28 Mar My Placement with C&D: Susie
Susie, a first-year speech and language therapy student from the University of Essex, has been on placement in clinic with Anita for the last 8 weeks. Here, she shares some of her experiences and tips for future students on placement.
Which client group did you enjoy working with the most?
I enjoyed seeing such a variety of client groups and this was something I really valued about this placement. I particularly enjoyed working on speech sounds and observing how to use cued articulation when eliciting specific sounds. I found it extremely interesting to see how effective this can be for the child.
Did you have any rewarding moments with a client?
Many rewarding moments! One that stands out is seeing a child’s progress. I looked at an assessment they had completed a few months before I began placement and was able to compare it to one that the child completed with me after receiving therapy. I couldn’t believe it was the same child!
It’s also always rewarding to work with children who have enjoyed the session so much they don’t want to leave the clinic!
What ideas for therapy did you get that you’d like to use again?
I loved the Gina Davies Attention Autism approach and her concept of the Attention Bucket. I gathered lots of interesting ideas and the types of things I can put together for my own bucket in the future. Also, the idea of using games such as Mr Potato Head and Pop Up Pirate in therapy to make it enjoyable for the child is definitely something I will be using in the future.
What types of assessment did you get to use?
I got to use mainly the CLEAR assessment for speech and the Renfrew Action Picture Test (RAPT) for language. I had the opportunity to administer both of these assessments with clients, which was interesting as I had seen them in class, but I don’t think much really prepares you for administering these in real life. This is definitely something that takes practice and experience.
Did you have any worries or concerns when you started the placement?
I was nervous about having so much contact with parents and how parents would react to having a student in their child’s session. This was something I quickly discovered that I did not need to worry about and every parent I met was extremely welcoming.
Was there anything that surprised you about the placement?
I got the opportunity to spend a morning with a therapist in a primary school. This environment was very different to the clinic setting I had been used to and much faster paced. However, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to experiencing similar school settings in my future placements.
What are your top tips for students about to go on placement?
- Don’t set yourself expectations
- Know and understand where you are at with your knowledge and experience, and be open about this
- Have fun!
How has this placement prepared you for future placements?
This placement has been my first taster of a clinical speech and language therapy environment. I feel with the given opportunities it has allowed me to grow in confidence when working with children and parents. It has also prepared me in applying the theoretical knowledge I have learnt in class and putting that into practice. I feel I have grown regarding my professional identity as a trainee SLT and I don’t feel like ‘just a student’.
What would you like to know more about or have more experience of since going on placement?
I would like to have more experience of using a wider range of assessments. Other assessments were something myself and my practice educator spoke about frequently and we discussed how different ones could be used with certain client groups. However, with only being in the clinic once a week I didn’t always have the opportunity or the relevant clients to be able to administer/observe different assessments.
Would you recommend this placement to others?
I would recommend this placement to anyone many, many times over. I have felt extremely well supported with C&D and they have been an amazing company to come on placement with. Although the placement I attended was only 8 days (once a week for 8 weeks) I was given lots of opportunities to observe and do and was made to feel welcome by everyone. I will take everything I have learnt and gained from this placement into my next one and I wish I could have stayed longer!