As you may or may not know I went back to university this year to study Occupational Therapy. I have loved it so far (even if it is really slow compared to the world of work) and have met some truly incredible people. Throughout the first few weeks of November I went on my first ever placement as an OT student. I won’t bury the lead – I passed with flying colours – and it completely reinforced why I have chosen this path. I loved every single second and didn’t want to leave.
That wasn’t how I felt before I started it though. The two weeks running up to starting my placement were hell. I was scrambling around reading everything I could get my hands on, drafting email after email to my educator (thankfully I only sent two and reading them back they sounded professional) and repeatedly telling myself that everything was going to be fine while dreaming up the most ridiculous scenarios in my head. I tried to play it cool while I was at uni, I mean I didn’t want to be the kid freaking out before we got there, but I know I wasn’t the only one worrying.
When I finally got there on my first day and was shown around I started to wonder why I had made such a fuss. I had been in the world of work before, I knew how to be professional and act appropriately, but for some reason this had been way scarier than starting a new job or even changing career. Perhaps it was the idea of being constantly watched and assessed that had freaked me out. But my educator was lovely and certainly didn’t make me feel like I was under surveillance. She answered all of my questions honestly, explained patiently when I queried anything and steered me in the right direction – I was very lucky to have such an experienced, friendly educator for my first placement.
I was placed in a neurological rehabilitation unit and it really sparked my interest. It was so varied. I learned more than I ever thought I could in the few weeks I was there. I got to see the full spectrum of OT (with the exception of acute admissions) as well as spending time with various members of the multidisciplinary team and getting to better understand their job and how it could relate to my future profession. It’s ignited my love for this area of work and I can’t ever believe I used to work behind a desk!