Making the most of an AP post (not much work ATM)

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Making the most of an AP post (not much work ATM)

Postby teaplease » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:40 am

Hey guys, I've just started in an unpaid AP post. I'm a little while into the job and things are very quiet. The supervisor is lovely but I think he's still getting to know me and not sure what kind of work to give me. On top of that it is the summer and there's a lot of people not turning up to appointments. And of course there's often that slow period at the start of a new job! I'm expecting (read: hoping and praying) that this won't continue as I'm the kind of person who likes to be happily busy, so what I'm wondering is whether anyone has any ideas about how to make the best of this time? Have you been in a similar situation, what did you do? The post suits me very well in terms of life balance, near to home etc. so I really want to stay here, learn lots and make a good impression. Thanks a mill :)
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Re: Making the most of an AP post (not much work ATM)

Postby workingmama » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:21 am

Depending on how you feel about it, you could ask your supervisor whether you could be involved in some service evaluation work: has the team any archival data that you could use? Could you use that data to write up any small scale papers? Might you think about submission for publication?

Hope this helps.
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Re: Making the most of an AP post (not much work ATM)

Postby Alexander » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:32 pm

You could also offer to conduct a literature review. Reading is a great use of free-time for aspiring psychologists, especially when you have someone on hand to offer insights and reflections to any material you subsequently discuss. Perhaps you could talk to the various other professionals in the team. This would help you to understand more about their professions, their role within the team and their perception of psychology as a profession and within the team. Would your supervisor be open to you contributing to running a group? If so, you could find MDT colleagues that would be interested and form a working group to develop the group intervention. You might also consider any non-therapy interventions you could facilitate or promote: engaging with green spaces, community activities, etc.
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Re: Making the most of an AP post (not much work ATM)

Postby kathryn » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:43 am

- Visits to voluntary services/community projects/service user groups/recovery colleges in your local community - useful to have in mind for clients later on!
- Shadowing other people in the MDT
- Spending time with the admin team...making them cups of tea and bringing them cake...always be kind to your admin team as it will serve you well in the future when you've messed up your diary and forgotten to send your letters...
- Hunting out any APs in nearby departments in your Trust and forming an AP peer supervision group/journal club
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Re: Making the most of an AP post (not much work ATM)

Postby teaplease » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:00 pm

Thanks for the fantastic advice you guys!
I've started looking at the very basic database they have and filling it out a bit to see what analysis could be done down the line. Shadowing other team members is a great idea. I got chatting to the SLT yesterday and she offered for me to sit in on some of her groups which is great. Maybe in time I could help her out with planning and facilitating them. I definitely hear what you're saying about the admin team kathryn! I did admin for quite a while and it's amazing how taken for granted that really important role can be. Resolved to make sure I get to know the admins, in terms of what they do but also who they are. I've also tracked down another AP in a service nearby so hopefully we could get a little AP group started like you suggested!

While on a practical level I feel like I have more ideas (with your fab help!) about how to make the best of my time here, I'm also curious about why I found it very difficult to not feel like my day was full from beginning to end. I don't know if it's just that my last couple of roles have been extremely busy, or whether it's sort of a deeper need to feel important and valuable to the service. I have this fear that my supervisor is going to think I'm lazy or unmotivated if I'm not constantly doing something "productive". Even though he's actually praised me for my initiative! That cognitive bias y'all! Anyway, really appreciate your suggestions, if you think of any more would love to hear them :)
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