It really has been a while, and I should have updated you all a lot sooner.
Shall I get straight to it?
Well, a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, despite my panic and feelings of total incompetence nearing the end of my degree, I passed. In fact, I passed with a 2:1, which is incredible given just how hopeless I felt! I then participated in my graduation ceremony on the 22nd of June, though I have yet to actually receive a certificate I can frame and place on the wall!
Unfortunately, it seems I may not get my HPC registration until August, as I forgot to get the head of the OT department to fill out my character reference before, and she won’t be in at the university until Tuesday, but I fly to South Africa on the day! My only idea is to leave it at the university and have Flan pick it up and send off my registration for me when he gets back from SA towards the end of July. I should have planned this better, but unfortunately I was working every day until Wednesday, and then I had to drive to Wales (where I am now) for Flan’s father’s wedding (in a beautiful little hilltop chapel).
In fact, I’ve been working all week for the past six weeks, and I have only managed to have one weekend of peace, a whole month ago. Every weekend has been spent either in Surrey with one parent or another who has flown over from South Africa, or it has been spent here in Wales with Flan’s father and now-stepmother! I definitely need some relaxation time, and I’m hoping South Africa will offer that, despite the projects I have lined up (reading up on motivation theory and research) and a big semi-surprise party my family is planning for my 21st.
Watch this space for more on my exploration of both virtual reality therapy and motivation!
On th 17th of May, I will sit for my final exam. Just over a month later, I will stand up to receive my BSc(Hons) for Occupational Therapy. That’s at 10am on Friday, June 22nd, 2012. (Except I’ll be at more like 10:50am because I’m always at the end thanks to my last name.)
I will then be able to register with the HPC and actually BE an Occupational Therapist. I can’t believe it.
On Monday, I handed in my final essay of my degree. While the assignment wasn’t too interesting to write, and I’m sure my essay is particularly dull because I had to squeeze so much into a tiny number of words (2500), what I had to read was actually quite interesting. It involved reading about clinical governance, which I thought was rather common sense. Surely it’s natural to expect an individual, or a trust, to ensure that they are as good as they can be, and that they are always trying to improve. Although, this could simply be an assumption based on my natural inclination to keep working, keep learning, be the best.
In the first week of May, we’re holding a ‘conference’, in which each student has to present a skill they learned in an advanced workshop they chose. From the three workshops I chose to attend – postural management, learning disabilities and assistive technology – I decided to do my presentation on assistive technology. No surprise there! Specifically, I chose to do mine on Environmental Control Units instead of Telecare because, while they’re both pretty nifty, I was like a child at Disneyland while we learned about the ECUs.
What’s both scary and absolutely amazing, though, is that only one other person chose to present on ECUs, which means that, as the cohort will be split between two rooms, I will be the only one presenting on ECUs in my room. I will be the expert. The pressure is on, but I want to do an amazing presentation. I mean, I want to go into assistive technology, as technology is definitely my forte, so I need to pull this off. My presentation needs to be stellar, and I need to know the answer to any question they can throw at me, bearing in mind that it’s a fifteen minute presentation with five minutes for questions.
After that, I have nothing more to do until my exam, two weeks later. Except, of course, to go to a study day in London on assistive technology that @willwade has promised I will see the programme for this coming week. I guess he doesn’t understand just how impatiently excited I am!
Today, I had a strange desire to work on my professional profile. It seriously needs some dedicated attention. The purpose of this afternoon, I decided, was to understand what components my profile really needed and create the templates and structure that would help me to effectively and efficiently maintain my profile in the future.
The structure I was considering prior to this afternoon was:
- Table of contents
- Summary of my practice over the past two years
- Summary of CPD activities
- Table of CPD activities
- Previous learning objectives and progress
- Current learning objectives
- Sections based on whatever I decide below containing evidence/specific information
Keep the above in mind, as you will see that this will have changed at the end of my little adventure today.
What did I do?
I started off with creating a graph to help me reflect on where I think I am in relation to the standards of proficiency for the twelve skill categories my course uses (List A) (Wheeler & Lane, 2009). I read over the goals I set for myself in my last week of placement to work on after placement, two for each of the seven placement competencies (List B). I then remembered a discussion during a group supervision session on placement, in which we discussed the different ways you could divide up your professional profile, including using the Health Professions Council’s (HPC) own guidance.
The HPC has a section of its website dedicated to continuing professional development (CPD) (HPC, n.d.), as well as a collection of guidance documents that are useful when working on your profile (List C). They emphasise that CPD can come in many forms (List D) (HPC, 2009). They also have a list of standards (List E) (HPC, 2009), which I should use to judge which structure is best for my profile.
How should I organise my CPD?
I’m slowly compiling a selection of different ways in which I can organise my profile. Should I stick to the university’s structure for now (List A)? Or should I maybe divide it according to types of CPD activities (List D)? Personally, I prefer the latter, though this does not seem to be an option until I graduate, as we need to use our portfolios to inform our coursework for a module…
But wait! I open up the pdf from HPC’s website titled ‘How to complete your CPD profile‘ (2009) and see that my previous structure is to be amended by how the HPC expects me to organise my CPD folder.
- Profession and CPD number
- Summary of recent work (max. 500 words)
- Personal statement (max. 1500 words) detailing how I have met HPC’s standards
- Summary of supporting evidence – this includes a complete list of CPD activities since registration/renewal (standard 1), as well as more detailed evidence to support what you wrote in your personal statement
Now, I realise that all I’m working on at the moment is Section 4, and I’ll be putting in detailed evidence for everything at this point (AKA a ‘portfolio’), but I want to have placeholders in my profile folder for the first three just to minimise panic if I get that audit letter in the future…
I spent a lot of time writing all this out. I did not expect to go this far…