Category Archives: Health Care

Student Case Study:  Mental Health Intern

Name of Student: Emerald Hughes

Job Title: Mental Health Intern

Company Name: Young Devon

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: Young Devon is the largest young people’s charity in the South West. Our mission is to make Devon a better place for all young people. Each year we work with over 2,000 young people, building quality relationships to help them thrive.

  1. What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I had a variety of roles including supporting my manager in the development and running of a social media campaign called Minds That Matter. This included building a website and creating social media/website content, as well as scheduling posts and attending project meetings. In addition to this I took up the role on Mentor, and currently have two mentees who I will continue to work with following the completion of my A2I internship for free as I enjoy this role greatly.

  1. What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I created a website and a vast amount of social media content which is ready to be put out over the next month. I collected a series of mental health stories from young people which are being placed online periodically.

  1. What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My success with my mentees, this has really helped with my career prospects and has allowed me an invaluable insight into working in mental health. I believe this has helped me understand the difficulties of working with vulnerable individuals.             

  1. Skills Learnt 
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Communication
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Time and work load management
  • Strategic planning 
  1. Attributes Developed 
  • Confidence
  • Personal awareness
  • Cultural awareness
  • Motivation
  • Professionalism
  1. Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector? 

“I would not have been able to afford to have given this time voluntarily and therefore receiving help from the A2I fund was of great value to me. The application process was simple for both me and my employer, and once my employment had begun there was little else to worry about. My internship has really helped better my career prospects and given me a great insight into the field.”

Research Assistant – University of Exeter

Full Frame Shot of Abstract Pattern

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I was tasked with exploring a model of single hair follicle dynamics with focus on hair growth and its primary factors. This role had a number of central goals:

– To verify previous results in the MATLAB software package Matcont, seeking accuracy and precise conclusions.

– To write code that enables results to be easily repeatable.

– To further explore the model parameters and develop insight into how they relate to future refinement of the model, and what it reveals about hair follicle dynamics

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I greatly developed my familiarity with MATLAB – something I’ve only really used at a surface level before. Spending extensive time debugging code written by myself and others has helped me to improve my ability to write functional scripts. I also gained a greater insight into the day-to-day reality of research. I am now more familiar with the process of learning and building towards a defined, specific output. With this has come a greater appreciation for the unpredictable ebb and flow of progress when trying to breakthrough a barrier in understanding.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I hope that my verification of past results is a useful resource, one that strengthens confidence in the assumptions upon which the model is founded. With this done, in a repeatable piece of code, it supports further divergence from the prototypic case to a more advance and detailed model (or a model with a different focus). New results regarding the parameters of the model provide a more complete picture of how the model may react to change/stimulus. With these in hand, conclusions can be drawn about which parameters are key influences, those in which change elicits dramatic variation in model dynamics.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Teamwork and collaboration, focus on goals and outcomes, degree specific – coding for dynamic modelling

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Perseverance, logical thinking, independence

Research Assistant – University of Exeter CEMPS

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I assisted my professor in putting together a presentation for a research consortium. This involved researching the area of injury biomechanics for the built environment and age friendly cities, an exciting area that I wish to pursue further. I made visual diagrams to help non-experts understand the subject, reviewed literature and identified possible research areas for grants. I then attended the research consortium where I met academics involved in the subject from a range of universities and made some good contacts. I was also involved in the design and manufacture of a headform drop tester. I made models and drawings on Solidworks and then used the mechanical workshop to make my design.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt the process of putting together research proposals for grants, and how to create a presentation for a research consortium.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I helped my professor structure research ideas into a presentation to apply for grants. I started work on an ongoing project for the design of a headform drop tester, providing an initial prototype and engineering drawings to be developed further. I also identified relevant literature for the project.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Teamwork and collaboration, research, networking

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Cultural awareness, logical thinking, creative thinking

 

Research Assistant – University of Exeter

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main role was to process and analyse research data using statistical software with the aim of developing research questions relating to dementia and hearing loss. I worked with research team members to develop a study proposal which I will develop into a paper over the summer. In order to complete the tasks that my supervisor and I set, I was required to learn the basics of SPSS, and the statistical methods that are required as part of the analytical approach.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I have not yet had the opportunity to develop a research project of my own, and have no experience in using statistical software to analyse large sets of data. During the course of my internship, I learned how challenging this process can be and with the help of the team discovered solutions to the many issues that were found. As a result of this internship, I have been able to set the foundation for my career in medical research.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I hope that I have been able to reveal some additional insight into their data so far. Over the next few months, I will also submit a paper to research journals for consideration.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Statistics, problem solving, enterprise

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, motivation, creative thinking

