My internship in the United Kingdom.
The UK was one of my dream destinations for a clinical placement which are part of my un-dergraduate Occupational Therapy studies. I was accepted at a psychiatric hospital and spent seven weeks working and learning in England.
The start might not have been straightforward for me, figuring out how the bus system works here, that door handles need to be pushed up in order to be locked and learning that “smart casual” actually is a dress code and hence means a very specific type of clothing. I had never heard of a dress code like this in an Austrian (Mental Health) hospital. There, some institutions provide work clothes whereas others do not. Usually, an OT would wear white trousers with white or colourful polo shirts in hospitals and rehabilitation centres. In day centres it would be common to wear everyday clothes.
During my time here, I had the opportunity to learn more about the British health system, the mental health sector and OT. However, I will not go into detail about that as it would be too extensive. Generally, I have noticed a few major and minor differences, and more might yet appear. Through this international experience, I have got a new perspective on my profession which will shape my further development as an OT for sure.
Regardless of which country a student decides to study in, there will be enriching personal and professional experiences. My placement in England allowed me the opportunity to use and improve my English with native speakers on a daily basis. The placement gave me an insight into the OT education in the UK as this might be an option for a master’s programme and addi-tionally, I learned more about the wider role of research for OT in the English speaking world.
At the end, I want to say a big THANK YOU to the whole Occupational Therapy team at Cyg-net Hospital Colchester! They have welcomed me warmly, are humorous and doing a great job! Thanks for having me and supporting me throughout my practice placement!