Fitness to Practice as a student
From Ozias 🐧
Speaking as someone who had a few Fitness to Practice reviews while doing my undergrad, and am now facing one as a postgrad, I know how terrifying this process can be. And it can evoke a lot of anger and resentment towards uni too, and that’s important to acknowledge, but use that to fuel your passion further! I wanted to take a couple of minutes to talk through how I prepared for my FtP reviews. (This is based on a UK university, other international unis may have a different process but hopefully the tips will be useful anyway)
•Ask the uni for a formal letter explaining exactly why they want the review, this will help you to pinpoint what areas you need to prepare for
•If you’re not already, link in with your university’s disability support team. If you are already, have an appointment with them to talk through what the interview will entail as each uni will do it slightly differently.
•Try to get supporting evidence from your GP and, if you’re involved with them, your community mental health team or any organisations you’re linked with (e.g. MIND). Something that states you’re medication compliant, engaging with support etc
•It can also be helpful to get a letter from a placement educator that you got on well with, something that supports your ability to manage your illness while also being a safe practitioner
•Reflection is always encouraged; knowing your triggers, recognising when you’re becoming unwell etc and having a crisis/support plan ready show that you’re actively managing your recovery. Was there a particular incident (e.g. hospital admission) that’s triggered the review, if so, have a think about the triggers that led up to it and how you would manage them in the future (e.g. reaching out for support when the early warning signs are recognised)
•And most importantly of all – and I know this is easier said than done – don’t panic! The stress of being called to a FtP interview can be a trigger, but this doesn’t mean will. Remind yourself that you’ve managed the course so far; why you want to be an OT; and that you’re focused on your recovery. The interview is primarily about supporting you, making sure that you’re prepared for the profession and can manage your difficulties without the job making things more worse for you.