A real lunch break! I’m soaking up all I can get. The joy of getting plenty of dysphagia hours* is just slightly tempered by the fact that the best time to look at how people swallow and eat a meal is….drum roll….LUNCH TIME! No complaints though, I’m getting great experience. Currently, I’m indulging in my latest destructive post-lunch ritual: can of diet pepsi (regular today for some reason) and a red licorice. $1.04 at the gift shop! Dangerous.
Since this all has to be extra generic I’ll just talk about ME (my own placement experience). Today marks halfway with four weeks down and four to go. I enjoy basically every moment. Halfway through means midterm evaluation (one piece of paperwork demanded by our department-that-clearly-loathes-trees that is actually fairly valuable). My CE** takes it quite seriously and goes through each item (we’re talking over 100 items evaluating clinical skills and professional behaviour) and comes up with a specific example in her head and then scores it. Hoo boy. I hope her keenness rubs off a little on me.
The good news is that there were no awful suprises. In fact, it was a majority 5s (scale 1-7, the department-that-sticks-its-nose-in-yo-bidness says 5 means “great, you’re right on track” and there shouldn’t be too many 6s or 7s at all). Actually, rumour has it that the school will call the CE if there are too many 7s and lay the smack down/ask for justification. She liked to point out that 5s in some areas from her should be considered compliments so I’m taking them as such. I had my fair share of 4s too and we generally agreed on those areas that we think i’ll continue to improve on over the placement. Like comfort level. I need to speak the hell up sometimes and say things authoritatively. Noted. She didn’t use those words.
The “6” that I’m most happy about, though, is for “discriminates when to talk & when to listen”. No, it doesn’t seem like the most difficult skill and maybe I should be more happy about 5s and 6s in report writing but this one is an area I STRUGGLE with. Keeping my mouth shut has never been a strong suit for me. Over-stepping has gotten me in trouble in other placements. This time my CE said that I think very carefully about when to speak in interprofessional meetings or with colleagues and that when I choose to do so it is pertinent and thoughtful. Hecks YES! Weakness becoming a stength. Or not a weakness.
Get any good feedback lately?
Hours means refers to program requirements. In order to graduate as a full-out SLP our college dictates that we must have a certain number of clinical hours in specific areas from our placements. These areas include: assessment, treatment, adults, kids, fluency, voice, motor speech, dysphagia, language…..related things. Mid-way through my third placement I’ve completed (or nearly completed) about 90% of the required hours. Fluency eludes me but Hi-C has offered to be a guinea pig.
There you go, everything you never wanted to know and more about the flaming hoops we jump through to be certified.
**CE = clinical education = supervisor = preceptor (for all you OTs out there)