Day 4: All is Awesome in the Land of the Awesome.

As you can tell, I’m thoroughly enjoying myself, and I’m not even being sarcastic! I love my placement and my practice educator loves me. All is right with the world ward.

Okay, not everything. We have our ups and our downs. The girls are fantabulous and impressive in so many ways, even though I encountered my first act of violence today and read in one of the notes that one of the girls struggled through the night. It was quite shocking, really, and it was only today that it hit me how potentially dangerous a setting I’m in. However, I know that the rest of the team, especially my PE, will be there to get me out of danger when necessary.

Otherwise, I’ve been given informal feedback saying that I’m brilliant. I have formal supervision tomorrow, and I actually filled out my supervision form ahead of time! Unlike last year, when I filled it out five minutes before supervision…

Summed up:

  • I think my greatest strength is, at this early stage, my eagerness to learn and get involved, which will hopefully make up for my lack of knowledge and experience eventually.
  • I’m less confident in finding the boundary between being professional and connecting with the girls. It’s difficult, as I’m the same age as some of them, and not much older than the rest, so it’s very easy for me to fall into being their peer or treating them like I’d treat my younger cousins.
  • I need to understand where my limits are. I’ve pushed myself too hard this week; being the first week, this wasn’t necessary. I need to understand that patience is necessary and that I will eventually be able to do more once I’ve gotten more used to the setting.
  • My PE can further assist me with providing me with the schedule for the whole week so I can refer to it until it’s become habitual.

I’m horrendous at coming up with proper, professional goals for myself, but here’s my attempt to be done over the next week:

  1. To read patient histories so that I can have a more complete knowledge of each.
  2. To write a structured reflection.
  3. To begin putting together my resource file using the suggested sections (found in the placement handbook).
  4. (To improve my personal goal-setting skills.)

Day 3: Teenagers with mental health problems are still TEENAGERS.

I did well today. I’m seriously getting into the swing of things, such as the habit of dropping my ID to get my keys in the airlock, then attaching the keys and alarm in a single motion to my belt. Some of the girls are also starting to warm up to me already, which is fabulous.

But yes, I did well today, and one of the reasons I did well is because I told my practice educator (PE) exactly what she wanted to hear: the girls here are teenagers first, patients second. I love teenagers, and I’ve had plenty of experience supervising them and so on. (Plus, I’m still really a teenager myself at the age of 19.) My girls really are just teenagers, but with amplified teenage characteristics. I think my PE has had students and new staff come to the hospital with the idea that these girls aren’t really “people” – that they’re merely their mental health issue – so she was well impressed with me.

Also, I suggested something today while on a community leisure trip that she hadn’t thought of, and she said it was brilliant, so points for me!

However, she did send me home afterwards because I was a zombie and had massive purple bags under my eyes. (I blame the man in this house who got drunk after a bad day of work and tried making toasted cheese and ham sandwiches at midnight, setting off the fire alarm five times.)

So far, I’m loving this placement!

Day 1.

And I still haven’t been on the ward I’m supposedly working on for the next ten weeks.

I had security training today, which means I now have a nifty black belt to attach keys and personal alarms when on the ward. It also means I’m scared of going on the wards and teenagers committing suicide while I’m here.

Now, I am tired, and I will most likely be woken up again at annoying o’clock by one of my housemates’ alarms tomorrow morning, so I’m actually going to go to sleep early (i.e. before 11pm) tonight!!! Oh wow.