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Communication assessment

ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion

So as part of my training im having an commication assessment. (Training to be PSW-peer support worker). This is on Tuesday!!!  First 15 mins i go into quiet room reading the scenero - says what the peer/patient is struggling with ect. Then i got into a room where someone is pretending to be the peer & assessor in the corner & from the moment i walk in to out - i am a PSW & the conversation last 15 mins. 


basicaly i am so stressed. Anyone have any advice on anxiety doing it ?has anone done similar? I havent had much pratice tbh & hardly know what to say. 


What im trying is just pretending that its real lol cause i just laugh when acting so i will not  have see the "peer" before so hopefuly a different face will make it seem like theyre actually a peer that started working with and make it feel more real. Im hoping. 


Mental health is so broad so what the peer may be struggling could be totally anything. As well as how they are - talkative - quiet ect. & have to think about that and adapt


There's recovery lanaguage to keep in mind which not sure i can always be mindful tbh cause i always say "problems"/issues ect. & yeah other stuff that suppose to not say but will leave it at that cause yeah theres a lot. 


But what i do know is i should notsay "how are you" cause too broad or notsay "help" cause help sounds like theyre not involved much so i just need to remember to say at some point "So how can i supportyou today" so they take the lead. 


Its also really hard considering when supporting people i always give my advice or opinion a lot but as a peer support worker i can not do that so much. & should not speak more than the peer. Because saying my opinion will make them more lean to it & makes them less indepenadent & start making less desicions by themselves. 


While giving people strengths validations and also actknowledging how low they could be feeling. But yeah not all about like being so positive you ignore how they feel. 


It is hard cause we also had convo on if we are people who just want to "help" give advice and just comfort people & tell is okay. But then really that "help" isnt help. Cause people get depenedant. Which i totally see - so essesntially PSW's end up not doing much of the work. Just lead people. And that not helping is helping. 


And plus i also have tendancy to automatically say "sorry to hear..." but yeah cant say that because theres a difference between pitty & sympathy - to empathy 

& "sorry" sounds like pitty -apperently. 

And dk how to stop saying that. 


Lol sorry went on bit of a ramble

TLDR - have commincation assessment Tuesday for my training. & im v stressed. Its for 15 mins where i speak the person pretending to be the peer/patient. Will know my exact time by monday. Im taking the weekend off sick because tbh i just have load of work to be doing. I need to write my work expereince reflections up aswel as well as my assisgnements & prepare for my final exam which is on Friday. 

Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
Kathleen07davcr0ckLaine

Comments

  • Kathleen07Kathleen07 Posts: 1,917 Postholic

    I can hear how stressful this is for you <3 I hope talking about it helps.

    It sounds like there's a lot to remember, and you may be feeling under pressure and anxious that you'll mess up in some way. Is that true?

    I'd also find the wait for your communication assessment would make my nerves even worse, is that one of the things about it that's getting to you?

    I've discovered a lot of things that have helped me with anxiety, such as listening to music, doing physical activity like running, taking slow breaths, and relaxing muscles/posture. With some situations, it can also help to remember that you're not trapped and you can leave if you need to - maybe that could be a useful mantra if you find yourself scared just before the assessment?

    And of course, remember you're doing amazing. You're probably sick of everyone saying that lol, but I'm impressed :-)

    Wishing you the best of luck <3
  • AzzimanAzziman The Mix convert Posts: 633 Extreme Poster
    Hey :) 

    There are some things you can do to settle your nerves beforehand (e.g. mentally preparing yourself), and at the time (e.g. deep breaths, loosening tense muscles). Find whatever helps you to calm down - it could be music or exercise (as previously mentioned), or meditation, or something elsex

    Good luck!

    Much love <3
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    edited May 2019
    Thank you!  


    I've taken the weekend off work ”sick” to try to do my assignments and think about my communication assessment and exam. I can not believe will be my last week. Gone so fast


    So I have been on 7 cups as a listener a lot- tryjnrg to practice lol. And have tried a bit on here too. Trying putting what I learn in training to how I could speak to peers. 


