::written circa. Fall 2015.
My NU215 clinical experience was my first ever exposure to psychiatric care. We were set at the John J Madden Mental Health Center. I have always imagined a psychiatric unit to be more like what you see in movies. For some reason, I thought there would be white padded walls everywhere. I was never really a big fan of psychology and/or psychiatric care, to begin with. I remember withdrawing from Psychology 101, back in college. I was never a big fan of thinking about the way people thought, and then finding even greater meaning to that. My head already hurts just thinking about it.
This may be sad and counterproductive to say, but I personally don’t feel like I could ever see myself taking care of psychiatric patients, nor pediatric patients as a specialty. I think the field would be frustrating and stressful for me, mainly having to do with the excessive patience required. And I personally don’t feel like I have those qualities. I’m more of a fast pace, on the go, in control type of person. Perhaps this is just a phase. Perhaps I have a lot to learn and think about. I just don’t think it would be right for me.
During my second week of clinicals, I observed a middle aged female who was diagnosed with bipolar I and borderline personality disorder. Creating a therapeutic relationship between the patient and I was the only intervention I attempted. This is of course, aside from monitoring her from risk of falls and/self-mutilation. Nevertheless, I thought it would be initially important to establish my self as someone she could come to. As her psychomotor agitation progressed, I didn’t talked to her as much as I would have hoped to. I never gotten the chance to just sit and talk with her. Small-talk and colloquial greetings was as far as I’ve gotten. Later that morning, I joined everyone in a conga-line that formed around the milieu. And then for the rest of the day, I spent the afternoon coloring and painting my nails with other patients.