Day 20

Day 20 of my Acute Care Placement, my first AM shift and my second last shift in Mental Health. The day was certainly busier than the PM shifts have been of late, read day 18 and 19 to catch up, but still very different from the busy of Surgical or even Medical. I have started to see the report I have been developing with some of the consumers bearing fruit as I move around the Ward, they have begun to open up and actively talk with me about their issues, feelings, and psychosis.

I am still unsure about Mental Health, not a profession or study, but in myself. I know that the goal of Mental Health is to help consumers achieve their goals and learn coping mechanisms, stabilise their medications or enact treatment. However, I still feel like there is this massive grey area in the middle between admission issues and dischargeable acceptable goals. Though I am seeing benefit to the teaching of coping mechanisms, medication balancing and treatments as the consumers are brighter, their mood improves and they seem to able to deal with life pressures better. Though the consumers are still in a facility where they have almost everything done for them so it creates a false reality to begin with. But, I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, so I will continue to nod and smile politely.

I am feeling more comfortable, not only in Mental Health, but with myself as a clinician. I am still asking a thousand questions a day, and will continue to into my old age, but I am more confident in my knowledge, decisions, and actions. I feel that the course and subsequent placements have actually almost adequately prepared me for what to expect. Will I still have issues, sure, will I still need time, definitely, I am still a junior clinician, I am still learning, and I am still developing, and its important to remember that.

I am thankful for my facility, its staff and all of those who I have worked with. I am particularly thankful to all the patients and consumers who were happy to allow me to practice my skills on them.

Next week will bring with it my last Mental Health shift and then four shifts in the Operating Theatre. It should be an interesting if not less intensive week then what I have been having.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

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