Research Assistant – University of Exeter RILD

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I had to constantly be reading and analysing new research papers on type I diabetes and glucose variation as well as P2Y receptors. I also completed a small research project where I came up with a research question, planned an experiment to analyse the data (this was a western blot) and then came to a conclusion. I also helped other scientists with changing media on cells in tissue culture where I learnt important aseptic techniques. I calculated protein concentrations and made serial dilutions from this to assist with other experiments.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

At the end of the internship I had to present to a room full of expert scientists about the project I had been working including some background, methods, results and conclusions which helped me work through my dislike of presenting.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I completed a project that one of the PHD scientists did not have time to do but really needed the results.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Research, strategic planning, lab techniques

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, professionalism, perseverance

Engineering Intern – Designability

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

  • Design work on a saddle seat for a dynamic wheelchair for children with dystonic cerebral palsy.
  • Documentation of the engineering design process, including design specification, research findings and concept and detail drawings.
  • Home visits to a family with a child with dystonic cerebral palsy (who will test the wheelchair in its early stages and eventually use it) – I collaborated with other engineers and occupational therapists to determine the best design for the saddle seat.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My work proposed a specific design for a saddle seat to replace a currently used off-the-shelf bicycle saddle which was unfit for purpose. The design better addresses the complex needs of the user. The research and design work I completed lightened the workload of colleagues.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

My time included home visits to a child who would be using the saddle seat – this improved my skills in user-centred design and helped me understand the complex requirements of seating for dystonic cerebral palsy children. I improved my team working skills, in consulting other engineers/ occupational therapists on my design. I became more confident in putting forward my ideas, as well as understanding criticisms.

Trainee Mental Health Support Worker – University of Exeter

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main responsibilities involved going on home visits with the well-being navigators to observe and support their one-to-one meetings with clients. I was also involved in co-facilitating the well-being groups across South Somerset offering support to people suffering with low level mental health problems. Alongside this I was carrying out a research project gathering information on the different support available for people with specific needs such as eating disorders, older people, bi-polar etc.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement was gaining practical knowledge of mental health and gaining the confidence to use this knowledge to support people who needed it.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to carry out this research project that the other staff would not have had time to do without me. I was also able to fill in for people co-facilitating the groups when they were off sick or on holiday.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Time and workload management, focus on goals and outcomes, research

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, personal awarenes and work ethic

eDNA Laboratory Internship – Applied Genomics

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

During the course of the internship, my main role was to carry out general laboratory duties and perform eDNA testing on a variety of species from various locations. I was allowed to be completely hands on and I took part in all of the testing services that they have available as well as some of their research and development which consisted of some field work and gathering data. I also analysed various scientific journals to aid their research projects for further development.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt a huge amount in regards to the business, industry and general day to day tasks that are required within an eDNA business. I also gained a huge amount of laboratory skills working 1-1 with a very skilled technician.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I aided in their research as well as assisted in the laboratory to complete daily sampling tasks.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, focus of goals and outcomes, networking

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, motivation, independence

 

 

Junior Mental Health Support Worker – South Somerset Mind

stress

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main responsibilities were to develop and deliver mental health well-being workshops across Somerset. This involved teaching service users about different aspects of mental health and providing them with various coping strategies. Within this role I also gave 1-2-1 well-being checks, carried out risk assessments, and provided telephone support and signposting to other agencies. The remainder of my time was spent on data entry: updating notes on services users and compiling data for reports. Additional roles included  designing my own session plan using research from third generation therapies, and creating and teaching mental health lessons in a local secondary school.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

The experience was totally eye opening, I learnt more than I could ever have imagined! It was brilliant to be able to put my Psychology degree into practice and begin to understand the realities of mental health.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I brought fresh knowledge and ideas to the team, which were utilised. I also lightened my colleagues’ workloads and saved company expenditure.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Initially I did not have enough work to keep me busy. I promptly spoke to my line manager and she was able to give me more responsibilities and encouraged me to independently take my ideas forward by designing a new session plan for the well-being groups.

“It was very useful to have Kate. She did a great job and we have now offered her a full role” – CEO, South Somerset Mind.

Graduate Researcher – University of Exeter

hospital

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

Using NVivo software ( a qualitative data analysis tool) I analysed the NHS and Cornwall Council’s recent public, community network, and stakeholder survey data for the STP plan in Cornwall. I then produced reports and presented these back to the NHS who will use the results in their publications.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I taught myself how to use NVivo software, which was completely new to everyone in the department, and quite sophisticated. Originally I looked to go on a course to learn the software. However I decided to self-teach which was challenging but very rewarding.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I lightened the workload for both my managers. I also provided reports that the NHS will use to improve the NHS in Cornwall.

“Philippa made a highly significant contribution to my research project with the NHS” – Line Manager.