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Psych Clinical Reflection

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            One thing that I really appreciate about being a nursing student is not only technically applying the theories I have studied inside the four walls of the classroom but the opportunity of learning and immersing with my clients during our regular rotations. Furthermore, what is good about this profession is being able to relate my personal experiences with that of my clients which is something very promising as a nursing student to be fully equipped with becoming a registered nurse in the future. But the irony is, this nursing reflection I am going to share with you is something I have always feared about.

            In my present rotation in the psychiatric unit, I feel somewhat anxious and apprehensive. To put it straight, I was once institutionalized but in some way I am confident that more than the other nursing students, I can better understand what our clients are going through inside the ward. It is impossible to say that we can completely comprehend the feelings of other people. But to say the least, I can empathize what they are experiencing in the ward because of the mere fact I was one of them a long time ago.

I know any reader, including you for that matter, will be disturbed upon discovering I was institutionalized years ago. I was only 13 then and the memories keep rushing back to me once in a while. I attempted to commit suicide. I attempted to end my youth for its misery. It was not a healthy one like the others. I did not experience a happy childhood like you did. These sad thoughts continue to haunt me. Even now.

Clinical psychology tells us that irregularities in our childhood and adolescence are often indicative of what and how we are going to be as adults. In my case, I do not know for sure. All I am aware of is from the moment I stepped out of the elevator, on to the psychiatric unit, my heart was racing at 150 beats per minute. Suddenly I became hypertensive. And then the thoughts came over me like a dark cloud.

As a young teen, I was taken away from my parents after my suicide attempt. I was then admitted in a mental institution which looked just like the psychiatric unit I was on duty at recently. I can still recall very clearly how habitually my parents used to beat my sister and I. We were yet vulnerable and defenseless but there was nothing we can do. After all the beatings we got, I was thrown around like a lost dog, transferring from one house to another. The desire and longing that good foster parents might adopt me all faded into gray. I ran out of patience, shattered into pieces and wanted to end my life.

In relation to this psychiatric rotation, I know I can make a difference at __________ Hospital because I am not only a student nurse who is completing my school requirements in order to graduate but an individual, an ex-mental patient who is trying to overcome his greatest weakness. I am here for comfort and for the challenge of winning over my angst which is unconsciously killing me. Had I not fought strong enough, I might have completely lost my sanity.

I believe that to become a good nurse, one must not judge his clients. This I learned from experience. I know that if I tell just anyone that I was an ex-mental patient, I am pretty sure that person will see me differently. To be an effective nursing student, he must look at the perspective of being in a psychiatric hospital optimistically because these clients need the best care they can ever get, not only from their families and loved ones but from the health care givers who watch them from time to time. Ideally, it ought to be like this.

Another challenge in my life is being biologically male but not quite. What I am trying to say is I am a homosexual. A gay. When I visited the transitional living house for patients who had just been released from the psychiatric unit, I got acquainted with a man named Mike. He was a 63 years old. Like me, he also attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on a bottle of sleeping pills. I almost can see myself through him. He also lost hope and he wanted to end his sufferings.

Mike had a different reason for curtailing his life. He lost his husband of 11 years who died a year ago due to a heart attack. I was interested in conversing with right away because we were both gay. I always look up to older homosexuals for advice because they are much wiser and experienced. He took out his husband’s driver’s license from his wallet and kissed his picture. He told me he had never loved someone as much as he loved him. His family abandoned him as well. That’s when I realized that being alone is devastating. Sadness, depression and desolation were written all over his face as tears fell down, he can barely speak. I tried to comfort him by talking about coming out of the close. Changing the subject got him off his misery for a while. I admire Mike for his intelligence and people like him have made me whole. Homosexuals do have a place in this world where we belong. Because of people like Mike, I do not feel alienated.

Being a student nurse who has a dark past like mine is not easy. Every new experience is a trial I must conquer. But what is essential now is I never gave up. I continued the fight, one day after the other. I hope that the time comes when I have completely accepted my fate and move on with a new life. Right now, I cannot say I am a new me. I still have issues to win over. I know someday I will.

Professor _____________, I expect that with your open mind, you still see me as the same person you saw me before despite of what you learned about me. Thank you for your acceptance and understanding.

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