BSc (Hons) Psychology student Charlotte Langton has returned from her year working with three different organisations and was awarded the Overall Placement Prize Winner for the Faculty of Science and Technology 2018. She shares her placement story...
Overall, my placement year has been extremely beneficial. I now have more direct future aspirations and I'm going back into final year more determined and motivated to achieve the best grade I can."
"Throughout my placement year I was lucky enough to work with multiple organisations, each providing me with the opportunity to not just learn about the role psychology has within the organisations but the opportunity to experience first-hand the importance of a psychology role and the challenges that come with it.
Firstly, I spent 4 weeks in Sri Lanka with SLV where I facilitated activities and lessons ranging from discussion groups, games and English teaching at projects across the region of Colombo. I had the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge gained throughout my degree alongside experiencing a different culture.
My previous experience meant I was able to put together many beneficial sessions. One of the biggest challenges I faced while in Sri Lanka was the reality of the lack of care/support for patients with mental health difficulties and special needs, there is extreme stigma towards these patients within this culture.
Going to Sri Lanka was such a big step for me, I had always wanted to travel but never had the confidence to do it on my own. I had never been abroad on my own, so to say I was scared to leave for Sri Lanka was an understatement. I have gained the confidence and inspiration to travel to do more psychology based work abroad.
I have volunteered for the Bournemouth Youth Offending Service since 2016 as an Appropriate Adult. I attend call outs to Bournemouth Police Station where I ensure the young person’s rights are being met, assess their custody log and sit in on any police interviews. This role comes with a great deal of responsibility. Being an Appropriate Adult has not only given me the opportunity to practice my professional communication skills but advance them.
In many cases this role has been challenging, nevertheless I have proven to myself that I can handle these situations professionally and later reflect on my experiences. I have put myself onto the callout rota at least once a week throughout my placement year to maximise my chances of gaining experience of different cases.
My longest placement has been at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, part of the Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust. Here I took on the role of Student Assistant Psychologist. I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to work for such a prestigious hospital, the hands on experiences and knowledge I have gained have been second to none.
I have gained hands on clinical experience including assisting ongoing cases. This placement has shaped my future so greatly. I am now confident that Clinical Psychology is the career path I wish to pursue. I experienced both the wonders and adversity that comes with working in central London, as well as the dedication needed to make a 4 hour commute.
My prior expectations of working in a hospital were distorted. I was naive to the demand and strain on psychology services, evident by the length of the patient waiting lists. This is why assisting the psychologists was so important, providing more time to see patients.
Overall, my placement year has been extremely beneficial. I now have more direct future aspirations plus I am going back into final year more determined and motivated to achieve the best grade I can. My placement year provided me with a great amount of experience for my CV and has greatly contributed to my work portfolio."