    It's a lot harder than it seems. Since as PSW we aim to empower people, make them independent cause a lot of peers we’d see are being discharged (not all sine can Work with anyone but they see best way to support is empower them either way ) and those discharged need lot of Independence as they can get dependant on support. Which yeah untilmatly means the way to support people is to empower them to think about how to support self and help them find the options themselves. Which yeah is hard cause sometimes I just feel like saying all my advice. Which I think we can do and give options in some sense but yeah is hard. And most importantly, we have to give strengths validation while validating how they feel too which can feel like robot

    So I'm pretty stressed. Last week and I'm going to miss my training:( have 2 extra weeks I think to finish assisgments which is okay. 

    I'm just really stressed and anxious and tired and stressed
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
    Laine
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    edited May 2019
    And you'd think. Oh peer support worker isn't that hard. Dont you just say your recovery and give hope. 
    No. I thought you could but can't always. Have to share your ”story” appropriately cause can't make it about you even if does give hope. And like you can't say oh yeah I had DBT and therapy now I feel better   Because for a start they may not get access to that help and then they put all there eggs in that basket cause one person found recovery in it and then get totally disappointed if doesn't work and lot of consider with everything you say really. And it's leading them to what chice to make And just the title of ”peer support worker” is suppose to make them be able to open up more and give hope but reality is you actually hardly ever speak about yourself. Which yeah sometimes I think it's appropriate where they say it's not so i don’t know how many people actually abid by the whole training and language after graduating. 

    So yeah I could say a lot of bad things/inapparoriate things in this assessment so I am scared and can't stop stressing lol. Help
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
  • Kathleen07Kathleen07 Posts: 1,917 Postholic
    Hey Shaunie,

    How has your weekend off been? <3

    It does sound like becoming a peer support worker is hard, complicated, and that this is a lot of work. I really hope it pays off and you enjoy the job.

    It's totally understandable that you're scared. I can hear that there's a lot of inappropriate things you could say - but I believe in you. And your use of recovery language on the boards has been very good, and I think that especially with practice, you'll be a pro :)

    Sending hugs and love,
    Kathleen <3
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    Thank you! I have it at 2 pm tomorrow and yeah i feel like maybe after today i understand how suppose to speak but yeah its really hard and we had to do "role play" in front of everyone and i just froze and didnt end up finishing and that was awkward. And then at one point i couldnt breath. 

    And basically so scared because we went through so many scereos and they all seemed like the way you appreoch each one very different for each of the them
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
    Kathleen07Kasa2103
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    edited May 2019
    I am thinking about taking my sleeping pills (at right dose) that knock me out which will ulitimatly mean i literally will sleep for over 12 hours and will be hard to wake me up so i just do not turn up tomorrow for my assessment and to not even be awake to know 
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
    Kathleen07Kasa2103
  • Kathleen07Kathleen07 Posts: 1,917 Postholic
    Hey buddy,

    I really hear how scared you're feeling :( As for the sleeping pills, it's of course your choice, but I may advise against it. Tomorrow will go okay and you'll get through it, stay strong <3

    Definitely keep us updated x

    Kasa2103
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    edited May 2019
    Thank you @kathleen0172

    after looking through my folder and notes i feel bit more prepared. Been writing down scenreos. Like just the general ones of like thoughts of ending their life, self harm, anxiety, hearing vioces, low self estem, getting out of comfort zone, not know what they like, medication, situations where they have no control, situations where they have control& jobs.
    I dont mind any of those situations or similar but self harm and thoughts of ending life i dont want it to be.

