1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work in a female acute psychiatric ward. In my role I work as a clinical support worker during my training period. I support the nurses and doctors to care for patients and ensure the smooth running of daily ward activities. No day is ever predictable, we are always alert.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt several new skills; I am trained in restraint of patients, carrying out observations and engagement, carrying out patient physical observations, gaining further understanding of the mental health act, dealing with challenging behaviour, deescalating situations, carrying out audits, ability to assess patients mental health and a deteriorating patient.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I throughly enjoy the spontaneity of my job role and the client group I work with. I appreciate having the opportunity to achieve my personal goals through this programme which otherwise would have cost fortunes. I appreciate the opportunity of gaining a very mixed set of skills across all lifespans.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The organisation of the programme comes across as very poor! Placements are not organised on-time we are provided information last minute. Employers and University rather pass the buck on responsibility when issues arise. Currently there is no consistency of lecturer and the quality of lecturing is very poor!
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The employers appear keen to provide support however, when information is passed on to clinical educators nothing is done with the information as there is no change and the necessary people are never aware when grievances have been raised. Seeming as though issues raised to employers fall on deaf ears.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
At present the end point of the programme appears to be uncertain as there are no assessors for this point as yet. Similar situation has also arisen for colleagues on a different programme who have reached their end point of the who programme with no one to assess.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Presently I feel the course may as well be completely self taught, because the quality of lecturing is so poor and sessions which require further time are just crammed into short 2-3hr sessions. In one day we go through almost 3-4 session plans which do not make any sense.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
There are a few networking events however shift working patterns do not always allow for such socialising. Social activities are organised individually by colleagues when moral is high.
9a. Would you recommend NHS South London to a friend?
Their community roles are very good. I hope to return back to the community once qualifying.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to NHS South London?
Be prepared to teach yourself, as they do not emphasise how much the course is built on self-teaching.