Wow, week 5 of semester 5 already! We have all learned our psychosocial rehabilitation preceptorship sites now, and we are all busily preparing for it, with various orientations to complete. However, classwork continues and we must not forget the myriad of work and assignments that are still due in the coming weeks. Semester 5 brings lots of groupwork to projects, coupled with preceptorships makes for complex coordinating and a need to stay on top of all our work.
I will discuss preceptorships and other classes in later blogs, but for now let’s focus on Working in Groups. Now the name of the course can be a little misleading if you don’t read the course overview, it is not working in groups with our classmates, but relates to group psychotherapy. This course covers the basics of planning, organizing, participating, and leading a group therapy session within the context of our psychiatric nursing scope of practice.
So far, we have discussed the process of group formation, group processes, factors that contribute to success, and reviewed a case study where a client was apprehensive about group therapy. An interesting aspect to this week’s case study was the cultural implications and considerations that are all too relevant in our multi-cultural society and city. This class fits in nicely within our psychosocial rehabilitation, where community mental health and resources often includes group therapy.
On top of working in groups, we are also studying the sociology of mental health and illness this semester as well. This is important because as a society, and as psychiatric nurses, we need to have a firm understanding as to the bio-psychosocial model of mental health. Many studies show the prevalence of schizophrenia diagnosis linked to lower socioeconomic groups. With the many areas that we can work in upon graduation, considerations and statistics like that can significantly alter our approach to community treatment programs, government policies, and social programs.
Within this class, we also touch on more ‘hot’ topic items, like the perception of receiving better mental health care if you are in a higher socioeconomic class, or if women experience or are diagnosed with more mental illness than men. For me, that helps me increase my depth of critical thinking, but also what affects one’s environment has on mental health and illness.
In this week’s discussion, we looked at the effects of racism on mental health. As a multicultural society, we are not immune to racism here in Canada. In fact, I have experienced racism first hand as have many of my friends. It can be subtle, like minor social exclusion, or blatant, but all of that can have psychological as well as physiological effects on us. With an influx of refugees from war-torn regions and the expectation for thousands more over the next year, the topic of racism and how we move forward as a society will continue to be hot topics. As a child of a refugee family, this topic was one that bore significant connection to my childhood and the younger years of my parents. As a parent myself, I like to think that having a holistic view of psychiatric nursing will provide me the ability and insight to give better, culturally competent care.
As the weeks go by, we get one step closer to our goal of graduation. With some milestones still to pass, my class will collectively remain focused on the tasks and goals and continue to thrive as a team to succeed!