Today’s clinical session was good and bad in various ways. I was pretty pumped up about going into the outpatient site today and talking to patients. I was just going to go in and do it. After arriving on the unit we found out that today was “Community Integration” day. Hmmm, what’s “Community Integration”? As it turns out, it is basically a field trip for the outpatients. They were going to go see a movie. After finding out that the student nurses would not be accompanying the patients on their outing (quite frankly, I wasn’t too keen on that idea anyway) we decided to find someone and interview them real quick so that we would have information to write a care plan. I went into the community room and found a “patient” that I was able to have a brief conversation with. I felt rushed and the setting was not very good. The coordinator of the outing interrupted a couple of times to make general announcements. I’m not sure how well I really did on my interview of this patient, but I did get some basic information from him. This was the extent of my patient interaction today. Yep, it was a bit of a bummer.
After talking to my patient, my colleagues and I went back to the meeting room and proceeded to work on our care plans. In some ways this was a good thing. I needed to get my first care plan turned in for critique and I wasn’t going to have a lot of time when I got home that evening. By the end of the day I was able to get something turned in. It wasn’t my best work because I wasn’t able to really research everything like I would have had I been at home. Nevertheless, I was able to turn something in.
Before lunch we were able to practice our therapeutic communication skills while role playing. This was a real eye-opener for me. I had gone through some of this in my head on occasion and it always seemed so natural. When I was sitting in the hot seat however, it was if my mind just went blank. I couldn’t help but think of Mavis Beacon’s “Typing Tutor” (just go with me here). On this computer typing software there is a game where you are driving a car and every time you make a typing mistake, a bug hits your windshield. By the time I had finished my “therapeutic communication”, I had bugs all over the place – closed-ended questions flying left and right, giving approval, agreeing, changing the subject – all over the place! By the end I finally started getting the hang of it and was able to present some good communication skills. I was apprehensive about doing this at first, but it was a really good learning experience. Hopefully I’ll get better.
Overall today was just okay, but it was productive (just not quite what I had expected). I really hope tomorrow will be better. I need some excitement in this rotation. It would be awesome if I was able to witness just one major meltdown before the end of this semester.