Saturday, July 22, 2006

All over the place

I have been reading some old posts on this blog (and on others) and it hit me that it was just barely less than 2 years ago when I was desperately trying to complete a thesis, mend a relationship as well as trying to find my identity.

So my honours thesis was completed (and stupidly enough, I'm trying to complete another one currently), the relationship ended and identity..... I guess that's half found. I supposed I could identify myself as "Postgraduate Psychology Trainee (clinical)" but that box is too small- I'm also a christian, sister, grandchild, daughter, friend, confidant, partner, student, tutor, niece, auntie and possibly researcher?

Listening to songs like Constant Craving, Hit'em up style, Stop, Crazy, Misty Blue, Yesterday,Can't take my eyes off you and More than Words. It's strange how I immediately associated those songs to my hons year (argggghhhhh.....conditioning). The year when I discovered that research wasnt that bad afterall (it was the writing that was bad) , how painful a breakup can be and true friendships. I did not forget my first white sundress, which I still kept in my wardrobe and the lovely 21st dinner I had with my uni mates. Not forgetting my friends and family members who stood by me as I was trying to finish that degree.

I did not forget the guy who asked me out for a date in the same year and patiently waited for me to heal (that ran into the next year) before he asked me to be his girlfriend.

How things changed since then? I completed the first year of the Masters course, worked with some nice people (and not so nice ones) and even decided to take another step to pursue this current degree. In less than 2 years, my vision for the future changed.

Sometimes I feel that pursuing a career as a Clinical Psychologist made the colours of my world black and white (vel, I think u understand this joke here). However, the characters that I talk to everyday made it more colourful.

In the short 4 weeks that I have been in the hospital, I worked with painful, cheerful, confused, dependant, insightful, emotional, emotionless, humourous, beyond intervention and hopeful characters. That include staff and patients.

I experienced people who attended the program, appeared to benefit from it and then was re-admitted to the hospital 1 week later.

A client/patient described me as "quiet empathic". I discovered the power of being quiet in groups. The moment I opened my mouth everyone listened to me! Woohoo.

Staff at the hospital are nice. The only exception is this egoistic senior. I thought I was the only one feeling frustrated with him until a registrar went "argh" about him one day. Not to mention how another registrar said that she's dreading partnering him when the 1st registrar goes on leave. Oh, and that my supervisor said not to let him sign my reports as he sucks in writing them. Ethically, I disagree with him as well.

Enough about work.

It's strange how the direction changed since 2 years ago... Friends went in different directions, responsibilities and relationships are not the same as before. Have I changed since then? I think I did in some ways. Priorities, sleep patterns, career direction, friendships, writing, reading, quietness, confidence, placement, researching, hobbies and relationships are different since then. I dare say I'm less serious than before and I do take things in a lighter way (it's ok if i dont mop the floor today or finish writing the report). Like what Justin used to say "I'm still Daphne."


Benji said...

you've gotta admit.. it's been a real roller coaster ride these last couple of years.. and we all came out alive after that... I say thank God for having each other!!

Thoughts said...

I suspect a large part of growth as a psychologist is about living vicariously through your clients(or at least that's what I do!). It allows one to become more aware of the appalling state of the current society, system and or human nature without experiencing the pain or consequences that our clients do, yet allow oneself to appreciate and treasure what we have.

On a lighter note, it confirms the God-Like status of some psychiatrists:) I was pretty mean when I informed 1 of the registrar psychiatrist that I and the other extern are on our final placements of a Masters degree and that is the extent of the training that psychologists do. When I saw the look of surprise on his face, I couldn't resist but add, "that's good information to know about your fellow mental health colleagues:)"

I need to try that someday on this other very cocky registrar psychiatrist who basically offended all allied health staff members and nursing staff on his first day. The exchange is as follows

R: So all of you are case managers?

Nurse A: You mean Clinicians? I'm a nurse and the rest consist of nursing staff, OTs, social workers and psychologists

R: so all of are community case managers?

Looks are exchanged across the table and the team leader steps in by introducing everyone around the table

R: (turns to my supervisor, me and the other extern) So these are the 3rd years on placement?

Supervisor: year students

R: oh 4th year students.

(silence in the room; meeting ends)

Having said that, there are some nice psychiatrists around and I do keep a list of names of those doctors that I will refer to:)

daphne said...

Yes, it is similar if not same here as well.

Others didnt seem to realise the extent of training we do. The OT intern was very surprised to learn that we go through 6 years of training. And yes, OT sees individual clients here. The reason? They are cheaper to hire. It's a worrying trend.

We were taught to respect each other boundaries. Obviously the other disciplines were not taught the same thing. I have no issues with the nurses in the hospital though.

I was very disappointed with one particular psychiatrist whom in 3 weeks subjected this poor patient with severe PTSD (with disassociation + dispersonalization- i heard her screaming along the corridor today as she was having flashbacks) with 5 different types of therapies.

Can you imagine what the poor gal was going through? It was as if the psychiatrist do not know what to do and chuck her in all he/she could think of!

It was like what a therapist said "so we shld all become psychiatrists as well to be head of the food chain"


"when will they decide to start communicating with other therapists instead of subjecting to patients with irrelevant therapies?"

Thoughts said...

yeah... the OT in my previous placement was doing all sorts of cognitive assessment with the inpatients and stating that there is nothing wrong with their cognitive functioning... it drove my supervisor nuts because it was so obvious to us that there was at least some frontal lobe EF stuff going on with the patients. And yes, it did come up on the neuroassessment. Having said that I found out that 1 fully trained psychologist went off and retrained to be a nurse because the pay is abt 20k higher p.a.

that's sad.

Thoughts said...

sigh, the white sundress is too big for u now:(

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