Vista Centre Brain Injury Services (VCBIS) is a provincial leader in the delivery of community-based rehabilitation and support services to adults living with the effects of an acquired brain injury. We are publicly funded and fully accredited by Accreditation Canada with a demonstrated commitment to quality and innovation.
At VCBIS we are fortunate to participate in a number of student placements each year. We are proud to have the opportunity to play a meaningful work related role in their school experiences and we benefit as well!
Students from a variety of programs have completed placements at VCBIS, including Social Work, Social Service Worker and Developmental Services Worker from Algonquin College; Psychology and Social work program from Carleton University; and Occupational Therapist from Ottawa University, to name but a few. Placements have often led to employment opportunities and students express a great deal of satisfaction with their experiences while on placement at VCBIS.
In January 2014, I had the opportunity to do my third year social work placement with Vista Centre Brain Injuries Services, through Carleton University.
A placement at Vista Brain Injury Services (VCBIS) is an eye opening experience. Before doing my placement with them, I had no idea how prevalent brain injury was, nor the myriad issues individuals face as a result. A placement with the Vista Centre really illuminates the great need for more services like the ones they offer.
The Vista Centre provides for a rich placement opportunity. Students are given a lot of freedom to choose the areas in which they wish to work and have many areas to choose from. Through your placement at VCBIS, you can work and learn at the residence, the day program, as well as with supportive independent living clients in the community.
As a part of my practicum, I was given the opportunity to start an art program at VCBIS' day program. Staffs at VCBIS are very encouraging and will allow you to exact ideas in your area of interest. As a student, you have the opportunity to tailor your practicum to your desired areas of learning.
Throughout my placement at VCBIS, I was learning continuously. The staffs at the VCBIS are incredibly supportive and are willing to help you in any way they can. Stephane is a dynamic supervisor, with so much knowledge to pass on. Those you work with are inspiring and have so much to teach you.
When doing a placement at VCBIS, you really become part of this family, with all the staff and residents. I would recommend a placement with Vista Centre Brain Injury Services to anyone interested in a challenging, creative, fulfilling and, most of all, fun learning opportunity.
As a student at Algonquin College in the Developmental Services Worker Program, I recently had the privilege of completing a field placement at Vista Centre during the month of May 2011.
I loved working with the staff and residents at Vista Centre because of their positive attitudes and great sense of humour. What struck me the most was the comfortableness and camaraderie between staff and residents, which is why I stayed on as a volunteer. Vista Centre has an atmosphere where I have received so much more than I have given.
The VCBIS offers many opportunities for placement students who wish to gain experience and knowledge working in the disability sector. If you didn't know a lot about acquired brain injury (ABI) and working with adults who are living with this diagnosis, the VCBIS will bring you up to speed very quickly. There are no two people living with ABI who are the same, just as we as people are all unique in our own ways. ABI works the very same way. You need to accept that each individual with ABI is even more unique because of their physical and mental symptoms. It is also very important to work well as a team member while assisting staff with each client. Fitting in to the environment can only happen if you observe and follow the routines of everyone in the residence and in day program. For supported independent living clients, you must be willing to see these clients on their own turf and know that each visit could be very different from the last. Most of all, you need to be very flexible with your time and your approach to assisting clients with ABI and the staff. You will no doubt be challenged but you will also realize that it is a wonderful place to work, where the staff truly care about the clients and that the VCBIS is about family and creating an atmosphere of supported independence. Their mission is to give clients a right to make as many choices on their own. It will be your job as a placement student to assist in ensuring this.
Helen S. Pace
B.A (Hon) Psychology, min. Biology
B.A Canadian Studies