Hi, we’re Jenni and Lauren, 3rd year Occupational Therapy degree students at Southampton. Jenni’s main OT interest is the use of sensory stimulation with a range of client groups and Lauren’s OT interests are within mental health services. As we enter our final year of the course we thought we’d tell you what we have learned so far. So…
Year one is all about learning the foundations of OT practice, moving and handling skills and detailed anatomy and physiology of the body. We also had the chance to go on a week observational placement, which was a nice introduction to practice before commencing our first six-week placement in the summer. Some students may find the first year quite daunting. We recommend sticking with it because in the second year, as the course becomes more profession specific, all of the first year knowledge starts to fall into place.
Year 2 involves 12 weeks of practice placement; 6 at the beginning and 6 at the end. Both of which provide great experience in different OT settings. We would be lying if we said things get easier, as year 2 is a real test of stamina both physically and mentally, but we can both vouch for feeling a true sense of achievement in reaching the end and believe that our experiences have helped to develop our confidence for what lies ahead.
So now we are third years and settling in to our own routines; taking our learning in the direction we want it to go. With more choice in our modules and a 10 week practice placement to look forward to, we feel sure that our knowledge and confidence will continue to grow. Watch this space!
Rather than getting straight back into lectures we experienced the first international week for Occupational Therapy at our University! A class of Occupational Therapy students from Lund University in Sweden came over to Southampton, and together we worked on various projects under the title ‘Making participation a reality: An International Occupational Therapy initiative’.
The project that we worked on was looking at sensory environments and the effect that this could have on people with Dementia. We were really lucky as we got to visit a dementia unit and have a look ourselves at the ward and think about what was good, but also to share our knowledge and think of ways that it could be improved.
Whilst we were there, a few of us were very privileged to speak to one of the patients about her experience. This was a really heart-warming and emotional experience and really reminded us of why we wanted to be Occupational Therapists, and the difference that we hope to make!
We happily admit though that it wasn’t all hard work! When we were at the unit we had the chance to join in with the activity group where we sung lots of songs, and some of us even got dragged up to dance! And of course, every day we had ‘Fika’, which is Swedish for coffee and buns!
We hope you have enjoyed reading our first blog and we can’t wait to tell you more of the things we are doing in our last year at the University. Tune in again soon!