I suppose our society promotes this image of psych wards as these scary places where patients are put in these padded rooms, or perhaps tied down to their chair in restraints. What I found this week though was something so completely removed from this image that I was simply amazed. I found beautiful people who were hurting from substance abuse, physical abuse, depression, and suicidal thoughts/attempts.
I talked with several patients throughout the two days we were on the unit and I was surprised with how open and willing to talk they were. To be honest, I loved every moment of clinical this week, which scares me a little bit. I know that I like to give a lot of myself away through nursing because I consider it a way to serve God through my career; however, I can see myself giving so much of myself away in psych nursing because the patients are in such desperate need of someone to do so. I always want to help people and "fix" their problems, but this is a heavy task to take on with a psychiatric unit.
I am praying for guidance as I make this journey to figure out what type of nursing I am called to. I originally thought pediatrics was my home, but I quickly discovered that almost every nursing student at UNC has this same aspiration. For some reason, I feel that there is something for me in geriatric nursing now. I think that would be amazing because I can combine my compassion and my interest in psych nursing to this field, since a lot of elderly patients suffer from some sort of mental illness.
I am so thankful to be on this journey, and sometimes I forget how truly blessed I am that God made this happen in my life. I wish I could make all of my friends understand how excited I am about my future profession and how passionate I am to make a difference in people's lives.
Grace and peace to you, my friends.
Have a beautiful weekend.