"Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

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"Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby Misfit » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:18 pm

Hi,

Just wondering if anyone has any tips on working with those with eating disorders please? What is your experience of this? What is the best way to approach situations? Any tips for support work type role in eating disorders field with adults? Any advice relating to group work in this field? I understand that actual information about interviews can't be shared but I have one coming up and am wondering what sort of information in particular I should make sure I have ready. Saying that, when I open my mouth to speak, my mind tends to have gone blank.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby Misfit » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:35 pm

Wow...no responses.
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby ell » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:12 pm

Can I ask what point you are trying to make with that post? What are you trying to communicate?
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby Leems » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:58 pm

Misfit wrote:Any tips for support work type role in eating disorders field with adults?

Some advice from a mental health nurse:

- Put 'eating disorders' into a search on NHS Jobs and look at the Person Specifications and Job Descriptions. This will tell you what knowledge to research, what skills you need to show willing to develop, what qualities you need to bring, etc. Scrutinise the specific job description for the job you're applying for, and be ready to answer questions on all of it.

- Knowledge of common presentations, difficulties, physical effects, co-existing psychological conditions, basics of Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act.

- Awareness of the role of the clinical support worker in eating disorders, which is more tactical than strategic: reporting concerns to registered staff, using counselling skills when talking to clients, dealing with incidents, factual report writing, risk awareness, de-escalation of high emotions and aggression, ensuring diet and fluids are taken, tasks such as weighing people, assistance with activities of daily living, promoting independence and sociality.

- Awareness of what the role is not: you are not a diagnostician, psychotherapist, ward manager, care coordinator.

- Vigilance, situational awareness and environmental awareness: being aware of the many evasive measures people with eating disorders may manifest to avoid taking food or purging, being aware of interpersonal relationships in a group or ward, noticing incidents brewing, awareness of related possibilities such as deliberate self harm or suicidality.

- Maintaining boundaries: maintaining assertive boundaries without being aggressive or passive, therapeutic use of self to prevent your role being undermined.

- Qualities I find helpful in CSWs I work with: down to earth communicators; can follow instructions; use all their senses and their intuition; report concerns rapidly and concisely; treat every shift as a learning opportunity; are not too posh to wash; ask if they are not sure of anything; strive for adult-to-adult interactions with clients; use humour and humility.

Apologies for the generality, it isn't my strong suit. Helpful?
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby Misfit » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:40 am

ell wrote:Can I ask what point you are trying to make with that post? What are you trying to communicate?


Just feeling lost and needed some advice so was feeling disappointed when I didn't see any replies. Sorry if I caused any offence.
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby Misfit » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:47 am

Leems wrote:
Misfit wrote:Any tips for support work type role in eating disorders field with adults?

Some advice from a mental health nurse:

- Put 'eating disorders' into a search on NHS Jobs and look at the Person Specifications and Job Descriptions. This will tell you what knowledge to research, what skills you need to show willing to develop, what qualities you need to bring, etc. Scrutinise the specific job description for the job you're applying for, and be ready to answer questions on all of it.

- Knowledge of common presentations, difficulties, physical effects, co-existing psychological conditions, basics of Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act.

- Awareness of the role of the clinical support worker in eating disorders, which is more tactical than strategic: reporting concerns to registered staff, using counselling skills when talking to clients, dealing with incidents, factual report writing, risk awareness, de-escalation of high emotions and aggression, ensuring diet and fluids are taken, tasks such as weighing people, assistance with activities of daily living, promoting independence and sociality.

- Awareness of what the role is not: you are not a diagnostician, psychotherapist, ward manager, care coordinator.

- Vigilance, situational awareness and environmental awareness: being aware of the many evasive measures people with eating disorders may manifest to avoid taking food or purging, being aware of interpersonal relationships in a group or ward, noticing incidents brewing, awareness of related possibilities such as deliberate self harm or suicidality.

- Maintaining boundaries: maintaining assertive boundaries without being aggressive or passive, therapeutic use of self to prevent your role being undermined.

- Qualities I find helpful in CSWs I work with: down to earth communicators; can follow instructions; use all their senses and their intuition; report concerns rapidly and concisely; treat every shift as a learning opportunity; are not too posh to wash; ask if they are not sure of anything; strive for adult-to-adult interactions with clients; use humour and humility.

Apologies for the generality, it isn't my strong suit. Helpful?


Thanks for your reply. Yes it was helpful and lots of points to think about. It's helped me realise what I know, which is reassuring, and what I need to focus more attention on in terms of learning. I like to print and highlight job descriptions and job specifications.
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby ell » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:26 pm

Misfit wrote:
ell wrote:Can I ask what point you are trying to make with that post? What are you trying to communicate?


