Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Work Placement Hints and Tips: Making a Good Impression

Hi All!
Recently I've not had much time to post anything on this blog so for that I have apologies, as many of you will know from a previous post I'm currently studying Health and Care at college (and loving it!); well after three months of settling in, getting used to assignment formats, making friends and quickly grabbing myself the student representative position for my class, I can finally say the part I've been most excited about has finally arrived. Placement! From day 1 all of us on this course knew we would have to do at least 100 hours of practical work experience, excluding simulation ward time, so all the girls in my class have not stopped talking about where they would like to work and how excited they are. It's a really exciting time for everyone, particularly the younger girls in the class who have just finished year 11 and are being thrown into the world of health care work.
Well today I visited my place of work placement  for a taster and it was fantastic! Some of my peers have gone to residential care homes, GP surgeries, Primary schools and day care centres for severely disables and vulnerable people. Where did I go? Well I get to work in a local Butterflies Day Care Centre for babies and children between 4 months and 3 years old, and admittedly it was a difficult day dealing with 23 young children with no official training and 2 other staff members on hand but WOW it was such fun! Before the fabulousness of today got going I and the rest of my class was extremely nervous to start work placement, one girl was convinced an old person was going to beat her with their walking stick! So I thought it might be helpful to make a short post on how to deal with first work placement nerves and the best way to make a good first impression on your employers.
1. Introductions - It's always a good idea to introduce yourself a few days or even a week or so before you first start work, this gives the impression that you're enthusiastic and eager to start work positively. Get yourself acquainted with whoever it is you'll be working with so it doesn't seem as scary on the day.
2. Induction - Usually your place of work will give you an induction the day you begin work but its always a good idea to ask a few days before you first go. This will help you get to know your way around, and you should find out about fire procedures, fire exits, bathrooms, staff rooms, lunch rooms and so on.
3. Questions - On your initial visit to your place of work it would be helpful to ask any questions you need to know, what do you wear? Who do you report to? What happens in an emergency? What time do you start and finish? What is the lunch and break situations? Make sure you cover everything you can think of so you are completely prepared for the first day.
4. Look Smart - Obviously placement isn't a fashion show and you really don't need to look like a model but looking smart and professional with help give the right impression to your employers and clients you'll be meeting. Often employers will ask for black trousers, leggings or knee-length skirts/dresses if they're modest, along with pumps or appropriate heels. Depending on the work you may be given instructions about how to wear your hair, for example, because I am working with very young children and babies I was told to tie it up so it cannot be pulled.
5. Get There Early - Getting there early shows that you are alert, prepared, willing and eager to get started and you'll definitely make a good first impression if you're punctual!
6. HAVE FUN! - It's really important to stay professional but remember while you're getting your experience just enjoy the time you have, it is an experience after all and you are bound to meet some lovely people and learn valuable skills from your time. 
I hope this has helped someone out there. 

Love Katherine. X

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