The external internships of the Master's Neuropsychology Itinerary are oriented towards training in Neuropsychology. They require knowledge of both the functional anatomy of the nervous system, especially the brain, and the cognitive and emotional processes that are altered after a brain injury or serious mental disorder. The theoretical and methodological contents of the Master's degree prepare students for incorporation into the clinical and research activity that is carried out in the centres that offer internships.
Students with a neuropsychological orientation receive information on all the available external placement centres at an initial meeting and are then assigned according to their preferences and following criteria published on the website.
Each student will be assigned an internal tutor, a lecturer on the programme, and an external tutor, belonging to the centre where the research/practical work will be carried out.
Coordination between internal and external tutors is maintained throughout the entire period of external placements, offering support to students in these two areas, according to the needs at any given time.
For students who choose to carry out clinical placements in private centres, it is compulsory to take the subject NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION. Internships in external centres require a very high level of Spanish, given the direct contact with patients.
The general programme of these placements may undergo specific modifications depending on the characteristics of the centre:
- Interviewing the patient and relatives. Data to be collected, questionnaires to relatives. Development of therapeutic skills.
- Analysis of related medical data: admission and discharge reports, neurological and/or psychiatric examination data, pathology that has caused the brain damage (cerebrovascular accidents, cranioencephalic trauma, tumours, developmental malformations, etc.), results of electrophysiological, biochemical and neuroimaging tests. Correlation of these data with the problems presented by the patient.
- Selection of assessment tests according to the patient's disorder and individual characteristics (level of consciousness, attention, etc.).
- Analysis of the results obtained and main diagnosis. Differential diagnosis with other pathologies.
- Drafting of assessment reports for the patient and other professionals.
- Return of information to the patient and relatives.
- Establishment and application of the lines of intervention according to the profile of deficits obtained.
- Re-evaluation after the intervention to detect the effectiveness of the intervention or to propose alternative courses of action.
Skills and competences to be acquired
Students start the placement initially as observers, but soon take on a leading role in assessment and/or intervention, always under the supervision of external tutors. During the internship period the aim is to initiate their training in the following competences
- Patient-therapist relationship and communication skills. Empathy, listening skills and the ability to communicate the results of their assessment or treatment to both the patient and their family.
- Skills to transfer the theoretical knowledge acquired in the Master to different real situations.
- Knowing how to apply different methods of assessment, diagnosis and clinical and neuropsychological treatment in the different cases assessed.
- Adapt to new situations: transfer and flexible use of knowledge. Know how to develop initiatives aimed at solving problem-situations of clinical interest.
- Multidisciplinary teamwork skills. Attendance at clinical sessions, seminars and interaction with other professionals also dedicated to mental health or brain injury care will foster:
- Teamwork: Ability to work in a team and to interact with other people from the same or different professional fields.
- Interdisciplinary work. Learning to have an interest in and respect for the contributions of other fields to clinical psychology or neuropsychology.
- Instrumental skills.
- Practical knowledge of the different assessment tests used in the differential diagnosis of neuropsychological disorders and serious mental disorders.
- Knowing how to use the terms and concepts of the subject appropriately and expressing themselves correctly and accurately in the drafting of reports.
- Know how to apply neuropsychological rehabilitation procedures and psychosocial stimulation techniques (social skills, cognitive stimulation, emotional development, etc.) in patients with severe mental disorders.
- Competences for the initiation to research
- Ability to: a) delimit the research problem and search for relevant information, b) establish and refute working hypotheses and c) interpret results and generalise them by relating them to previous results.
- Critical ability: Have the ability to assess the procedures used to obtain relevant clinical and neuropsychological data as well as to assess the relevance of reports resulting from neuropsychological research, assessment or intervention. Have the ability to evaluate and discuss one's own work.
- Creativity: Ability to grasp problems and interest in proposing a solution. Ability to generate new ideas and solutions to problems of interest to the discipline in which one works.
Criteria for student selection
At the information meeting at the beginning of the course, the criteria to be followed to select the students who opt for the internship modality are set out. The criteria are based on:
- Academic record (70%).
- Merits related to the contents of the internship (30%).
Once the students have been sorted according to these criteria, the selection is made by public appeal in a joint meeting with the students, where they choose according to their preferences.
Regulations for the Evaluation of the Externship Period
The Master's offers the possibility for students to carry out 15 ECTS of work placements in subsidised centres instead of research.
- The assignment of students to internship placements will be based on the student's record (70%) and merits related to the placements (30%).
- An external tutor and an internal tutor will be assigned to supervise the student's practical activities and to prepare the internship report.
- The practical activities to be carried out will be those described on the website for each of the positions offered.
It will be carried out by the internal and external tutor, following a list of criteria available before the start of the course (published on the course's PRADO teaching platform).