Placement, emotion and doubt.

I haven’t posted for a loooong time, I’ve just been so busy with uni and work!

Recently I went on my first placement as a nursing student- the anticipation had been building amongst my peers however, I was always feeling a bit uninterested.

Majority of my cohort was sent to observe staff at an aged care residential facility to see therapeutic communication and core nursing skills in practice. I have a thing with nursing homes, I don’t find them pleasing and they leave me feeling distressed and negative.

During my placement I met some lovely residents and staff and watched the interactions and care that was necessary. When it came time to leave, we had a short discussion with the director of nursing who told us a nursing home is “not their home and not the hospital”.

This comment left me feeling sad, distressed and confused. For me, an aged care facility is a place that once a resident enters they aren’t coming home. To hear the director say that this was not a residents “home” made me ask myself “what is it then and why are they here?”. I couldn’t answer this and this caused me a feeling of sadness and doubt.

I doubted whether I could be a nurse, I couldn’t emotionally disengage from an uncomfortable situation once so how could I do it every day when I graduate?

For days I felt tormented and finally sought the advice and wisdom of my co-ordinator on campus. We have a long session of “real talk” and I came away with a simple message. That was that the fact I was crying in their office meant that I cared. I cared that the attitudes of some people are wrong and I cared that the people I met were such beautiful people living with a quality of life that I can’t imagine.

This experience taught me two things. They are that to be emotive and to be affected is not a sign of weakness but a sign that we care and that in life we need to find what makes us feel good and we won’t find it without seeking it out.

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