EI have survived another term and I am starting to feel as though I am getting used to my new role. Something that I am finding challenging is time management. It is quite difficult managing my time on a day to day basis as often student's present with what they believe to be crisis needs. In the first time I hadn't realised that I needed to almost 'triage' students wanting to make appointments and I am realising now how important it is to do this.
Understandably, when a student needs to see a counsellor they want to see someone immediately but it is not possible to do that every time. In fact I am beginning to be booked a week in advance. The other problem is managing the referrals coming from staff. There didn't seem to be any particular process in place for either referrals or appointments so I have created an appointment slip that student's can use for making their appointments and a referral form for staff to use. One of the reasons for the referral form is to reduce the number of face to face requests made by staff as I don't always have time to take or remember everything I am told.
I have created lockable box in the counselling department waiting area for students to put their appointment request slips wheras staff can put their referrals into my pigeonhole. The idea with the referrals is to 'triage' the referrals along with the student self appointment requests in the hope to better manage our workload.
I also created several other counselling department notes to help maintain some level of contact with students in terms of appointment reminders and if we just want to call them up for an appointment. By the end of this term everyone seems to have adjusted to this new way of making appointments or doing referrals and the hope is that this will also help track the number of appointments and referrals being made.
We also start our junior mentoring groups this term which will be run by our 24/7 Workers Jarrod and Kelly. These groups were run in 2016 though this year we are hoping to move from 'social' groups to a more 'mentoring' type scenario with each of the groups.