Placement opportunities for education students
The wide variety of placement opportunities available is a distinctive feature of our Early Childhood Education and Care BA which allows students to explore potential career paths and build their CVs.
Kyira Liston, who has just completed her second year, tells us about her recent experience on a children’s hospital ward.
“Hello, my name is Kyira Liston and I am studying Early Childhood Education and Care; having just completed my second year on the course. For my last semester, our cohort had to complete a 120-hour placement, to gain experience and observe different situations within the setting.
“I chose to do my placement on a children’s ward in a hospital because not only had I been admitted there when I was younger for operations, so I was familiar with the environment, but I admire the roles that all different staff have on the wards- day nurses, anaesthetists, play specialists and more!
“When preparing for the start of my placement, I received a variety of support from both my tutors and from the hosts on the ward. I had been giving guidance in my placement modules, so I was aware of different styles of practice and how to develop the most skills during my time there. During my placement, I received support by arranging an induction; I had previously attended a day placement in December, so they were familiar with me, as well as providing me with various experiences over the period that I had completed (before lockdown).
“Even though I couldn’t complete my whole placement due to Covid-19, there were plenty of highlights: seeing the process of children before and after operations, attending handover meetings and huddles and introducing ourselves to the children and their families. However, my main highlight was in the last hour of placement, before it was cut short, where I was introduced to a young girl who had a genetic condition and couldn’t speak, breathe or move. It was so eye-opening because I had never been fully immersed into a situation like this before and had never felt confident when interacting with children with special needs, so when I spent time watching how the play specialist, nurses and the girl communicated with each other, I realised that this career would be more beneficial for my professional and personal growth.
“I gained experience in liaising with different disciplinary backgrounds during handovers and when around the ward, partnership working first-hand with parents and developing a wider understanding on medical terminology, procedures and conditions. The placement has helped hugely with my studies as I can effectively recognise the links between theory and practice, and it had helped me observe an in-depth awareness on how the hospitalisation process and conditions can impact on a child’s learning and development. I can proudly say that it has been the best placement I have been on out of nurseries, schools, church clubs and voluntary groups; I just hope I can continue the rest of my placement either in my final year or in my own time as I know there is lots more to experience!
“It is certainly worth exploring different settings to find what is your calling more and I think working in a hospital could be the career that I am destined for”.
Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash