Job from hell

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Daniela
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Job from hell

Post by Daniela » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:52 pm

Hi all,

I am in a desperate dilemma and would appreciate any advice. Having taken on a full time assistant psychologist post in a private brain injury service, I was over the moon - especially to know I would receive supervision from a Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist. Unfortunately, two months in to the job and I have not shadowed my supervisor once. Nor have I seen them engage in more than one sessin with a client during this time. I see the caseload of patients on my own for 1:1 psychology sessions and have had no direct supervison of my practice, despite this being a completely different and specialist client group which I have no experience in. Less than a month in to the job my supervisor went away for two weeks and a month and a half in, they have now gone away for a month. There is no other Psychologist employed here and I feel incredibly lost. I asked whether I would be able to contact another Clinical Psychologist at another base where other therapists here access supervision, and my supervisor informed me I would not "learn anything, as they are newly qualified...". So needless to say, I have no Psychology support for a month.

During the time my boss was here, they encouraged me to see new referrals on my own. When I asked if they could accompany me they replied if they "have time". I have made sure I do not see new referrals alone as I now realise this is above my level of competency. I have had minimal direction with regards to clinical work, although I am expected and have been encouraged to carry out CBT with clients - something I am also uncomfortable with, in respect to BPS guidelines. When I have pushed to shadow my supervisor they have agreed but nothing materialises. They have refused to provide me with training for interventions as it is "a waste of time", and a five minute roleplay during our meeting was supposedly sufficient.Even if I were able to gain for clinical support from this supervisor, I am strongly beginning to question their competency as a practitioner. When I enquired about formulation and different theoretical models, they started discussing research hypotheses!!

All in all, I am learning nothing in regards to Clinical Psychology and am constantly referred to the Occupational Therapist for cognitive rehabilitation advice. The whole situation is absurd and somewhat frustrating. The previous Assistant challenged my supervisor and management about the matter and nothing was done. Although, her working life was made incredibly difficult thereafter by the supervisor. I am incredibly worried about my career and feel unable to challenge my supervisor for fear of losing my job. I wonder what I can gain from this role? All help and advice is greatly appreciated.

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miriam
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Re: Job from hell

Post by miriam » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:04 pm

Sorry to hear that. It sounds like poor practise to leave you with much more autonomy than is appropriate at your career stage. The first thing I'd suggest is to apply for other jobs, because you need to ensure that you are part of good practise and learning, rather than in such an awkward position. Also, see if you can identify an ally, either within the organisation or in the geographical area. For example, see if you can speak to a local NHS consultant CP to raise your concerns. If you think you will be heard, perhaps you can show your organisation's director the BPS guidelines for the employment of APs and make a case for your employing organisation to buy in external supervision? At the least, ensure that your concerns are recorded as you leave, and it is noted you are the second AP to feel this way.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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Geishawife
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Re: Job from hell

Post by Geishawife » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:09 pm

I would echo everything Miriam has said, and would emphasise the point about applying for new jobs. At this stage I wouldn't worry about whether or not they are assistant posts - just apply for anything that seems clinically relevant to maximise your chances of getting out. As far as finding allies goes, do you have a local assistants group, or one that is near enough for you to get to? The assistants that attend that will all have supervisors and you might be able to find a more senior person to give you the advice and support you need through that route. Above all, look after yourself! Good luck!

Daniela
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Re: Job from hell

Post by Daniela » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:29 pm

Thank you both for your advice. I do have a local Assistants group and hope to attend at the end of this month. In the mean time, I will attempt to find an ally who may be able to support me, although I am unsure how else they can other than point me towards the formal route of making a complaint...I just don't know how this has been able to go on and be deemed acceptable. The formal procedures that need to be taken to tackle these things don't appear to be an easy way to gain justice either. I have an NHS interview coming up soon...fingers crossed.

alexh
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Re: Job from hell

Post by alexh » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:01 pm

This must be very difficult. I wonder if there are some opportunities for you to be a little more assertive with your supervisor without getting to the point of making a formal complaint, and in the process allowing you to develop allies? I'd agree that a new job is best but that may be some way off.

For example with this bit
'I asked whether I would be able to contact another Clinical Psychologist at another base where other therapists here access supervision, and my supervisor informed me I would not "learn anything, as they are newly qualified..."'
And you left it at that? You could have said that you require some supervision in their absence and newly qualified would have to do, or that you need someone to be able to call in case of an urgent question, maybe re safeguarding etc.
It is mandatory for you to be supervised, right? So you are now left practicing above your competency leaving you in breach of your own ethical/professional duty to your patients and yourself. They should have arranged it but you could still do so. If they don't like it when they return, so what?

