Today was introduction to clinical skills session. The introduction itself we learnt so much. Back in the UK we don’t have clinical skills. We have a learning approach called PBL (problem – based – learning), this approach involves being in groups of 8, being given case studies and working them out together, this includes conducting research on the service users condition, the OT setting, legislation, making an assessment plan, an intervention plan and evaluating the process.
Within clinical skills in this university will be in groups of 2/3 and see a real service user in a clinical setting once per week for 10 weeks. The service users have identified needs, either form their parents or school however, they have not previously had an OT assessment. We work together as student practitioners to identify exactly what the child’s needs are, including the concerns of the parent, give advice or recommendations at home or school, complete therapeutic interventions and evaluate the process. We are closely observed by two qualified OT’s, one of which is my placement educator and we are each given marks out of 20 in a reflective evaluation after each session. The aim is to be able to carry out the full OT process effectively with a paediatric service user. Identifying their needs on the way and finding a way to meet their needs and build upon strengths.
As part of the introduction session today, we learnt about what to look for during clinical observations. For example, if a child who sits down instantly leans backwards onto a solid surface, could he be seeking proprioceptive feedback or does he have low tone. The video explained many other techniques, I now know what Schilder’s arm extension is. It is when a person, closes their eyes, holds their arms out infront of them at shoulder level whilst the therapist moves the service users head and observes if arms move down or stay still, if head can be moved with arms staying in situ.
Ofcourse, the clinical skills bring with them ethical concerns. As the service users have real needs and are seem by students. However, the parent gives consent prior to the children attending clinic and is made fully aware it is an opportunity for us students to learn. The students taking part must be final year students and this makes us nearly qualified, therefore should minimise ethical concerns.
So much more we learnt today and to top it off after clinical skills I had a language lesson and learnt the alphabet for the language of this country.
NOTE TO FAMILY: I need some models to practice my clinical observations tests on, hope you don’t mind doing star jumps, wheel barrow races & finger to nose once I arrive home! Much appreciated.