1) Manage Time Wisely – Set realistic goals that you can achieve. For example, the allotment of ten hours per week for the practicum site will result in completion of the required practicum hours.
2) Keep Emotions Under Control – Stay calm when faced with frustrations so emotion won’t hamper your ability to do your job effectively. Your practicum involves working for and with others. It is not intended to provide therapy for you.
3) Practice Punctuality and Reliability – Be on time and prepared to complete your assigned duties. During your practicum, professional relationships are formed. The impression you leave with others at the practicum site could impact your future in the CVSS field.
4) Enhance Communication Skills – Employers value good communicators. The ability to listen and to use the information gathered in oral communication is essential. In addition, the ability to transmit concepts through writing is part of the process of communication. It is your responsibility to develop these skills.
5) Develop Decision-Making Skills – Employers value people who posses the ability to set a course of action or make a sound decision based on logical assumptions (not emotional factual information and credible resources. Decision-makers are people who can think for themselves and respond to the needs of the organization.
6) Obey the Law – Know the law that applies to your practicum. For example, if you choose a site that involves child abuse victims, you should understand the obligation of mandatory reporting as required by the Oklahoma State Statutes. If you have questions, see your practicum advisor.
7) Separate Personal and Professional Relationships – Most agencies that offer direct services to clients have rules regarding social contact with clients. A good rule to follow is maintaining a pleasant demeanor with all clients and keep these relationships on a professional basis. Establishing appropriate boundaries with clients is your responsibility. Anything less could destroy objectivity and ultimately harm the client.
8) Protect the Client – Clients are often very vulnerable. Their personal tragedies and difficulties should never be the subject of gossip or titillation. Never discuss clients except in the professional context. All documents pertaining to clients are confidential and should remain at the agency.
9) Encourage Feedback – Your practicum is a time for learning and fine-tuning your skills. Be open to ideas other than your own and accept constructive criticism with maturity.
10) Learn the Site’s Rules – Each agency is unique. It is your responsibility to ask your site supervisor for clarification regarding what the agency expects in a given situation. Remember that the only dumb question is the one that was never asked.
I understand my responsibilities as an OSU-OKC practicum student and will abide by these guidelines to the best of my abilities.
Student Signature Date