So it is official… I am now exactly half way through my first practicum of two. Each of my practicums are three weeks long for a total of six weeks of onsite work experience. My first is in a psych unit. I have to say I was not looking forward to this at all. I had a lot of anxiety over what to expect with the patients and was worried that I psych unit would be boring. I was so so so wrong! This unit could not be busier. There are constant admissions and discharges and follow ups and medications being ordered and treatments being ordered! Just a warning, if you get a psych unit you will be up and down and all around. I have to say I was delightfully surprised. From the minute I walked on to the unit I was welcomed (mostly because they needed the extra help, but also because they are an amazing group of people). The great thing about being on a specialty unit is that everyone knows a little bit of everyone else’s job. Like for instance, when the Unit Coordinator is not able to fill orders out on the computer or take calls, the nearest available Registered Psychiatric Nurse will help out. As for me, if a nurse isn’t able to speak with their patient I make it my duty to help out as much as possible.
At this point I am not even ready to say I am half way through with my first practicum because I am so happy there I don’t want to leave! I knew I would like the job but I didn’t think I would enjoy it this much. The days fly by because there is always something to do and everyone is always laughing and keeping each other going when things get out of hand. One of my biggest concerns is that I won’t like my second placement as much as I like this one! It also helps that I am only a ten minute drive away from work right now and my next placement is over an hour away.
All in all, I have no complaints. To any students out there who are getting major practicum-anxiety, like what I had, I am here to tell you not to worry! I am not going to lie and say you will know everything if you just study really hard – because that is so not true. This is where your judgement skills and inner peace come in handy! Never is there a day where I come to work and everything goes as planned. To be a Unit Clerk you have to take the day as it comes… Orders are going to pile up all at once and it is going to get scary and you’re going to think “I am not meant for this.” But just breathe and remember that you can ask as many questions as you like on your practicum. You learn more on the job than in class (sorry Stenberg!) That might sound scary, but it is meant to be comforting.
I hope the rest of my time in psych goes as great as it has been so far.
Wish me luck!