Introduction – Callum (Founder & Occupational Therapy Lead)
Here at bOunceT, we have two new students on placement from Queen Margaret University (QMU). Cadhla & Andraya are both in their final year of BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy and have their final placement with us for 8 weeks. To help meet their learning outcomes, and squeeze in some extra CPD, both students are going to blog about their experience of being on placement during a global pandemic. This will earn them the title (and badge!) of being a bOunceT buddy. To find out more about what a bOunceT buddy is, click here: https://bouncet.com/2020/08/07/bouncet-buddy/
Now, here is Cadhla’s first blog about her first few weeks on placement at bOunceT …
I feel I am being provided with a rare and important insight into the running of a service during COVID.
So, this is my first blog post as a bOunceT buddy! Introducing myself, my name is Cadhla and I am currently a 4th year studying Occupational Therapy at Queen Margaret University, therefore bOunceT is the final placement before I qualify. Already this placement experience has been wildly different from those completed in my first few years- in a good way. I had become well-adjusted to the usual NHS routines and expectations, and to be given bOunceT, a social enterprise, where I would work with children and their families for the first time, was an exciting new path to go down! Never mind learning how to navigate new learning in the middle of a pandemic.
Despite how different this service appeared initially to my past placements; it carries with it the true core values and identity of Occupational Therapy within its provision that I am now so familiar with.
The initial research I completed when allocated a position for 2 months at bOunceT, lead me to a bright slogan – “We exist to promOTe independence one bounce at a time!”. As an Occupational Therapist, you aim to provide practical support to help empower people through enabling occupation and overcome the barriers of everyday life – and I have certainly seen this in action in my first two weeks with bOunceT.
As schools are now back, I have had the opportunity to join Callum (Occupational Therapist & Founder), and Francesca (Occupational Therapist) in their sessions with New Struan School, a school designed to accommodate the needs of children with autism. From setting up the trampoline to meeting each of the children, I can truly say that I have not stopped learning. I have also had the opportunity to both observe and participate in sessions at bOunceT in their own therapy room and much like at the school, with each person who comes for sessions with the team at bOunceT there is an individual approach, individual needs must be met, and an individual ‘Play Plan’ is created to support them.
As any service that works first-hand with people during these challenging times is aware, the ability to adapt and overcome the new routines and rules is no easy task. I feel I am being provided with a rare and important insight into the running of a service during COVID. Especially as a student who at times can only observe and learn from the situations that arise, it appears that the ability to create a safe balance in providing a much needed service to many people and changing to suit the current situation is being mastered here.
As I am still only at the beginning of my time on placement, I can only hope to learn and adapt as much as the staff at bOunceT, and use the many weeks ahead of me to gain experience from this service.
Let’s hope by the end I am implementing these skills just as much!
Next blog – due to be posted by the end of September 2020