Online coursework is wrapping up for a while as we integrate into preceptorships! I am looking forward to working at Penticton Mental Health, getting a taste of the community setting and working with chronically mentally ill clients. Monday through Friday now until the end of August, my hours will be spent gaining my final hands-on experience, until I’m back to coursework, with the end of school right around the corner. I’m excited to begin this next step in my educational career, and will be sure to share my stories with the blog-readers!
Thinking back to semester 5, I’d like to share a bit more about a particular course that is of interest: Sociology of Mental Health & Illness. Sociology looks at human social behaviour; how it develops and where it stems from. Over the duration of semester 5, we looked at a variety of topics within the course; stigma, social class, women versus men, race and ethnicity, treatment of people with mental illness, deinstitutionalization, and Psychiatry and the law. This course not only required us to research the individual topics, but it often asked of us our personal opinions. My favourite lesson would have to have been Psychiatry and the law. It really got me thinking about where I stand on some very controversial issues as a future RPN. One of the questions posed to us was: Should dangerous psychiatric patients be treated differently than other dangerous people? This is really a great question! My point of view is that the answer remains subjective from person-to-person, but I personally believe that people with mental illness should be provided with different care. How is it feasible to throw a mentally ill person in prison, when what they need is to be medically treated with psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and the interventions of professionals in the field of mental health? I feel that someone with a mental illness should not be placed in the same setting as those without mental illness who have committed a crime, because both parties need different means of disciplinary care. But to each his own, and that is why the course made for such thought-provoking discussion!
That is just a taste of what the past semester brought us – definitely some pretty interesting topics! This semester we are focusing on substance abuse and specialist area psychiatry, both of which are very in depth and noteworthy. More to follow on those courses next time…
The sun is shining and the hot weather continues to come my way – It is not easy to be in practicum during the summer months! At the same time, knowing that I am so close to beginning a great career is worth it (and taking textbooks to the beach is doable, take my word for it!). We put in this hard work and effort because we know it will pay off. If you’ve been reading my blogs and take an interest in Psychiatric Nursing, ask questions and get the ball rolling!