Clinical is Complete
Finished my first semester placement yesterday. All I’ve got left is a silly little research project and then this dreadful semester will be over and I’ll be that much closer to my RN.
I told only 2 of the 25 residents in the long term care facility I was working in that yesterday was my last day - one told me she had to give me a hug and a kiss cause she was so proud of me and when I saw her at the end of the day she said she’d been praying for me today (melt my heart!). The other sweet gentleman was so sad that he wasn’t going to see me any more he welled up and a few tears leaked out. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on his face. I had to run to the bathroom after that and collect myself before I burst into tears while still working.
I didn’t expect to be so sad to finish that placement. I’ve been counting down the days for this semester to end, but looking back now I realize that that placement has changed me. I witnessed my first death, I did my first (and several) IMs, did my first VAC dressing, and really felt more like a nurse than a student than any other placement has allowed me.
Long term care is so different from the hospital. I spent 3 months with these 25 residents, all of whom are in the last chapter of their lives. I am one of the last people the will meet. For one I was the last person to see them alive. My whole view on long term care has changed. These people are so dependent, and desperate for normal relationships, and yet no one wants to work there, and very few families ever visit. We need to change our views on the elderly and dying. Death shouldn’t be a taboo, and it shouldn’t scare us. Its a healthy and normal part of life, and the one thing people need when facing it is relationships, that least we can do (especially within the realm of healthcare) is offer them.
I’ve always known that I want to work with marginalized populations, I just never realized before that the elderly in long term care fell anywhere near that.