It has been a rewarding experience, which has given me confidence in my abilities and given me invaluable experience for working in the future. I would not change anything about this placement.