Semester 6 is in full swing! I can’t believe how fast time is going, and before I know it I’ll be graduating! In the meantime though, its coursework, lots of projects, and getting ready for practicum.
Don’t let the smaller course load fool you, the topics this semester are in-depth and require a deeper sense of critical thinking than ever. Even with one less subject from semester 5, I find I am spending just as much, if not more time on coursework.
One aspect that we had to consider near the end of semester five was what practicum location we thought would best suit our long-term goals. We were allowed to submit a resume, along with a first, second, and third choice on what setting we wanted to be in and why we wanted to be there. For me, the choice was simple; I wanted to be in an emergency setting.
Prior to starting the program, I was told to go into general nursing and keep my options open. However, I feel my options are just as open here as if I went into general nursing, and that I am making a bigger impact in the lives of my clients while I am at it.
Psychiatry doesn’t limit your options, rather for me, it has opened my mind up to a bigger world of thinking and opportunity.
For example, when I first started the program I was intent on working in an emergency setting and was indifferent towards community mental health. However, after my last clinical in the community at Community Residential Emergency Short Stay and Treatment (CRESST), my attitude has shifted considerably. I still want to be in the thick of emergency mental health, but I have an appreciation for community mental health and the important role it plays in the continuum of care. In fact, I feel so strongly about community mental health, my number one choice for my employed student nurse application was to be back in community, preferably back at CRESST to continue that experience.
At this point, I haven’t received my placement yet, but I know my chances of getting an emergency placement as a student is slim. However, that doesn’t change my long-term goals, and I will continue to work towards my emergency mental health certificate.
What has been profound for me as we worked through the program is the need to keep an open mind towards where you want to find yourself and how you view various forms and settings for mental health care.
As we move towards graduation and the registration exam, we are reflecting upon the previous two years and searching for our purpose. However, even as we move into our careers, I am sure we will find ourselves changing again and again. Keeping that open mind will allow to adapt and overcome challenges that come with change, this change will inevitably come fast and furious over the next few years as new facilities under construction open up, and the expectations to implement best-practices and new evidence comes to the forefront. I’m excited what the previous two years have brought me and I’m certainly looking forward to the next two as I get my practice started.