Coffee and Doggy Cuddles

The two things getting me through a session of dissertation write-up!

Currently writing up my method, before starting to finish off my literature review/hypothesis section.

I met my supervisor on Friday and the brain imaging equipment has gone off to America to be fixed. The company who made it might be loaning us another, but he doesn’t know yet whether this will happen. So in the mean time, I am going ahead with data collection and just using my E-Prime experiment. If the brain imaging comes back before I’m finished, I can potentially use it and have a sort of mini-study within my study as a whole. At least I think that’s what he said!

Up to 16 out of 50 participants now. I can think of 20 people off the top of my head that will come and do it for me in the next two weeks, but even then that’s only 36!

Thinking I need to do a power analysis so I can find out the minimum participants I need to potentially get a significant result. How on earth do I go about that!

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On the Bright Side of Today

I forgot to post about this, but I submitted my application for the MSc in Applied Psychology  at Salford last Wednesday (during some productive procrastination from actually writing an assignment).

I checked the status before and it has now been changed to “assessment commenced”, as of yesterday. So fingers crossed I will hear something soon! I’m unsure whether they interview or just base offers on the application.

I’ve been trying to get myself a plan B in case I don’t get on, and I have applied for a few jobs within the NHS, one as a support worker within a mental health unit, and a few others within acute wards, whereby you gain an NVQ.

I would love to do the MSc, I enjoy education and I would love to do the CBT modules. But at least I know there are alternate paths I can take. I just really really want to do it!

Disheartened.

I’m feeling very disheartened at the minute with my dissertation, and it’s meaning that my motivation levels are non-existent.

The brain imaging equipment isn’t working and it looks like I won’t be able to use it at all now. I’ve done 6 participants using it, and I need another 44. Unfortunately this has been delayed as I’ve had to cancel the people I had booked in today and tomorrow, due to not knowing whether the fNIR would be up and running again.

Meeting my supervisor tomorrow to discuss it but he’s confident that I can produce a good dissertation using my E-Prime experiment and emotional state questionnaire. I just don’t have that same confidence unfortunately!

So I just can’t bring myself to work on my introduction or method because I just don’t know now what I’m doing. The reason I chose my research question was that it enabled me to use fNIR. Also, I planned to compare my fNIR study with similar fMRI studies, which now takes quite a chunk out of my discussion.

Not happy at all today!

Getting A Work Placement

All my emailing and dedication paid off yesterday, when I got my first unpaid work placement with a clinical neuropsychologist! I can’t start until I get my CRB back but I am very excited!

To get on to a clinical psychology doctorate, you much better your chances, from what I have read, by doing assistant psychologist posts before applying. However, assistant psychologist positions are in themselves also hard to get, as the competition is fierce! You need relevant experience to do those, too.

So, I went in search of experience that would give me the skills, and direct contact with psychologists, that I would need to get the elusive assistant psychologist job. I’ve emailed plenty of psychologists in the hope of some form of work experience, and it does pay off!

My role will include patient contact, and the sort of research skills that are also valued by assistant psychology jobs and clinicial psychology doctorates alike. I’ll be part of an oncall team that goes on to the neuro wards, talking to patients, playing games with them, and taking them around the hospital etc. I will also be hopefully helping the person I am doing the placement for with an audit of a service she has set up for people with pituitary tumours.

I think I got really lucky in obtaining this experience, as from what I’ve seen it’s not all that common to be offered something like this before you’ve finished your undergraduate degree! What I would say if you’re looking for something similar is to cast out a very wide net, and be persistent!

Hopefully, from this I will gain contacts that will help me get an assistant psychologist position at the particular hospital when a position opens up. So aim high and reach for what you want!