How my placement has influenced my future in psychology 

Before starting my placement year in the Pain and Fatigue Service at Solent NHS Trust I felt a bit lost within my course. There weren’t really any modules that I felt like I would pursue in the future.  

However, after my eight weeks of placement, I feel more confident in my abilities and knowledge of psychology, and I have learnt that psychology is such a broad topic and there are many avenues to explore.  

Getting ready for final year 

I already feel more prepared for final year, and excited to start my dissertation. After speaking to the psychology student who completed the same placement last year, she told me that she decided to write her dissertation based on her experiences and knowledge of her own placement year within the Pain service. 

I’m so glad I opted to do a placement year, and its prepared me with insight into the real working world of psychology after university.  

Tips for finding a placement year 

Look on lots of different websites to search for placements. Personally, I used Surrey Pathfinder as it showed a range of placements, and the ability to refine searches based on job titles, companies, incomes, and location.  

However, don’t be afraid to contact companies personally that interest you as they may have spots open for students. Just make sure you let the Placement Team at Surrey know.  

Do not stress if there aren’t many placement opportunities in your desired field. I would never have thought that I would enjoy a placement within the NHS, working for a service that I knew nothing about.  

Apply to anything that interests you 

However, I have already learnt so much, and feel it is so beneficial to work in the NHS to explore future job avenues. Apply to anything that interests you; you can always decline the interviews if you discover later down the line it’s something you don’t want to do!!! 

Expect the unexpected! 

My calendar is so different day to day, and it allows me to maximise my learning. The year will go so quickly that you can be open to anything that your role allows. And, if there’s something that interests you across the year, don’t be afraid to ask for more involvement! 

Placement year offers so many opportunities for learning and refining skills, I would encourage anyone to apply or just to look into the different placements that are offered. I’m looking forward to uploading another post at the end of the year, and to see how much I have learnt and experienced.