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Study, Work

Mission: Speech

Okay, so I’ve written a little about my summer bod (i.e. fitness/health regime) mission but so much more has been going on in my life since moving away from my boyfriend’s and back to my parents’ late March.
The only reason I moved back down south was to start a 3 month placement at a local NHS health board with the Speech and Language Therapy departments.
I work two days a week at hospital and a third day is at a community centre in Bridgend with the stroke association. It’s a communication-specific group and a great deal of those who attend are referred there by hospital after being discharged.

It’s been an amazing experience thus far. The month of April was absolutely fantastic. I particularly enjoyed Fridays as I was shadowing a speech therapist practically all day, and the therapist would take a lot of time to explain things to me: what certain medical acronyms meant; what the significance of the doctor having reported crackles in a patient was and so on… I really was learning ever so much. At hospital I felt there was a real buzz, it’s a busy environment, it’s hectic at times, but the energy of the place seems to penetrate my being!

So far I’ve met patients (literally) between the ages of 2 and 102. It truly is fascinating meeting so many different people from different walks of lives. Each with something different to challenge the SLT (Speech and language therapist). It seems to me that it will always be an ever changing job with so much scope – one of those jobs where you could honestly say that *no* day is ever the same!

My time with the NHS has provided me with some funny moments (like when a child correctly named a chair a chair, a table a table, a doll a doll…and a block of cheese; edam! You had to be there, okay?! :-P) but there have been sombre moments too, dealing with difficult patients, or patients with serious conditions etc.
It has opened my eyes to the scary truth about alcohol and tobacco.

The exposure has been great, though. As I’ve said, I’ve learnt a lot and it has served to tell me that speech therapy is definitely something I would love to pursue. I get so excited going to work, and I’m just an unimportant volunteer. Being the ones who’s hands on will of course present stress and difficulties, but ultimately will be all the more rewarding!

This leads me on to talk about the university application process…

I can’t remember whether I’ve really spoken about it properly on this blog. I remember mentioning some things about Colchester but not much else. So here goes – I’m going to attempt to summarize what has happened thus far.

So, I sent my application off to Reading in October 2011, at which point I became ill and ever so lethargic that I didn’t get around to applying elsewhere. I tried to complete an application to Sheffield, but as silly as it sounds, it was just too much for me. I had heard that Essex (another place I was interested in) tended to have later closing dates – most unis have an application deadline of early December – and indeed, Essex were due to close the application process at the end of January/early February. I therefore made it my mission to apply there and in the meantime I discovered that Greenwich also had a late deadline because their courses start in January as opposed to the traditional September/October. I completed both applications by the end of January and then it was a waiting game.
Reading got back to me in February to tell me that they have interviewed their chosen few and offered their mere 10 places but said that they were impressed with my application and as such placed me towards the top of their waiting list in case of any drop-outs (a massive compliment as it’s such a sought after university and I had very little experience and my academic background wasn’t exactly the most appropriate), but then a few weeks later, Essex emailed to tell me they wanted to interview me in April. That has since been and gone. I went to the interview, had literacy and numeracy tests (eek), a group assessment and a one-to-one interview (well, two-to-one, actually!)

I must admit, when I came out of the interview I thought the whole thing was an absolute disaster and behaved like a teenage emo for a few hours. I was on edge, upset, was annoyed with the world and sat in Caffè Nero slowing sipping at my Espresso con panna with a most contemplative expression on my face. However after the dramatics and having reflected on the whole process, I believe it went better than I had originally thought but despite that I really am not at all optimistic. Those of you who know me well will know I am a bit of a pessimist anyway and as such I’d never expect an offer. Even if I aced the interview. However I can tell when I honestly don’t think I’m going to get something and when I think there might be the slightest chance. This is a case of the former.

I am to be told by the end of May/beginning of June my Essex fate, so we’ll have to just wait and see. I’ve not been thinking about it that much (another sign that I’m not at all hopeful), but one day not far from now there may be a very emo-natured message making its way onto this blog. Just remind me I never thought I’d get in in the first place.

This leaves me with Greenwich. As I already mentioned, their course begins in January 2013, as such the interview will take place either in September or in October. In the meantime I am happily continuing with my volunteering but come July I am unsure what I’ll be doing. The three months will be up, and it’ll be time to try and find a job (taking it for granted that Essex won’t want me).

Oh the dilemmas! Woe is me 😉


2 thoughts on “Mission: Speech

  1. What an interesting and heartfelt update. I can just see you in Caffe Nero with a contemplative look on your face! Best of luck for Essex my dear, even if you think it very unlikely! x

    Posted by jubbiz | May 14, 2012, 7:48 pm

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