Real-life story - Yannicca Chang

Read about Yannicca's first placement.

Yannica Chang
Yannicca Chang Physiotherapy student
Employer or university York St John University
Salary range Unknown

How did it go?

My first placement was in cardiac rehabilitation. I really didn’t know what to expect particularly as I had no previous experience of working in a hospital. I was excited because it was something I had been waiting to do.

My placement started with an orientation session followed by IT training. On my second day I helped out at a rehabilitation class by playing the role of patient. It was useful to see things from the patient’s perspective and gain a fuller understanding of how to do exercises correctly. 

To be honest I felt out of my comfort zone. I was nervous about approaching patients and members of staff because I was really unsure of what to say.

How much support did you get?

My clinical educator was really good and gave me a lot of support. When we reviewed my progress I was able to express my concerns that I felt I didn’t know enough and didn’t want to bluff my way through things. She was able to reassure me that I was not expected to know everything and that it was better to ask if not sure. This gave me a lot more confidence. I was also visited by my university tutor.

What was the best part of your first placement?

I really enjoyed helping out with rehabilitation classes. I felt I connected well with the patients and fairly quickly was able to lead warm-up sessions and the relaxation at the end.

And what was the most difficult part?

A lack of confidence hindered me at first but after observing a qualified physio at work I soon realised that patients often asked the same questions and I began to gain confidence. I also learned that it was alright to check with my clinical educator if I wasn’t sure how to answer.

What are your tips for others?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

As you go through the placement do some reading each evening to fully understand and consolidate what you have learned.

Try to get a variety of experiences. Ask your clinical educator for opportunities to experience other hospital wards or other hospital roles, for example shadowing an occupational therapist for a day.

If you find your first placement a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. Confidence comes with time and the more patients you see, the more confident you will feel.

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