    and then ive thought about what you say to peers if first meet with them which is just explaining what peer support workers are and the confidenality policey & ive tried to memorise that incase the scero is meeting with a peer for first time.
    my memory is bad so im scared i will forget everything esp when try to remember word by word of my own wording lol. And ive thought about how the conversations lead - strengths validations i could use - just things like thanks for sharing and "its good you tried something new" and all sorts of random ones. And then thought about questions i could ask. But always end up accidently used closed questions

    and yeah just stressed with trying to take it in, fee bit more confident with it now

    but sweat a lot when nerous lol so i used this deodrant i brought online that yeah was pretty expensive but only thing that works and use it at night cause its very painful and itchy and it hurts so bad i feel like self harming to put the pain somewhere else😭
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
    Kathleen07
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    edited May 2019
    Also my time is @ 2 but i dont think i can say how it went or anything about it until 5 pm when everyones finsih cause v resticted about our commincation between 9 and 5 cause yeah with the unlikely chance someone from my corse reads this and takes anything from it.  But i know i do have a pull to just post on here striaght after lol cause stresssssseeeedddd. 

    I keep having a "feeling" about the sceros will be lol. Even tho it could be sooo many things. I am thinking that its meeting with a peer for first time and the CC said i need to speak to them about their self harm. Which the way you go about that is not menting self harm until they do and if they do see if somethin they want to stop and if not then its not my job to suggest alternatives & yeah it makes me sad that we should not even suggest people to stop harming whichis hard
    cause youd think oh harm reduction and all that. But its appernlty okay for people to self harm as long as they are not doing it to end their life. Which i know some people are like yeah i agree. But tbh i dont. I think we should stop harm & those situations i know would find difficult. 

     As well as if its someone whos like really want to end their life and yeah thats going to be hard even tho i know it will not be a real person today lol but i think it would stress me out to think about people would come across being v detressed. I also have feeling that it could be someoen whos taken an overdose but didnt tell anyone. 

    But yeah i think i may just be thinking it things i will feel uncomfortable with. Maybe it wont be as " serious" . I mean literally could be someone thinking about a job. but i think it will be "serious" and im totally scareddd 
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
    Kathleen07Aife
  • Kathleen07Kathleen07 Posts: 1,917 Postholic

    I'm glad you're feeling a little more confident. Writing down the scenarios and looking through your folder and notes was a good idea <3

    I definitely get where you're coming from, with things like self-harm. I can see why they need to be independent and you shouldn't force your opinions on them, but I don't see why you can't even offer open suggestions.

    I really understand how you're scared, I know I would be.

    I really hope this goes well. You can do it. I'd love to hear about it when it's done :)

    Kathleen <3
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    Thank you! We can offer suggests and give knowledge of what we learnt but thats last bit if they cant think of anything themselves. And its confusing cause we had different tutor in the room who seemed to of said different to the other tutor and we can use our lived experience more than i thought we could

    like say someone says "not much motivation toget out of bed" ive realised i can say about how i empathsis with that and how i felt it was a challenge too. But yeah i don’t know how you actually word it yet. 

    Im totally scared

    hard to breath. 
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    Cant breathhh. Have to be there in half an hour and do it 😥😭
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
  • AifeAife LondonPosts: 2,169 Moderator
    Good luck today @Shaunie. Let us know how it goes <3
    Maybe somethings don't get better, but we do. We get stronger. We learn to live with our situations as messy and ugly as they are. We fix what we can and we adapt to what we can't. Maybe some of us will never fully be okay, but at least we're here. We're still trying. We're doing the best we can. That's worth celebrating too ❤
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    edited May 2019
    Thank you Aife. <3

    Have finished it now and i just really want to say how it went and its unlikely anyone on my corse or tutors will see this but yeah maybe shouldnt risk it and should wait til 5. Wont even  say if went Bad or not incase thats also not allowed to say. But ill just say i did my best and if have to do it again then is what it is 

    Need to post it /write it somewhere so ill make a draft and send it at 5 lol
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    Im posting it now. Unlikely and think failed anyway. 

    Basically i think it went bad lol. Clearly failed it. But can retake til do pass. But yeah ideally i wanted to pass by graduation time but doesnt look like it. But i feel happy i did it without walking out ahah. But done now so wont try to dwell on too much but want to think about where went wrong. But the more i think about it the more i know where i went so bad

    So the scearo was the peer had low self esteem and thats all was given for plaing the 15 mins before going in.

