Most nursing students I know say that psych clinical rotations are their least favorite part of school because they don’t learn any new medical information or skills, but it happens to be one of my favorite parts for the same reason I enjoyed being a psychology major so much- because you get to learn more about life, instead. Not only have my clinicals this semester consisted of the various units in the hospital I’ve already spoken about, but we have a fairly wide range of experiences outside of this as well. For example, yesterday we spent the morning learning about and practicing different types of meditation to improve on different areas of health and life; this can be useful in my daily life as well as to my patients and those around me. In the afternoon, we volunteered at a school for children with Autism spectrum disorders, my sorority’s philanthropy organization. Nothing can compare to bonding with 3-5 year old kids over listening to eachother’s heart beats and the importance of putting together a puzzle of the number “8”. Today, I was able to spend the morning preparing, assisting, and taking care of patients undergoing electroconvulsant therapy (ECT), better known as shock treatment, for depression and related mood disorders. (I even started several IV’s, something I surprisingly have not gotten the chance to do at medical hospitals).
And finally, this evening, I went to my very first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in which we discussed the seventh of twelve traditions- that of AA being an independent organization who has turned down and currently does not allow accepting any form of donations as part of a will. In the reading for this evening, they told the story of times when AA first began and the tremendous amount of spiritual strength it took for them to turn down extremely generous amounts of money in order to establish themselves as a respected and independent organization. We all seemed to agree that it’s quite silly to think that money and such things can buy happiness, and that more money would inevitably lead to many problems that the organization thankfully does not have right now. The members then discussed what was on their minds, and it was eye-opening to see, once again, just how similar we all are. Humans are social creatures and exactly the same at the core; becoming increasingly in touch with this allows for increased feelings of comfort and contentedness- besides my faith, there is a reason why I am happiest when I am actively living my life and feeling connected to those around me. This and these other experiences are just a few examples of the types of learning and growth that psych clinicals allow for, and although my time at this rotation is almost up, I look forward to making the most of my last few days with some of the most amazing people I have ever met!