Just feeling lost and needed some advice so was feeling disappointed when I didn't see any replies. Sorry if I caused any offence.


I can understand that disappointment, especially when you are feeling a bit lost and you are hoping for some guidance. It's just that no one is obligated to offer advice here, and many of us have spent hours of unpaid time responding to questions over the years. In that context, your message came across as a little rude.

Best of luck with the interview.
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby Misfit » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:40 pm

ell wrote:
Misfit wrote:
ell wrote:Can I ask what point you are trying to make with that post? What are you trying to communicate?


Just feeling lost and needed some advice so was feeling disappointed when I didn't see any replies. Sorry if I caused any offence.


I can understand that disappointment, especially when you are feeling a bit lost and you are hoping for some guidance. It's just that no one is obligated to offer advice here, and many of us have spent hours of unpaid time responding to questions over the years. In that context, your message came across as a little rude.

Best of luck with the interview.


Sorry if I came across as rude. Thanks for the luck.
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby MarkM » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:30 pm

Hi Misfit,

I wonder whether people would have been more responsive if you'd included some discussion rather than just asking questions. I've noticed that sometimes threads receive fewer responses if the OP just asks lots of questions. Threads that are a bit more exploratory tend to get more responses. Kinda like answering your own questions and seeking out people's views?

So in your case,
Misfit wrote:What is your experience of this?

What do you imagine it's like? Can you draw on any past experiences, articles you may have read, or theories?

What is the best way to approach situations? Any tips for support work type role in eating disorders field with adults?

What "situations" do you think could arise, and how would you deal with those yourself, based on your previous experiences? (NB: Eating disorders is an umbrella term, and "situations" may also vary on the setting, IP/OP, etc etc)

Any advice relating to group work in this field?

Have you done group work before? What adaptations (if any) would you think might be needed? What challenges might there be?

... wondering what sort of information in particular I should make sure I have ready.

There's not much you "should" have ready, I think. Sure, preparing a little can be helpful, but I'd say don't overdo it. Look at the NICE guidance, maybe. And perhaps the service model, if available. But ultimately it's ok to say "I have not worked in ED services before, but I think xyz". They probably don't expect you to be an expert, but someone who's flexible and responsive.

Hope that this isn't too late - good luck with the interview!
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby Misfit » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:57 am

MarkM wrote:Hi Misfit,

I wonder whether people would have been more responsive if you'd included some discussion rather than just asking questions. I've noticed that sometimes threads receive fewer responses if the OP just asks lots of questions. Threads that are a bit more exploratory tend to get more responses. Kinda like answering your own questions and seeking out people's views?

So in your case,
Misfit wrote:What is your experience of this?

What do you imagine it's like? Can you draw on any past experiences, articles you may have read, or theories?

What is the best way to approach situations? Any tips for support work type role in eating disorders field with adults?

What "situations" do you think could arise, and how would you deal with those yourself, based on your previous experiences? (NB: Eating disorders is an umbrella term, and "situations" may also vary on the setting, IP/OP, etc etc)

Any advice relating to group work in this field?

Have you done group work before? What adaptations (if any) would you think might be needed? What challenges might there be?

... wondering what sort of information in particular I should make sure I have ready.

There's not much you "should" have ready, I think. Sure, preparing a little can be helpful, but I'd say don't overdo it. Look at the NICE guidance, maybe. And perhaps the service model, if available. But ultimately it's ok to say "I have not worked in ED services before, but I think xyz". They probably don't expect you to be an expert, but someone who's flexible and responsive.

Hope that this isn't too late - good luck with the interview!



Thanks for your support. I messed up. Should have expanded on points when speaking about myself. Pretty difficult to talk about yourself when you don't like yourself much.
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby workingmama » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:42 pm

Misfit wrote:Thanks for your support. I messed up. Should have expanded on points when speaking about myself. Pretty difficult to talk about yourself when you don't like yourself much.


Hello there,

I wanted to respond to your last comment, but spent a while trying to work out whether it would be better to post my reply publically or PM you. In the end I decided to post here, and that way other people can add to the dialogue if they like.