I would urge you to ask a senior colleague like a psychiatrist or team manager to arrange supervision for you with one of these CPs as your supervisor 'forgot' to. Don't wait until you have an urgent situation.

And on the bright side, if you can deal with this it will be golden reflective fodder!

Daniela
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Re: Job from hell

Post by Daniela » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:49 pm

It will most definitely be golden reflective fodder! I took up your suggestion and contacted the Centre Manager to arrange external psychology supervision. They have ignored two of my emails whilst continuing to reply to my fellow colleagues! Tried to see them personally but no success - the last I saw them they dived in to another room before I could say hello. As I am in my probation, I wouldn't feel comfortable going against both the manager and consultant psychologist (and clinical lead). I realise this must seem silly, but I am not the only member of the team to feel like this. I have no issue with being assertive once this period ends however.

alexh
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Re: Job from hell

Post by alexh » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:57 pm

Good luck with finding something better, that place sounds like a mess.

Daniela
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Re: Job from hell

Post by Daniela » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:07 pm

Hi all,

I was just re-reading this thread and wanted to let you all know some good has come out of a very dark situation. Although I've had to remain in the same job for various reasons, I've been successful in securing a place on a Clinical Psychology Doctorate this year! Maybe somebody thought I deserved a good turn after putting up with so much rubbish!

Miriam - I will be sure to write a letter and make sure my concerns are documented.

Thank you all for your advice during that horrible time. If anyone else does find themselves in a similar situation, please do go and seek out help from others in the psychology profession. I found peer support. along with support from external qualified psychologists incredibly helpful!

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Geishawife
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Re: Job from hell

Post by Geishawife » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:22 pm

CONGRATULATIONS! You've done really well to come through that difficult time and I hope the doctorate is everything you hope it will be. If you can cope with the job from hell, the training should be a doddle :wink:

Daniela
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Re: Job from hell

Post by Daniela » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:46 pm

Geishawife wrote:CONGRATULATIONS! You've done really well to come through that difficult time and I hope the doctorate is everything you hope it will be. If you can cope with the job from hell, the training should be a doddle :wink:
Thanks so much Geishawife :) That's what I'm hoping!

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Randall
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Re: Job from hell

Post by Randall » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:11 pm

Daniela wrote:Hi all,

I was just re-reading this thread and wanted to let you all know some good has come out of a very dark situation. Although I've had to remain in the same job for various reasons, I've been successful in securing a place on a Clinical Psychology Doctorate this year! Maybe somebody thought I deserved a good turn after putting up with so much rubbish!

Miriam - I will be sure to write a letter and make sure my concerns are documented.

Thank you all for your advice during that horrible time. If anyone else does find themselves in a similar situation, please do go and seek out help from others in the psychology profession. I found peer support. along with support from external qualified psychologists incredibly helpful!
Ah Daniela, I am late to join this discussion but that is fantastic news! Congratulations. I'd be sure to put something in writing as you say and perhaps copy in surplus leaders within the organisation just to get the message across. Perhaps quote the AP employment guidelines too. I don't understand the supervisors approach...! Nonsensical and dangerous, to say the least!

Good luck with the course :D

Daniela
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Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:25 am

Re: Job from hell

Post by Daniela » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:40 pm

Randall wrote:
Daniela wrote:Hi all,

I was just re-reading this thread and wanted to let you all know some good has come out of a very dark situation. Although I've had to remain in the same job for various reasons, I've been successful in securing a place on a Clinical Psychology Doctorate this year! Maybe somebody thought I deserved a good turn after putting up with so much rubbish!

Miriam - I will be sure to write a letter and make sure my concerns are documented.

Thank you all for your advice during that horrible time. If anyone else does find themselves in a similar situation, please do go and seek out help from others in the psychology profession. I found peer support. along with support from external qualified psychologists incredibly helpful!
Ah Daniela, I am late to join this discussion but that is fantastic news! Congratulations. I'd be sure to put something in writing as you say and perhaps copy in surplus leaders within the organisation just to get the message across. Perhaps quote the AP employment guidelines too. I don't understand the supervisors approach...! Nonsensical and dangerous, to say the least!

Good luck with the course :D

Hi Randall,

Thanks very much :) The person in question is now under HCPC investigation, so it's definitely been brought to the attention of the right people.

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