First Clinical Setting

I wanted to write before now.  The last 2 weeks have been intense.

Today, I finished my first Consolodated Practice Experience in my nursing program.

What does that mean?  It means for the past 8 days I’ve been working in a Senior’s Home, working with people who are in Assisted Living and Residential Care.

I’ve been working with people who, for whatever reason, are unable to care for themselves in their own homes.

Part of my clinical experience was to work with the Recreation Department.

For my Rec day…. the activities planned were:

10:00: Memorial Tea
11:00: Pony Visit
2:00: Bingo

I helped set up the Memorial Tea. I sat in the room during the Memorial Tea.  I figured I was good.  No worries.  There wasn’t any family around. It was just the staff speaking on behalf of the recently deceased.

Until it wasn’t.

Until it was the wife of one of the deceased.

Until she talked about how much he was loved.

Until she talked about how much he was missed.

Until she broke down in tears, her voice trembling as she talked about him, the love still very much evident.

And at that point… I broke.

I got up from my seat, let the Rec Aide I was working with know I would be back, and sent a text to my instructor that I was at the Memorial Tea, and that I was having a bit of a breakdown.

My instructor came, took me to a private spot, and talked to me about what was going on, ensured that I could finish the day and told me to take the time I needed to get myself under control.

I didn’t expect to have a breakdown in clinical.  I didn’t expect to have to deal with the emotions I was dealing with. I don’t know why I didn’t expect it.  It’s a home for older people.  People with mulitple co-morbidities. People who go in there without an expectation of moving back home.  People die there.

So… the expectation is that if I’m working there… I will have to deal with death.  The expectation is that in my chosen profession, I will have to deal with death.

I had better learn to deal with death.  Fairly quickly. I only have 15 months left until I’m officially a nurse.

Overall, clinical was an awesome experience.  But once again… grief managed to smack me in the face and say hello when I least expected it.



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