I had a number of feelings when I read your comment. First, I felt deep sadness for you that you are feeling this way. I too have had times when I have felt like that, and I know others on the forum will be able to echo that. It sucks beyond words. I know that you will likely have a number of reasons and past experiences that make sense of why you feel this way. I hope that you have somewhere to take those feelings and to do battle with them, because that's heavy baggage to try to carry through life. As a profession we are aware of how far we are from having a culture where we can openly acknowledge our own struggles with mental health. We do know a very little about how big the problem is. A recent BPS review found that 46% of us answered that we had or were experiencing depression. That's just depression, and just the people who chose or felt able to contribute to the survey, so we know that this is the tip of the iceberg. You are, obviously, far from alone in your feelings.

Second, I wondered about your use of that disclosure (if that's the right word) at that point. I wondered if you felt attacked or vulnerable in the responses to your post, and shared your feelings about yourself to apologise or excuse what you felt was a site or social mistake. That felt both genuinely apologetic, but also slightly aggressive, in so much as it would be very hard to challenge you without feeling that it might cause damage or distress.

I'm not posting to look for a comment or response, and in fact I think that that might make you feel very pressured (not my intention). I just wanted to share my thoughts and feelings, and to not leave that last comment hanging.

In clinpsy comradeship, WM xx
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby Misfit » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:11 pm

workingmama wrote:
Misfit wrote:Thanks for your support. I messed up. Should have expanded on points when speaking about myself. Pretty difficult to talk about yourself when you don't like yourself much.


Hello there,

I wanted to respond to your last comment, but spent a while trying to work out whether it would be better to post my reply publically or PM you. In the end I decided to post here, and that way other people can add to the dialogue if they like.

I had a number of feelings when I read your comment. First, I felt deep sadness for you that you are feeling this way. I too have had times when I have felt like that, and I know others on the forum will be able to echo that. It sucks beyond words. I know that you will likely have a number of reasons and past experiences that make sense of why you feel this way. I hope that you have somewhere to take those feelings and to do battle with them, because that's heavy baggage to try to carry through life. As a profession we are aware of how far we are from having a culture where we can openly acknowledge our own struggles with mental health. We do know a very little about how big the problem is. A recent BPS review found that 46% of us answered that we had or were experiencing depression. That's just depression, and just the people who chose or felt able to contribute to the survey, so we know that this is the tip of the iceberg. You are, obviously, far from alone in your feelings.

Second, I wondered about your use of that disclosure (if that's the right word) at that point. I wondered if you felt attacked or vulnerable in the responses to your post, and shared your feelings about yourself to apologise or excuse what you felt was a site or social mistake. That felt both genuinely apologetic, but also slightly aggressive, in so much as it would be very hard to challenge you without feeling that it might cause damage or distress.

I'm not posting to look for a comment or response, and in fact I think that that might make you feel very pressured (not my intention). I just wanted to share my thoughts and feelings, and to not leave that last comment hanging.

In clinpsy comradeship, WM xx


Thank you for your reply. I've always had low confidence/self esteem. As well as this I was torn to shreds in a previous eating disorders interview when an interviewer laughed at me, made faces and rolled their eyes as I nervously spoke and the words I wanted to say wouldn't come out and I said things I hadn't meant to. I'd travelled to a different city for the interview and when a different interviewer on the panel asked if I'd relocate for the job, I didn't trust them enough to commit to moving to a different city (London) to work as a support worker for a manager like that one who belittled me so much. I think that has pushed me to achieve and better myself.

I do feel I should address my mental health needs. I hope the people who are in need of it, receive the support they need.

I honestly didn't mean to sound aggressive. I am genuinely sorry if I came across that way. I can be quite socially awkward sometimes.

Thanks you for your time, I really appreciate it. xx
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Re: "Eating disorders" tips for interview and potential job

Postby lingua_franca » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:26 am

I feel for you on the self-esteem front, as 'Devastating Sense of Inadequacy' used to be my middle name. ;) I'm much more confident and assertive these days (in fact, looking around at friends and colleagues, I think I'm probably a bit more confident than the average woman) but I still remember very vividly what it felt like to be doubting myself and worrying that other people were judging me.

Don't feel as if you have to talk about this here (I'm not suggesting that you do!), but it interests me that someone who struggles with self-worth is so keen to get a job in ED services - you've said several times that you really want to work with this client group. Low self-esteem is common in people with EDs. I think it might help with future job applications if you reflected privately on why you so badly want to work with this client group, honestly and with self-compassion. It's very important to be aware of our own motivations and needs in any kind of care and support work.

I'm sorry you had that experience with the manager - eye-rolling on an interview panel is definitely not OK even if the candidate does make mistakes. I hope that it didn't knock your confidence too much, and you're able to remember that for every interviewer like that, there will be dozens of supportive interviewers who are keen to help candidates feel less nervous so that they can show their strengths. I hope you find the right job soon.
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