     So theres me planning in the quiet room thinking of all these useful things and how to word things and stuff. But yeah didnt use half of it. 

    It was meeting them for the first time. So i had to explain what peer support workers are aswell as the confidenality. Thought would be easy But even that was difficult. I explain PSW & she was like "so you are crazy like me" & yeah mind blank lol wasnt expecting it. I just explained i have mental health challenges. Then when i was explaining the confidenality. She was like " that sounds scarey". Tried to explain it as best could lol. 

    Then she started talking about how she thought she was seeing a nurse today. Then theres me thinking -- 'wtf. I thought you had low self estem Just say you have low self estem , why are you not using low self esteem just say you have low self esteem, say you hate yourself or something' lolll. 

    Then there was a good 1 min off silence and that was proper awkward since they said to aviod that happening since cant do that in real life where you look you have mind blank. Im suprised she didnt say "you are shit at this, where is that nurse" haha. But lol yeah bet she cant say how shit we are even if was incase that put us off more. But its possible they would say it so why not lol. 

    Then i think i worded things badly & didnt listen properly cause my head was thinking 10 miles hour lol & i think i used too many closed questions. & didnt speak enough about what she was saying because when she was speaking all i could think about is how bad the start went. & then what questions do i have. Instead of actually focusing on what she was saying.

    and all this praticing & i only gone & forgot to say the only thing i know. Which is "thanks for sharing" didnt even say that loolll. thats a type of validation but i did validate her so hopefuly that didnt matter 

    so yeah pretty bad i think. Im thinking about the criteria & im thinking i did most of it. But not in approrpate ways. 
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
    Kathleen07
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    Omg yeah i did clearly fail it. Apart from all shit said above. There is more where i am thinkin i did wrong. Lol think this is where i should take sleeping pills to not think and feel😢😢😢
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
    Kathleen07
  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 721 Incredible Poster
    Hey @Shaunie

    Well done for doing the assessment today - it sounds like it was pretty tough but you got through it and should be really proud of yourself.

    I totally understand why you are re-running it and assuming you did badly (I do that a lot with anything I feel is important) but at least it's now over so that bit of anxiousness can be lifted perhaps - do you feel relieved at all? 

    I think it can be pretty helpful to analyse how you think it went because you'll only get better at it with time - but also to remember this was your first time doing one of these things so give yourself a bit of a break for it not being 100% perfect <3 When will you get feedback, do you know? 

    I hope you're able to watch some TV or distract yourself in another way tonight so you can get some rest? Keep us updated, sending hugs

    - Lucy
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    edited May 2019
    Thank you! <3

    i did watch some rubbish tv after ahah

    and i should know all my results all at one  - any time before graduation which is 12th July i think.  And i think still go to graduation if fail lol & i don’t know if you can pass everything else but not that part and still be a PSW but im thinking probably not since yeah how you communicate with people is everything to do with the job. 

    But on work experience i meet with a PSW who said he did his communication assessment 3 times til he passed which yeah idk if thats was bad thing to hear or reassuring to hear lol. But yeah i guess it would be hard to pass. Cant put people down as trained if they just can not communicate with people who are distressed:/
    i hope they take into account about how unnatural the sitation is compared to how would be in an none fake situation and without an assessor staring in the back ground
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
    JellyelephantLucy307
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 7,578 Boards Champion
    Ooh wait i did find out this morning on if passed it or not

    I passed it 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉
    Stop imagining fake scenarios and hurting your own feelings 
    AifeKathleen07davcr0ckKasa2103Lucy307
  • Kathleen07Kathleen07 Posts: 1,917 Postholic
    Congratulations, Shaunie =)
  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 721 Incredible Poster
    Shaunie said:
    Ooh wait i did find out this morning on if passed it or not

    I passed it 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉
    YEEESSS!!! Well done Shaunie I'm so happy for you :mrgreen:
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • Butterfly23Butterfly23 Miniposter England Posts: 817 Incredible Poster
    So proud of you shaunie!!!
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