Clinical Experience

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
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Clinical Experience

Post by Rkjt » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:59 pm

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum but i've got a question that has irked me for some time.
I'm currently under taking my Psychology Bsc with the intention of doing my Clinical Psychology Doctorate immediately after getting my degree. While I'm confident that I can finish my degree with a high grade (my average module grade so far is 80%), I'm not 100% confident I have the experience needed to get me onto the programme.

Before and during my degree I have worked my backside off to gain experience, knowing that getting onto most Clinical Psy Doctorate programmes requires a certain level of "Clinical Experience" and I'm wondering if what I have done would be considered enough.

So far I have worked for 2 years as a HCA in a nursing home full time.
9 Months part time for an agency where I worked at various Adult Mental Health units and a Neuro-Rehabilitation centre.
9 Months part time in A Children's residential home for LD and EBD children
6 Months Part time (ongoing) for an agency working in EBD, LD and complex care children's homes.

I also did a few months working for a lady and her Autistic children where she put me through training with the Son-rise (Autism at home UK) programme.

For the final 2 years of my degree I'd like to focus on my studies and would prefer not to work however I'm unsure of whether I should maybe look into getting more experience?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

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Re: Clinical Experience

Post by han10 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:58 am

Hi Rkjt,

Welcome to the forum.

Firstly I want to say focus on getting the highest grade in your undergraduate degree.

You appear to have held some roles that could be very useful clinical experience. It is hard to say just from job titles and for all clinical doctorate applications my advice is the same - it is as much about (if not more about) what you can reflect on from your roles than the roles themselves. How have these roles made you a better candidate for training? what understandings have they given you about the nature of the role of clinical psychology within each setting?, how have you applied psychological theory to practise within yor roles? In this way it is hard to say what is the minimum needed and whether you have achieved this - that said some courses will only consider people with at least 1 year full time relevant experience - this can be HCA (with a psychologcial focus/role), AP, RA, clinical audit roles etc, but it's not limited to that by any means.

Lastly, and I say this from looking back, I was very eager to get onto training at the first available opportunity. On reflection I would always have benefited from greater opportunities to develop my skills and competences prior to training, and if i did my time again I would try and 'enjoy the ride' a bit more - training and getting there is definitely a journey rather than a destination.

I hope others will add to this dicussion so you get a range of views.

best wishes,

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Re: Clinical Experience

Post by Geishawife » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:49 am

I agree 100% with Han10 - it's not how much experience you have but what you have gained from it that matters. A person could have 5 years experience and be less ready for training than someone with 1, if they have not used that experience to grow, develop and shape them into a good candidate. Think about the skills you have developed, how are these transferable to different client groups or different roles, what are the challenges you have faced, how have you overcome them, etc., etc. There really is no such thing as an "ideal" length of experience, so don't focus on how much you have, focus on how it has helped you grow and develop. Right now, your focus must be getting the most out of your degree. Without that foundation you will not get onto training anyway!

I am curious as to why you feel the need to start clinical training immediately after your degree. Are you doing your degree slightly later in life or do you have family commitments? If not, I really wouldn't rush to get there. Of course, some people ARE ready for clinical training at a younger age, but do not think you have to rush things - the majority of candidates take a few years after graduating to get on and do not suffer as a result!

Finally, depending on where you are studying, be aware that you might not be eligible to apply for the doctorate during your final year anyway! Some courses will only consider your application if you already have your degree/GBC, so you need make sure you are eligble to apply. For now, just make the most of being an undergrad and don't be in so much of a hurry that you miss the pleasures that can go with the journey.

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