Jun 28, 2005

Bye Bye, Craziness!

I'm finally finished with my Psychiatric rotation. I made a 90 on my final. 2 more points and I would've made an A in the class. Bummer, huh?
I must say, I didn't really like the rotation, while doing it, but now that its' over I would have to say it was somewhat rewarding. I have a new understanding about those with mental illness, I've developed more empathy. I think the reason I had such a hard time with it was because I saw so much mental anguish, that I took some home with me. I felt so helpless. We weren't/ aren't doing enough for the mentally ill. In state hospitals they are strictly stabilized with medication and sent on their way. "Treat 'em and Street 'em" so they say. I hate that. Meanwhile they wander the dayrooms and wait until their overworked doctor can prescribe just the right combination of meds that can one day magically make them say they won't hurt anyone or themselves anymore. There's little follow up, most of their families gave up on them long before, no real therapy while their in. Actually I think the only one-on-one therapy they ever have is when the nursing students come in, forced to interview them. Lord knows the staff can't or don't.
So I think unless I want to become a nurse lobbyist for mental patient's rights, (No lobby bones in me) I think I'll stick to the med/surg stuff. At least in hospitals where they are physiologically ill I can feel like I'm actually doing something about it, and seeing the progress.
Back to paid work next week!

BTW, I quit smoking almost 4 weeks ago. I'm not going to lie and say I haven't relapsed, I have (for about 3 days since) but I got back up on the horse again. I'm doing pretty good. Nicorrette just released a better tasting gum, Fresh Mint. Tastes like real gum. That worked for me. Actually, I switched to regular chewing gum after a week, and couldn't feel the difference. So I'm addicted to chewing gum now, my dentist won't be happy, but my doctor will. Well, it's sugar-free Extra anyway.

Jun 18, 2005

Zoo trip and school

Today, Ari and I took a much needed break and went to the Zoo. It's a small zoo, with mostly rescued and rehab animals but it has quite a variety and is currently growing in size. We had a good time. There's a pic of Ari and a Bengal Tiger below. Ari's favorites were the Tigers and snakes. I liked the marmosets. We were there a few hours, took the train ride, and it is officially 98 degrees right now. I'm exhausted!
School's almost over for awhile. I've finished all my extra projects for my Pyschiatric nursing course. I finished my care plan last night, attended a court committal hearing, went to an AA meeting. All interesting stuff. The only thing left to do now is 2 more clinical days and a final. I made a 98, 93, and an 83 on the 3 tests. I need to make a 93 on the final for an A, a 63 on it for a B in the class.
After, I work for the remainder of the summer, and hopefully get in some R & R.
You can check out Ari's site for more zoo pics,the link is to the left, email me for the password.

Zoo, Ari and Bengal Tiger Posted by Hello

Jun 4, 2005

Good times at the Mental Institution

I have finished 2 clinical days at the mental institution and all I can say is WOW. I expected it to be a bizarre experience but I didn't think these patients would be as extreme as they are. I met people who were actively seeing bats in the room, one who believes he is an actual prophet of Jesus and that the son of God speaks to him daily. There were fist fights and people stripping off their clothes in the middle of the day room. When we told the charge nurse that our instructor wanted us to go out into the day room and talk to the patients, he reluctantly agreed and warned us to stay very close to the mental health workers.
My instructor's really nice, but sort of a hippie. He makes us do stretching and "mind-clearing" exercises in class and after clinicals. The hospital grounds are really beautiful, with scenic landscapes and old buildings. I would really love to stay the night in one, and see if I meet any ghosts. The original building is the admin. building now and it was built in 1857. The history in that place must be really interesting. They moved the patients into a less restrictive environment, a few decades ago. The unit buildings create a big square which all open on the inside, there's a big courtyard where the patients can play volleyball, basketball, or just sit on a bench. It's very nice. All the units usually mix together for "patio" time, so they really get a lot of freedom and socialization. The only unit with more restrictions is the forensic unit, where the criminals are on a psychiatric hold. Fortunately, I do not work that unit.
Had my 1st test yesterday over Schizophrenia, Brain physiology, and therapy techniques. I made a 98!!!! Just because I'm doing well though, won't make me a pychiatric nurse. I'm really not enjoying it and this is not my forte. I'm definitely more comfortable giving meds and starting IVs.