Myself in a plain black long-sleeve blouse with curly hair and my glasses on holding a plain white pen and smiling looking up in thought. The background is light grey vertical blinds.
Occupational Therapy Student

Virtual Occupational Therapy Placement Round 2?

Hello, and yes, this is what you think it is, 6 months on and we’re discussing the potential of me doing another virtual occupational therapy placement!! Yes, you guessed it this time it is due to the pandemic.

Let’s set the scene…

I’m due to go on placement in January, and because of the pandemic I have to choose if I want my placement to go ahead virtually or not. 

This decision has been a very hard choice for me, as my next placement in January will be my final placement. I do want to have a face to face final clinical placement experience. The occupational therapy profession is so diverse, and I’d love to experience a different area of practice.

I know that even if it’s a virtual placement, it will still be very different to last time, as it will be working in mental health but; you still can’t replace that face to face clinical experience.

On the other hand there is a global pandemic, even though I have had my COVID screening and got the okay to go out on placement, I’m still aware that I’m more vulnerable, and if I was to contract the virus it wouldn’t be simple.

I may contract the virus, and not be significantly ill. I don’t want to take the chance though, and possibly become significantly ill to be fatigued and dependent on others. I’m already dependent on my parents on a daily basis. I’m not going to hide it, it is what it is. So, if I got ill I would be even more dependent on them. Also, if I do contract the virus, I’d put all my household at risk (in which other members are also vulnerable) because I wouldn’t be able to self-isolate. My parents would have to come in with PPE because I’d need help.

The other factor is that the placement is during the hard and cold winter months, with ice and snow which makes it harder for everyone. To be fair, this winter placement has been the placement I have been worried about the most, due to the weather and fatigue levels. I have been open about this in previous posts.

The big question is…will I be able to manage a full-time 10-week placement during the winter months?

Another factor which again relates to fatigue is managing the 10-week full-time placement. I’ve been working from home since February now, so I’ve not been getting up at 6 am, not been rushing, not needed to travel etc for a long time. This fits in with my needs so much better. I’m not saying that I couldn’t get into the early mornings again, because I could, but I would need time to adjust. I don’t think going into this routine full time for 10 weeks after my current situation would be any good for me. I was exhausted after a full time 8-week placement, and that was when I was use to the routine of early mornings and late nights. I am thinking I’ll probably make myself poorly.

As you may be able to tell from this post, I have decided to choose a virtual placement in January. Yes, I do feel like I am missing out in some respects, but I have to put my own needs first and this is what I have done. I’m feeling happy about my choice, as I know whatever comes my way I will make the most of it!

 If you have had to make this decision, how have you found it? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading,

Georgia x